A Deeper Look Into Sacrifice

I am a strong believer in being happy in the present and soaking in the moment, however I also believe in a thing called sacrifice. When searching for happiness there are hard times and decisions you must make that will not always be appealing and sometimes you chicken out on those decisions because you do not want to sacrifice something. But you have to have the strength to understand them and take them because a little sacrifice here can lead you to an even greater happiness and a stronger you in the end. To find happiness it requires a strong mind that is willing to sacrifice in order to receive something greater down the road.

I loved my life in Colorado and that is what I wanted, it was a dream. Everything was going wonderfully for me I was about to start teaching at a yoga studio in walking distance to my apartment which was situated in downtown Denver that also allowed me to walk to my new job in PR on 16th street. I was on board to be a ski instructor at Vail that winter and life was good. I could not ask for anything more – I was happy living a life paycheck to paycheck because I was doing things I loved in a place I loved. However an opportunity came, a big job. A job that would almost triple what I would be making in Denver with an amazing company that is rated one of the best companies to work for … it was hard to believe the offer they gave me having graduated college only three months prior. But it was reality. (And it was not exactly an easy interview process…three interviews, an IQ test, and on-the-spot problem-solving questions in front of the interviewers…and math is not my speciality so when I asked if I could use a calculator for the IQ test I was denied access..)

At first I had a hard head – I said absolutely not. If I choose this way I am choosing the materialistic path and that is not me. I am fine with living on a tight budget doing what I love. No one could change my mind. It was not until I felt something twisting my gut like a wet rag someone was trying to dry… it hurt. I was twisting and hurting. It was not until I woke up and decided to have an open mind and be realistic. This new path was not a materialistic path – yes the benefits and salary was the main push when it came to shove, but this way is of opportunity – of growth – of strength – a chance to learn more about myself. 

I was so comfortable in Denver that I was making excuses not to leave, I had just moved there three weeks ago after traveling the world, I wanted to be situated in Colorado, I had just made the hard decision to say no to graduate school in Europe… – I was afraid. It was a mix of fear, discomfort, and sadness. Fear that I would loose sight of my dreams (to own a yoga studio and be an author). Discomfort knowing I would have to move to a place alone where I knew no one and knew nothing more. Sadness to leave a place I loved and things I loved doing and awareness to the fact that this sacrifice would not exactly bring me more happiness.

I took the job. I had no idea where the company would move me. I could have been relocated anywhere from Mississippi, to Alaska, to North Dakota, to Oklahoma, and beyond. In the end I was relocated to the state of Washington. Never in my life did I ever think I would live in the Pacific North West of the United States but here I am. 

You may be wondering why I took this sacrifice if it wouldn’t bring me more happiness and only a monetary gain. Well, I would be lying if I said that money was not part of the reason. Of course it was. But the other reason that I took this job– this scary unexpected move was because this would make me stronger. It puts my foot in the door opening up more opportunities of growth in the workplace. And although it seems that it would take me away from my dreams it actually is bringing me closer. So here I am, I am doing it, I am completely on my own, in a place I have never been that is now my home. 

For those that fear you will loose sight of your dream -- that can only happen if you let exterior factors fog your mind. If your mind stays clear and steady you will always have your dream close to your heart and it will always beat a little different when you stray away or step closer. 

For those that do not want to adapt or change your lifestyle -- remember change is one of the toughest challenges but because of the intensity it makes you the strongest of the pack. The ones able to adapt and change to new environments and ways of life are the ones who end up understanding the world better... we all need to learn that nothing is forever and change only makes us stronger.

For those that fear sadness from the sacrifice, know that this will enlighten you with an open mind and chance to find happiness in other things and ways. With sadness comes growth. 

Now I have proven to myself that happiness is not all about doing what you love 24.7 or living in a place you love. It is rooted within you. 
Exploring the mountains of Washington!

I am happy. I am happy here in this land that rains more than not, that is a long flight from my family on the east coast, that doesn’t have a yoga studio that I like within an hour from me… a place so different. It is hard. It is sacrifice. But I am happy. 

So my point of writing this is to say that in my book I preach to be happy and ways to find that happiness but in this short time I have realized our generation is somewhat confused thinking that life is only great if you are doing what you love all the time. Yes I completely agree with that but I think we forget in order to get there, in order to do what we love we may have to make sacrifices and now is the time to do them. Here we are young and eager to learn so take your sacrifices now. And later you will smile at the strength you had to make that decision, to make that sacrifice.

I sit here and type and think about this transition, this new chapter of my life. At first I will admit I was unhappy. I was so upset to discover the lack of yoga here and my antsy pants having to sit in a chair all day to come home to a lonely hotel. Yes I may sound dramatic, but it was no fun.

But part of the problem was me. I was busy sulking in my own shoes having pity for myself – I am glad I did that for less than a week because it is you who decides how much you enjoy life. I am happy with this sacrifice.

I am now a training coordinator for a software company learning new skills and growing everyday. And I can see why it is rated one of the best places to work -- I am extremely lucky. And most importantly it is driving me closer to my dreams.

Before in Denver I was on the back-roads to get there, now I am coasting on the highway with my dreams in sight. And here I am trying to gain, learn, and grow as much as I can knowing this is a chance, an opportunity, a moment in my life I will respect. And the best part of this whole thing is that down the road, this sacrifice will be worth it all. Now, only a month at the new gig I can say this sacrifice was the best decision I could have ever made.

It was one of the hardest decisions for me because I had to leave everything I loved and worked so hard for, but I was able to open my mind, be realistic, and see the possibilities that would come with sacrifice.  And I am proud of myself for doing it.

It is incredible to feel the power of your strength inside you. I have embarked on this journey on my own. That is something to do – let go of the attachments that you are holding onto and grab onto something new, unknown, and scary.

Remember that if living your dream was so attainable everyone would do it which looses the essence of why it is a dream. It is a dream because it is uniquely yours – it is a challenge – and with challenges we must sacrifice a little here and there. And I am just saying now might be a good time to look at the big picture in your life and ask what is it I want and how can I get there?