I spent 14 years of my life studying and practicing law. It was not my passion but it was a family business and I convinced myself that I could be good at it. The truth is I was ok at it. Through hard work and discipline and all the stories I was telling myself about the status this job was going to give me I became ok at it. I never excelled but got promoted more than once. I fooled myself more than once. Until I couldn’t anymore. Yoga came into my life and showed me in so many ways that I was on the wrong path. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that to be happy I needed to let this job and this life go. Like my mom said, to “waste all these years and all the effort”. I ended up quitting and starting over from scratch. I was going to teach yoga. Back then I was not the most flexible or fit student out there. Years of sedentary life had already taken their toll on my body. But there was nothing stopping me. My eagerness to learn and grow and reinvent myself was bigger than the obstacles. This time I was going to get it right.
Sometimes I get so mad at myself for having wasted so many years sitting at a desk, doing work that I could barely tolerate for the sake of security and fulfilling other people’s expectations. On these dark days I am harsh at myself, thinking how things would have been if I had found and followed my path much earlier. How more advanced or established or successful I would be now.
But then, as soon as this downward spiral of negativity stops I realize that it’s all fine. Nothing is wasted. Everything happens exactly at the moment and for the reason it needs to happen. And no one is entitled to an effortless and painless path in life. If I went through all this frustration maybe there was a reason for it. I learnt so much along the way and maybe I can inspire others who are going through similar situations. As a teacher i have worked a lot with people with corporate jobs and demanding careers. I understand these people and their challenges more than someone who has always been a yoga teacher or never had a corporate job. And it is my deepest joy whenever i can contribute something to their quest for a healthier and more balanced life. So from that perspective, all those years have not been wasted.
You have a dream? Go chase it. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 33 or 65 years old. Drop all the what if’s and should haves and do you. If you want it bad enough and put everything that’s secondary and a distraction aside, it will eventually work out. And remember that today’s shortcomings might become tomorrow’s strengths.