Birthday celebrations: I’m 37 and living my dream life

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Living your dream life

I’m 37 and living my dream life

Pinch me.

Go on.

I know, it’s so bloody cliché, but I always wanted to be the person that one day truly thought they were living their dreams and had to be proven by a good old nail piercing incision that it was for real.

I thought dream lives were for… well for no one really. I thought every person spent their days dreaming of ideal lives, but no one actually lived them.

I thought the reality was go to work, get money, pay bills, have fun on weekends, buy house, have kids, smile in beautiful family portraits, watch kids get old, retire on well-grown super funds, go fishing and maybe start enjoying life for the last 20 years of it.

Sounded like fun in bits and pieces, but never really all that fulfilling. Never anything that would have me at my death bed giving a hell yeah high-five to say that life totally rocked and I’m pretty sad to leave it.

What society makes you believe when you grow up is total bullshit. The truth is, if you dream it you can live it, no matter what your dream is or how impossible others, or yourself, will say it is.

It could be the white picket fence and fishing retirement or the super fund, or it could be touring the world in a rock band, painting your soul’s expression every Tuesday or spending the days travelling the world with your family.

It’s your dream, it’s your right to live it.

All I ever wanted to do was travel, travel, travel.

I spent years lost because I thought I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I was a flake because I couldn’t hold down a job for more than two years.

Not couldn’t, just DIDN’T WANT to.

My spirit hated it. It felt so trapped and uncomfortable, so against its desire to roam free and laugh loudly. Any job I had was just to bring the money in and it sucked me dry every day I went to it.

I thought working sucked. I thought I was no good at it. I thought being a nomadic bum was so much better.

But I did not know how the hell was I ever going live a life where I just travelled?

Write for Lonely planet? Yeah me and a million other people. Truth was most of them wrote far better than me.

Photograph for Nat Geo? Yeah who hasn’t had that dream?

The pits.

My dream remained a dream.

Society bullshits you.

It doesn’t tell you that if you dream it it means the Universe has every intention of you living it. You don’t feel the passion and intensity keeping you awake at night pining for it otherwise.

Too many of us lie in slumber because we believe our dreams are dead in fairy land. When they are dead, what else do we have?

So we succumb to going through the motions and just getting by.

What is that about?

Just getting by?

Bullshit again.

We weren’t born to just get by. We weren’t born with those qualities.

Just getting by is not what life is about. It’s about living life out loud.

We only get one life, why should we be living it on just getting by, paying the bills and living a life less ordinary that does not make our soul sing?

I beat the retirement clock. I got to the dream before it died with the super cash out.

It was no picnic to get here and it’s still not a picnic from here on end. With it comes complete insecurity, little netting, and really not a great deal of money.

If we fall, we’ll fall hard.

But I don’t believe we will.

I’d rather take the chance. I’d rather take the living. I’d rather take the dream over the fancy cars, expensive homes, and big pay checks.

I wish-washed my way through life believing I had no talents, no spirit, no desire for hard work, yet through this process, I’ve discovered I love work and when I have a passion I throw everything into it.

I bet you would too.

Today it is my birthday. For the first time in my 37 years on earth, I really celebrate.

I celebrate living life.

I celebrate the trials.

I celebrate the failures.

I celebrate the heartache it took to get here.

I celebrate the joy.

I celebrate people.

I celebrate the dream.

Somebody pinch me. I’m 37 and living my dream.

The dream that society told me was ridiculous and unattainable. The dream that I told myself was far-out fairy land.

Let me tell you a little secret.

When you spend your days doing what you truly love, what you really, really want to do, every day is beautiful.

Like I mean really beautiful.

The challenges don’t go away, in fact they come harder and faster, but you can handle them.

In fact you relish them.

You wake every morning and instead of saying Oh fuck, you say “Thank you Thank you Thank you.” You bound out of bed ready for the day’s joy, your smile cannot be wiped from your face, you love everything around you and the world always looks bright.

You greet everyone you meet with happiness and the utmost sincerest wish: Whatever their dream may be they too can wake up every single day feeling like this.

