© 2010 Marica

135 – Making dreams come true

“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion,” philosopher G. W. F. Hegel once said. Passion is not always fun. Like anything worthwhile, pursuing your passion often involves great courage, commitment, hard work and sacrifice. People following their dreams are prepared to take risks, tackle new challenges and cope with setbacks to live a more passionate life.
— Cassandra Gaisford, Following Passion Bears Fruit, The New Zealand Herald, 13 January 2010

Seeing my daughter Zofia’s face smiling back at me from a newspaper page was an unusual experience. I looked at the image, read the article and felt an overwhelming sense of pride.

“This is my daughter,” I heard myself saying without actually speaking the words out loud. “Her perserverance and persistence has paid off. Go Zofia!”

At the same time I felt a deep sadness because the writer of the newspaper article was able to spend face-to-face quality time with Zofia (now based in London) while I couldn’t. I miss my daughter a great deal even though we communicate almost every day – actually I miss both my daughters every day.

When you give birth to a child you don’t think about what it will be like when they leave home – this event seems to happen far too quickly. From my perspective something special is lost forever when your child spreads their wings and flies away to create their life, their future. Don’t get me wrong, this is how it should be. This is what I wanted for my children. I have encouraged them since they were little to follow their passion and be who they wanted to be. Yet, for me when they left I felt an unimaginable grief that even surprised me.

Reading the article in the newspaper today I wanted Zofia right there beside me. Not just in spirit but also in a physical sense. I wanted to hold her, to hear her voice and just be with her – you know, like those times when no words are adequate or needed, when you just relish the moment and be together. This wasn’t possible today so I had to compensate by imagining how that would have felt.

For almost three years now we have been providing encouragement and all the at-distance support we could to Zofia as she has travelled to the other side of the world in pursuit of living her passion. Her dream to work in the art world has led to lots of hardship for her. Nothing has come easy and every day still presents lots of challenges to her. Yet through all this she is doing what she loves and is managing to make a life for herself at the same time. I admire her so much and how she hasn’t given up.

Imagine how I felt when I read her words …

“I was lucky enough to get a very low-level job in one of the biggest auction houses in the world, Christies. For a long time I lived on virtually no money and sometimes struggled to pay the rent. But people there soon saw how passionate I was about art, and how willing I was to take whatever came along. I kept applying for jobs both inside and outside Christies because I really wanted to get some employment security. There were times when it was so tough – both financially and because of homesickness – but I vowed to give myself six months and if it didn’t work out I’d give up my dream.”

“The sacrifice was worth it. I have been able to see and experience so much more in the art world in London where there is more of it than in New Zealand. I have a job where I get to meet people I never imagined meeting and get up close to art and artifacts that you can’t even get that close to in a museum! It also enabled me to discover more about myself and what career path I really wanted to pursue.”

“Money’s still tight and sometimes I miss my family so much I just want to go home, but then I pinch myself and say, ‘Hey I’m living my dream! The other day Christies sold a Rembrandt for 18 million ($39 million), making it the fourth most expensive Old Master painting ever sold at auction. I was in the room that night they sold it and at the end of the sale we sold a beautiful drawing by Raphael for 29 million. This is the most expensive work on paper ever sold. It was amazing to bear witness to that event.”

What can I say … today, and every day, I am so honoured to have had the chance to be involved in growing my three children and helping them to become the wonderful adults they are today. Zofia, Damian and Mira, I love you more than words or actions could ever express.

Today I was reminded of the importance of chasing your dreams. I am more inspired than ever to keep chasing my own. I can make them come true just as my children have done.

Manifesto
24. Every day is a journey. Not a destination.
26. Every day take action. Every small step counts.
34. Every day focus on your dreams.

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