7 In Lifestyle

I can’t change the direction of the wind but I can adjust my sails

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean

What is life without dreams? Without the stars to shoot for? Without a passion bubbling away at the surface waiting to be unleashed.

For most of my life I’ve felt the urge to write but have been unable to, but ever since ditching my career in project management it’s like a switch has been flicked on in my brain unleashing creativity and the urge to write.

The realisation that I am a writer has been something I’ve struggled with, and to be honest I don’t think I believed that it would ever happen or that I was really a writer.

Self-belief. Confidence. Dreams. Passions. Goals. They all go together, and deep down I wish I had had the self-belief and confidence in myself and my ability so much earlier in life. But then again, with the years that have passed comes life experience – and that is invaluable when it comes to writing.

My other life-long dream / passion has been travel. Travel – from before I started – possessed me. My earliest recollection of the desire to travel was as I sat at the foot of my Granddad, listening to him speak of his travels, the war, history…that is the moment my feet began to itch. Although in saying that, my Mum always told me we had the gypsy spirit in us. As we weren’t rich, we satisfied our restless spirits by moving house instead, and if we couldn’t move house, then we would move things around in the house. Those were the days of shawls and blankets for curtains, and posters and band shirts for decorations. And as soon as I started to travel, my first experience being Singapore, I was gone. Restless. Possessed.

With every trip, I kept a travel journal (up until the last few years), of which I have stored away as mementos to some day make a book for my eyes only. And for the years that I struggled with writers block, it was as if travel was the only thing that could release it. And so my dream was born – to write about travel. When anyone asked me about my dream job, I would respond with one thing – travel writing.

In the last few years I kind of gave up on that dream. I never said I did, but life, as it does, happened, and other things took precedence. I also started travelling for another reason – for recovery. So holidays became less about seeing everything and not resting for one moment, to trying to strike some kind of balance…

And then I left the corporate world. My 12-year career in project management. No savings. Lost but…

Within the last few months I have found myself. Throwing caution to the wind, placing my faith in the universe, putting myself out there and openly talking about what I wanted to do. Well, whatever you believe in – God, Allah, Angels, Spirits, the stars aligning, or just plain kismet…funny things happen when you just be you.

I can’t change the direction of the wind but I can adjust my sails

You see, dreams do come true, but sometimes it just takes a while. It involves an inner journey along bumpy roads and wild rivers, calm seas and fast moving freeways, rocky outcrops and planes that stretch for what seems like forever…

One thing is true, regardless of how long it takes. It is the journey that is the most important process, and not the arrival destination.



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  • Angela
    September 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I love this. This is exactly what I went through and why I set up High Heelers. I wish more women had the courage to do this. In fact I wish more women had the courage to really state what they want and then go after it. If you are a Mum there is no better lesson you are showing your children. If you are not a parent it is incredibly fulfilling to know you have not settled and you are putting your dreams into action.

    Keep it up.

    • Janine Ripper
      September 23, 2014 at 7:21 am

      Thanks Angela. Thats great to hear. It’s such a hard journey but definitely worth it. And I was only just talking to my step son yesterday morning about chasing his dreams and living his passions, and about how good it feels (but how I wished I’d done it so much sooner) 🙂 It might sink in!

      I must admit I’ve been meaning to look more into what you do but I’ve been so busy paddling to try and come up for air!

  • Marie
    September 24, 2014 at 3:26 am

    So glad you’re following your dreams Janine! Always love to see you and hear your voice.

  • Muriel
    September 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    It is all about following our dreams, right? That said, you are right: the financial side of things is a bit, well, challenging, if you don’t have another job on top of writing. But who knows, maybe one day success will come?

  • Joy
    September 25, 2014 at 4:09 am

    I’m really cheering for you, Janine, as you’ve found yourself living your passions! How many people can truly say that?…AND earn from it! Yay! Congratulations again and know that I’m excited for and with you!

    • Janine Ripper
      September 25, 2014 at 9:16 am

      It’s really quite amazing Joy! And freakin’ scary! hehe

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    October 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    […] Read about my journey to embracing authenticity in Adjusting my sails to reach my destination. […]

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