I remember, when i was twelve years old that the only dream i had was to move to Hollywood and work in the movie industry. I remember following absolutely everything that was Hollywood related; i would buy magazines like Premiere and the long deceased Movieline and eat them up. Vogue, Allure, In Style and Rolling Stone were constant as well, but my only interest in them was their movie content. I wanted to know all about the movies; the directors, the studios, how the movies were made, what the stars thought about their jobs and how they lived their lives. During awards season, all my friends would come to me for information, i loved it, that was definitely the one time of the year when i was the center of attention in my microcosms in the deep south of Brazil. My wildest dream was to have a job in Hollywood, live a good life in a beautiful home, not a mansion, and at least once go to the academy awards. Oh, and let’s not forget the most important part: i wanted to live with peace of mind.

I remember that even though i was physically extremely far from the hurlyburly of Hollywood, it seemed very close and possible to me, i never hid from anyone my intentions to leave my country and pursue a life in the United States. Fast forward more than a decade and i have achieved pretty much all my dreams and i could not be happier. What happened though, and that i hadn’t expected, was an overwhelming amount of twisted crazy ambitions along the way, ambitions that went overboard and drove me completely off course and made me forget about what i really wanted in life, and above all, it made me forget to be grateful for all the amazing things that i have achieved so far.

What i realized and was so baffled by the other day was that along my path to get where i am, other ambitions came up along the way, they made me lose focus of where i really wanted to get to in my life, they made me disconnect from the person i really aspired to be and the life i wanted to lead. This i realized, is not such a rare phenomenon, i see it in several of my friends and people who surround me, especially in my industry; we work so hard and we are so ambitious that we completely forget why we are doing so and putting ourselves through it all. What are we trying to prove and to whom?

The path that should be filled with joy and happy accomplishments ends up becoming a resentful and stressful dark brick road; no more red tapping shoes for you Dorothy! The reason why it happens in my perspective is mostly because of this extremely competitive world, in which to achieve a position or get a job, we need to meet certain people, act a certain way, dress head to toe in a certain fashion and dazzle people with our powers; be it what it is: charm, ego, anger, relentlessness; you have to use your powers to the maximum levels. What happens here is that we have to achieve so many things and walk so many different paths to get to a certain place, that it is easy to get lost in the maze. Life is a maze, and to get to the core and find the way back what you really need to do is search for peace of mind, serenity, patience and above all, hand your fate over to destiny, or god, or whatever you want to call it; because no matter what happens, the outcome is not necessarily in your hands, and in the maze of life it is extremely important to find the way back to where you began.

I realized, finally, that i have achieved pretty much everything i always wanted, and that whatever comes my way from here on is a bonus, i realized, finally, that i don’t need to struggle to get anywhere, all i have to do now is navigate to whatever life is handing me. Some people may not be as fortunate as i am right now, and many people are just as much or even more and don’t even realize it, not even when they are told, but i certainly hope that everyone gets to walk to this direction, because i know that everyone is more than able to.

I still don’t own the home i always dreamed of, or have the job in the movie industry, but i was able to reconnect with that twelve year old kid, and i was able to feel what i felt back then, and to realize that things don’t come out exactly the way we want them to, but the general feeling that surrounds our dream, our idea of a dream, is what we should aim to achieve, and i got that. I can safely say today that i am genuinely happy and satisfied. Whatever comes my way from here on will be a great bonus; and who’s to say i won’t be able to get  the home i always dreamed of? A house overlooking the water, with lots of whites and browns, a bedroom with a gorgeous bay window where i can sit on and watch the waves crashing against the shore, a gorgeous wood and white marble kitchen with two dogs, a cat and my best friends and family sitting around a fireplace in the winter or out in the garden in the summer, having a great talk and drinking lemonade; that’s my home, that is where my heart is, and i already have that; in different proportions and places, but i have that feeling inside my heart and that is all that matters.

There is no ambition that should be greater than the feeling of accomplishment inside your own heart, there is no outside factor that should matter more than what you feel inside, there is no notion presented by the outside world and people around you that should change how you feel and how you live your life. If your heart is filled with love, than why should you keep on struggling to get somewhere else? Just go where life takes you and accept all that is handed to you, with the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful and enjoy the ride, cause it’s a great one!

Author: Gabriel Ruas Santos Rocha

writes for passion, eats for pleasure, travels for wonder.

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