Believe this to be the truth.

It’s not what society plans for you, it is what your dream has in store for you.


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65 thoughts on “Birthday celebrations: I’m 37 and living my dream life”

  1. Ashley of Ashley Abroad

    Well happy birthday! It seems like it will be very happy one indeed. This is an encouraging post, I too hope I can follow my dream and live a life that I love and choose like you do.

    1. Yes you can Ashley! If I can do it you can. I used to always use that mantra when I was inspired by others who were doing what I wanted to do. There is no reason why you can’t.

  2. A very happy birthday, Caz! What greater gift than living your dreams to their full extent! Everything you say, just resonates deep within me.
    “I couldn’t hold down a job for more than two years. Not couldn’t, just DIDN’T WANT to.” I’m 26, had a full time teaching job my first year out of college – it was turned permanent and I quit, taking up a one year contract at a different school, which is now open to be renewed, and I’m not doing that either, in order to follow my travel dreams…
    You’re such an inspiration, I am so happy you found a way to share your infectious optimism with the world (and me!) Keep up your awesome work 🙂

    1. Thank you Kate. So great to hear that you are following your dreams. You have nothing to lose. Keep grabbing the teaching contracts around the world if you need to in order to continue travelling. It is a great way to do it. I think the teaching served that purpose for me.

    1. They can be very extreme can’t they? A bit of a low for me today being miserable sick on the couch with two sick girls, but I am forcing myself to push on out of the funk. This too shall pass as they say.

    1. Oh thanks Steph! I hope that means you thought I was younger :0 He He. It’s not as scary as I thought although the wrinkles could take a hike.

  3. Happy Birthday Caz!! Isn’t it a great feeling. I want to join you in saying it… I’m 26 and living the dream; and you’re right, every single day is beautiful, even when shit goes down at work, I still feel so grateful and blessed to be in the position that I’m in! Loving every day of it!!! Keep it up mate!

    1. Yes!! So awesome Linda. Your story is so inspirational as well. I’m so happy that you got your dream because I know how hard you worked and wished for it. It’s amazing.

  4. Happy Birthday. You have given yourself the best present, you have worked toward your goal of happiness, and now it is your gift to yourself. Congrats! I tell my daughter that when you find a job doing what you love doing, it is not a job but a pleasure (she doesn’t believe me, but she is young yet). 37 is a wonderful age. Not too young or too old. Enjoy!

    1. It is so not a job. I actually hate weekends and holidays now because other businesses aren’t at work and I can’t get stuff done!! Before that I was a person who made sure she used up all her sick days and relished weekends and days off. It makes such a difference to your life.

    1. Thank you Brendon. I love to remind people because I know what its like to think it could never be a reality and your not good enough. This is so not the truth. If I can do it anyone can.

  5. Happy Birthday, Caz! It’s so true what you say – we really are here to live our dreams. Life is meant for living the way we want to live it. I hope that there are many, many birthdays ahead and that at each birthday you will celebrate and continue living your dreams. xx

    1. Thank you Nicola! Life is meant for living how we want, I can’t really see any other purpose. We get fooled too much by society into believing we have no say in it and it is too much hard work.

  6. Happy birthday and I am glad that you are so happy with your life…you also have reasons to be :). I am just at the very beggining of the way that I want to follow, but it\s fine hat I took a decision instead of loosing my precious young years doing something, but in fact nothing.

    Hope you have such a beautiful and long life!

  7. Happy birthday! How amazing to be living every day the life you were meant to live.

    I thank you for your words as they speak to a part of me that is finally beginning to emerge. I never thought I’d be able to live overseas and travel, but here I am living in England and traveling to my heart’s content. I AM living my dream, but I wasn’t waking up every day thinking life was everything I wanted it to be. Recently, I figured it out…I was lagging behind. My life was my dream, but I was still living my old life through an overweight body, clothes that no longer suited me, and clutter in my house that no longer brought me joy. As I approach my birthday in a little over a week, I am determined to shed this skin and start living my life fully as it should be lived. Weight down…check. New haircut…check. Old clothes…bagged and ready for donation. Knick-knack depletion…in progress. Shedding literal and figurative weight is liberating.

