Discover more from Aamer's Letters
Living The Dream & A Ted Talk That Changed The Dream Entirely
How a perplexing health issue forced me to move out of my lofty condo, reflect on everything that was happening in my life, and changed the course of my future.
This one is about finding your fire.
A Story For You
Oversleeping, sudden weight gain, lack of energy.
These were just a few of the many symptoms I had while I was working abroad, but I repeatedly pushed them aside. How dare I feel tired while leading the life I had envisioned for so long?
But I had to visit the doctor when these symptoms led to serious health problems. The only abnormality that the doctor could pinpoint was my prolactin hormone - my body had begun to suffer menopause symptoms while I was only in my late 20s. I was astounded, how was that even possible?
The doctors' sole recommendation was to lessen my stress levels.
I had my dream job, I lived in a gorgeous Canadian town, and I had a beautiful apartment with a view that rivaled the descriptions of scenic beauty in storybooks:
Moreover, without a family, children, not even a romantic relationship, where exactly was this stress coming from? The doctor herself was perplexed but all that she could do was put me on some drugs and prescribe some medicines to combat the major symptoms. The medications didn’t really make a sizeable difference, the progress was incredibly slow.
It was time to take things into my own hands. I decided to conduct independent research into what was going on and since I was short on time, (didn’t have proper documentation and lacked accreditation) I stepped up to volunteer as the lab rat. In the initial phases, it was really the usual - a regimen of healthy foods, multivitamins, lots of water, and exercise. It was a lot of work but I started finding ways to deal with the symptoms without the medication and eventually weaned off of them entirely.
Phase 1 results? After four months of my research, 80% of my symptoms had disappeared. I’m no scientist but that deserved a pat on the back, but there was something still amiss.
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Something within me had changed. It dawned on me that the source of my stress was an aimless existence. My body was simply expressing this inner rut because I could find little to no reason to wake up every day. Sure, I was living a cosy lifestyle, wrapped up tightly within my comfort zone but that led to complacency, lethargy, and a lack of purpose or passion.
But how could I discover this fiery passion when I was already living my dream? I had everything I had ever aspired for, I’d turned my castles in Spain into a condo in Canada.
And then I stumbled upon a TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown who calls herself a researcher storyteller. “I’m a storyteller and considering I’d just turned myself into a researcher, it only felt fitting.”
I highly recommend listening to it in its entirety but here’s a quick and simple rundown:
Dwelling over the fact that life is messy is going to be of no help. Accept it. Life is messy, now get up and clean it.
Connection is one of the most important components of life. Improving your ability to connect will only empower you.
On the verge of failure, we are driven by shame and fear. We lose self-confidence and start focusing on approval from others in order to continue. Increasing dependence leads to vulnerability and we eventually dissociate from who we truly are in order to fill a void that life has created. However…
… courage lies in accepting your imperfection. In order to become what we truly are, we need to let go of the perfect version we create for ourselves that we forcefully have to live up to, every single day!
It was a long time coming but that TED talk was all it took for me to do the unthinkable. I quit my job and moved out of my beautiful condo in my dream town.
All in order to pursue this abstract notion called discovering one’s calling. If you’re wondering why I would make such a radical decision based solely on a video, you’re not the only one.
But in retrospect, I believe that deep down, we all know what we want. Because of the value society places on things like having a job overseas, having a flawless body, and having a high income, we get distracted and lose sight of what would be best for us.
And although I knew deep down that I wasn't happy, I forced myself to accept this glamorous and seemingly perfect existence since people were praising me for it. And that pressure impacted my mental health negatively and, eventually, my physical health too.
And it would have impacted my emotional health as well if I hadn’t done anything about it, eventually, turning me into a walking, talking zombie. A zombie that learnt to replicate socially accepted behaviors, with no concept of what it means to be truly alive.
Having said that, I respect and admire people who desperately want to get out of mundanity but are tied down and lack a parachute to make the plunge. However, for those of you who have the backing and feel like you’re conforming to societal norms… what’s holding you back?
A Story From You
What would you need in order to force yourself out of the fictitious comfort you have created for yourself? What do you need in order to find your fire? What signals are your body and mind giving you?
What’s holding you back?
It could be as straightforward as taking a closer look at your health or it might include digging deeper into your thoughts and emotions. If you want to dive deeper, make a list of what’s bugging you and ask yourself, "How can I address these?"
Leave a comment or reply to this newsletter to let us know, if you’d like to remain anonymous we respect that too! Reading replies has easily become one of our favorite parts of the day.
Here’s a comment from our previous issue: Change and Consistency where we asked you-
What if you’re patient with no result in sight because your business’ original idea has to be tweaked?
We found this response from Eichorrnia interesting:
I believe that finding the flaw and rectifying it is the more sustainable approach in the long run. Granted this requires a complete revamp from the grass-root level and doing this would harm the already existing business.
However, building an empire with a lackluster core is never possible.
Despite the temporary loss that might ensure, finding the flaw and correcting it is the more profitable route.
Till next time,