Eileen is an amazing woman. I’ve known her for many years and consider her a soul sister. I was curious about her experiences after leaving California and permanently traveling abroad. What sort of advice would she offer to other women considering breaking free from their jobs? We all have reservations and fear of the unknown. These fears are crippling, keeping us in the same routine we may long to break from but don’t know where to begin.
Eileen isn’t a talker, she’s a DOER.
I admire Eileen’s tenacity and strength in pursuing her freedom and personal happiness. I can empathize with Eileen’s fears, not knowing what to expect in tomorrow. We are simply working ourselves to death, often times forgetting to slow down and admire the beauty life has to offer.
I love her newfound outlook and positive way she’s searching for balance in her life journey. You’re an inspirational woman, Eileen!
Three years ago, I ended an eight-year relationship and the following year I quit my career, sold my car, gave up my apartment, and put my belongings into storage before boarding a plane to India with a one-way ticket in my pocket and my meager life savings in the bank. The long months leading to this radical lifestyle shift were a mixed bag of exhilaration, relief, pain, exhaustion, and fear.
Yes, it was a journey to escape a soul-sucking career and a life(style) with only superficial meaning. But much more importantly, it was one of truth and self-discovery (a path on which I have been a devoted traveler for some four years with no end in sight.) At the time I felt as though I was crazy, frequently thinking, “what is wrong with me?” But in retrospect I see clearly that our lives operate within a dream state and I was—am— slowly awakening (yes, I really believe that life is a dream.) Most of my actions and decisions were, and still are sometimes, unconsciously fear based.
This laborious process of waking-up and confronting the demons and denials that control us is not for the faint of heart and perhaps it is the reason so few endeavor upon this path without compulsion, despite its unending rewards. I began by crying constantly; daydreaming and fantasizing for endless hours to escape the oppressive dejection; and writing like a fiend—I spent endless hours furiously scribbling all that was plaguing me; dissecting a former life and how I was living it based upon limiting belief systems that I barely recognize today.
The result of this transition has been an endless supply of love, adventure, travel, fun, and synchronicity even as I continue uprooting fears that would otherwise shackle me to the false illusions that held me captive for so long. Of course, I still experience pain, frustration, and even fleeting hopelessness, but they no longer control me or threaten my hard-earned peace of mind. Instead of futilely attempting to control every chapter of my life I am surrendering to the simple truth that the universe has some crazy, unexplainable wisdom. I now understand that she will deliver me to my destination much more peacefully and efficiently if I would just relinquish the wheel and take a permanent siesta to the passenger seat.
Perhaps you also look around with a nagging feeling that “life is but a dream”. If you are ready to wake up and undergo a similar self-transformation (and even if you are not) then my advice is this: at the price of all else, devote yourself to yourself and only that which brings you happiness. Endeavor to discover who you are free of cultural expectations, familial obligations, and other self-defeating belief systems so that, with every action, word, and deed you are doing exactly what you want.