Neha Awasthi

26 January 2020

There is one thing I like about believing in the idea of god.

When you can’t explain something, you can dump it on him. You can resort and make peace with the idea that he came lumbering down and aborted the whole operation. Or he set the spark in your head and before you could put your top brain faculties in use – you packed your bags and flew over to another continent. 

 

It wasn’t the plan. It wasn’t the trajectory that we had carefully planned for or considered. A lot of elderly ladies would explain situations and decisions like that “It was all god’s will.”

We didn’t take any rules taken into consideration (not seriously at least!) before moving. We didn’t plan comprehensively. We didn’t get stopped in our tracks thinking about who we knew in the country. We knew no body. 

When we arrived, it seemed like we didn’t arrive in a boat, we didn’t come in a plane, but we swam through the ocean amid sharks and had run in the sand ignoring the sign: No lifeguards on duty. 

We applied for the visa and packed our bags and moved to Australia. I also brought a new husband with me. My husband – a new wife. Me. I was eager to get out of India and celebrate my self imposed exile. 

 

Koalas. Wombats. 

Kangaroos. 

Echidna. 

Frilled Neck Lizard.

The Tasmanian Devil.

The Kookaburra.

 

The country inhabiting this wildlife AND us was not the plan. 

 

This was not our plan. 

 

In the thick of a students’ loan, new marriage, new house and a new culture where everyone talked a lot about weather and beers. A new zip code. My husband, Mehul and I creatively making monotonous and laborious tasks morph into a Disney park in our minds. We would walk up to buy the groceries, hand and in hand and making it look like the exhilarating adventure trip we have ever had. 

 

Our first few months were spent in unwrapping a few utensils and treasures we had got. Oh, and yes Turmeric that my mum insisted I had to take because she wasn’t sure if a western country would sell any of those “exotic” spices. 

 

They were the days that I learned the power of “training the brave” while getting used to buying frozen cut vegetables and a whole new way of living. It felt exciting ….and completely uncomfortable. 

 

Now when I look back at them, they were pretty uncomfortable years of my life. I was learning to wear my high powered heels and learning to like herbed quiche and appreciate the culture of swimming on a hot day and barbeques holding the beers. 

Those years taught me an immensely valuable lesson. 

 

A courageous life isn’t a series of carefully orchestrated and planned actions, but a series of decisions backed up by leap of faith.

 

Sometimes logic doesn’t make sense. Now when I look back, it was a tough time for a newlywed couple to make a life in a new country from scratch, where we didn’t know a single soul. But it changed the trajectory of our lives. 

 

Every day we acted bravely whether it was in learning new life skills, making new friends or looking for a job. 

 

The more we used that muscle of bravery, the stronger it got. 

 

I can’t say I have always acted bravely and with the same courage throughout my life. But I have often gone back to that moment, to tap into that feeling in the moments I feel like I don’t have it in me. 

And that’s the beauty of developing the courage muscle.

That it resides within you and you can always access it. Life and business are not meant to be a smooth sailing straight trajectory but a curvy non linear path. And in all of that we don’t have to have the courage all the time. We are definitely going to lose it from time to time, but the more we develop that muscle – the more it becomes a second nature.

With all the tiny and big moments of vulnerability and uncomfortable-ness, you can grow that muscle for life.  

Time and time again, I have found that the more I step out of my comfort zone, the more I have the power to design my life according to my blueprint and not the one that was handed over saying “A house, a kid and 9-5” . Whether it is to decide to have only one child, or move and try living in a different country, a different state or start a business. 

 

Courage lies in the little decisions every day whether it is in writing that email you are meant to send, pitching to a client, or putting your name for a talk or writing your bio and stating what you are good at. 

 

And in the little moments throughout the day, I often ponder and go back to the moment, I was standing at the Adelaide airport, with two bags in my hand – and feeling like I had arrived – 

 

What decision I would make today so that when I look back at my life in ten years time, I can see a series of moments stating the same quiet confidence that just flowed into the all areas of my life. 

 

What would I do today so that I can look back at my life in ten years and say that I chose to take on more significant challenges consciously and I never felt afraid to leave the land unwanted to the land of my dream life? 

“The Dusty Tracks” 

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They think you are crazy. Crazy enough to start this journey on the dusty tracks of freedom. To throw yourself into creating something from nothing. Some call it business. You call it Freedom. They say “This is a ridiculous plan. It will be exhausting.” You say “Some of us find normal …quite exhausting.”

You started the trek the dead centre of a seed of a crazy idea and now you know it will lead to the glorious ending of freedom and fulfilment. The winding road will be full of awkward, stumbling, messy points along the way. And very few people will be able to appreciate the beauty of trekking through this utterly barren land. That’s ok. As long as some people do. 

I am one of those crazy adventurers too. Because I see your fire, and the daredevil inside you. I see that person who refuses to shrink and valiantly pursues the calling of her heart. I do too.

So join me, and others who scream that failure is normal, pursuit of purpose is liberating and dusty tracks are exciting.

I think we’d have a great time sharing our journeys, exchanging maps, sipping some tea around the fierce campfire along The Dusty Tracks