Friday 7 October 2011
Jill Clark. I shouldn’t need to say anymore, but for those of you who don’t yet know Jill, she’s The Clarky who, along with The Meat, inspired my What I’ve Learned This Week From Clarky & The Meat blog series. Regular readers will be aware that I happen to think that Jill is one hell of an amazing woman, and I’ve learnt a lot from her. I’ve been lucky enough to actually sit down and speak with Jill – in itself, an awesome experience that I’ll never forget – and I have to say, this woman has led a very interesting life. Oh, the stories I could tell you . . . but I won’t. You’ll never get those out of me. What’s said and done in Nanna’s Kitchen stays in Nanna’s Kitchen. Currently calling Toronto, Canada home with her fiancé, Jill isn’t letting go of the big dreams that she has for her professional and personal lives. You can follow her on Twitter, @Clark_Jill.
Still Dreaming. Never Settling.
Almost two years ago to this day I made the decision to change my life. I was tired of the same old rut of a routine I had going in Toronto. I wasn’t bettering myself, I was simply plateauing and going nowhere fast.
Don’t get me wrong, I had opportunities present themselves but nothing ever worked out. At the time I was frustrated by it all, but I guess I just didn’t realize that these missed opportunities were in fact a blessing in disguise.
It took me six years of living in the same city, trying to chase the same dream, dating the same type of douchey guys, and working the same soul-sucking job to realize that I had to take action if I ever wanted to live the life I knew I deserved to live.
But I was too scared to do it alone. Luckily, one of my best friends, Stacey, felt the exact same way and together we made a plan to kiss Toronto goodbye and start all over again in the land down unda!
It wasn’t easy at first. In fact, for the first four months of living overseas I was miserable. I missed the comforts of home, my friends, my family, and the money I was making at my soul-sucking job.
But then something changed. I started waking up feeling excited and rejuvenated at all the opportunities that were coming to me because I had simply taken myself out of my comfort zone.
I was in love, I had made a new life long friend, Stacey and I had created a dream job for ourselves and were making more money than ever before, and I started to see things in a different light.
I was grateful for overcoming that first four months of misery and realized that because I had the courage to switch up my life, not abide by what my parents always wanted me to do, and live my own version of a dream life I had grown up.
I started thinking differently, dreaming even bigger, and started planning with my boyfriend where we wanted to travel to next.
Since both of us worked online by this point, it seemed as though the world was ours for the taking. But we took baby steps instead and moved to the dramatically beautiful land of sheep – New Zealand.
While in New Zealand, we continued to dream. We would sit on our patio, stare at the gorgeous view with a glass of wine in our hands and talk about designing our dream life. One that was full of adventures, new people, new friends, new countries, new languages, and new memories.
The possibilities were endless.
Now back in Toronto planning our Costa Rican wedding, and quite frankly a little disappointed that I’m back in Toronto, we are still dreaming. Dreaming of our upcoming move to Chile. Dreaming of yet another chapter in our lives that will once again satiate our souls and take us out of our comfort zone.
Because that is what it is all about. Never settling. Never accepting that we have to stay in one place because it may be the grown up thing to do.
Growing up isn’t about making choices for ourselves that we aren’t actually thrilled about but feel as though it is the right thing to do. Growing up, at least for us, is about living a life that we are happy and grateful to wake up to every day. A life that we are proud of creating for ourselves. A life full of friends who come from all walks of life. A life full of experiences that shape and mould who we are as individuals. And a life that is shared with the one person who matters more to you than anything else in the world.
These last two years have been nothing short of exhilarating, scary, hilarious, educational, and downright amazing. And I couldn’t be more excited to see what the next two, four, hell, even ten years brings for us.
We have no concrete plans other than doing exactly what we want to do, in whatever country we want to do it in. Who knows how it will all play out, but one thing we do know is we will never regret it.