    After reading your post, I’m starting to feel like I really can go out and live the dream!

    1. I love your story and thank you so much for sharing it. It is awesome how you are checking off that list and running towards your dream. You have so many things to celebrate next week as well. (Happy Birthday!)
      The dream is yours, just say YES to it!

  8. Elle of Solo Female Nomad

    What I will pull from that wonderful post is that I too want to wake up every morning and not say Oh fuck, and instead say “Thank you Thank you Thank you.” I loved that part of the post! oh, and happy birthday!

    1. YES!! That is my biggest celebration of all. I could not believe that was the way I used to greet the day. It is really catastrophic as our days on earth are numbered and each one we wake up to is a privelge, we should be honouring it as so.

  9. And the bonus is: You look healthy and absolutely beautiful! There’s nothing like living your dream with your family. Best of luck to you throughout this coming year and into the future.

  10. Happy Birthday! Glad to hear that you’re living your dreams… and, more importantly, that you realize it! So many people have everything but always want more, leading to a life of regret. Good on you!
    We feel the same way, waking up every morning with a smile on our faces. Life is too short to be unhappy 😉

    1. Thank you! I’m so happy that you guys are doing the same thing. What a wonderful environment for your gorgeous boy to grow up in. I can’t believe he is nearly one!!

  11. Happy Birthday, Caz! I totally hear you on your jobs sucking away your life and wanting nothing more than to just explore. So happy that you’re doing exactly what you want to be doing! I’m making some changes in my life so that finally I’m moving in the direction *I* want to and not the direction I thought I needed to follow.

  12. A belated happy birthday. I am in awe of your blogging talent and the way you seem to embrace life. I love your blog because of all the good vibes it sends me. May you get at least another five decades of good living.

  13. Belated Happy Birthday Caz! I love hearing/reading about people’s simple dreams come true – something that doesn’t involve having to chase a billion-dollar, fancy cars and clothes, and house kind-of-a-dream. A simple dream that most people actually want but are so scared to go after. Keep living and keep doing what you’re doing, because whatever it is, it’s making you a happier, better mother, wife, friend, blogger each and every year.

  14. Happy bday Caz! I love reading about your life travels and what you and your family are up to. I wish I had the guts to live my dream..more, to discover what my dream truly is!!!

  15. This is where you almost got me to tears:

    “The challenges don’t go away, in fact they come harder and faster, but you can handle them.”

    Amen, sister! Your post is so passionate, and it totally sucked me in, and than in one moment I realized, wait, I totally relate to that. We’re so lucky to be the ones excited to get up and work. Excited to have the hard challenges. Excited to do the things people say you “can’t do”.

    Big happy 37 to you – you definitely have a lot to celebrate. 🙂

  16. Wow, thankyou for the inspiring words Caz! It’s so nice to hear a story that sounds sooooo similar to my own, only I’m only just making my way with my little dream and probably where you were a few years ago. I cant thank you enough for your lovely inspiring words, off I go :o)

  17. Hi Caz – just came across this post though I did wish you a happy birthday on FB! So glad to hear how happy and passionate you are in your life. I’m 7 years old than you, and through circumstances and ‘whatever’ am still trying to get that absolute ‘dream’ feeling. In many ways I do have that ‘dream’ – its just a balance between ‘security and normality’ and ‘creativity and adventure’. Hopefully the balance will swing more towards the later. Great post…kathy

  18. Hi caz, You are great…All my wishes. Hope i can be like you..Hav u visited all places within this 37 age..

    Am from india, godsown country kerala. Hav u interest to see places with full of green..

  19. just stumbled across your did you attain this wonderful dream? im only 20 but think day in and day out why i do what i do. your born, then you die, so shouldnt we do anything we want to in between and not let society rule us? would love some tips how to become a nomadic bum as you say 🙂

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