One door closes and another one opens
A few weeks ago I had a couple from Montana USA stay as guests in the cottage for 3 nights.
Not only were they two of the most beautiful souls and an absolute pleasure to host for but something they wrote in the cottage visitors book had a huge impact on me in the most positive sense.
They said quote.. "We probably wouldn't have made it to Ireland without just happening upon your cottage on Instagram. After we started following your account and loving the beautiful landscape & sweet animals is when we decided to book a trip here. I always wanted to come to Ireland but it felt like it wasn't possible for some reason. But seeing this cottage made it seem possible"
Those words blew me away and filled me up to the brim.
To think our little cottage and my little business could have an impact like that was astounding.
To explain I need to bring you back to where I was 20 years ago.
I had just come home to Ireland after travelling SE Asia with my late husband Joe. After a few part time jobs in different clinics I started a permanent job with the government health service executive as a qualified dental nurse.
This was considered a very sought after position. To have a steady fixed salary with short hours and a pension at the end of it all.
I fell into dental nursing by accident getting a job first as an Orthodontic nurse while living in Australia.
I never had an interest in anything medical. I had notions of being a pop singer, an actress, a horse-riding coach and even a veterinary nurse but working on children's teeth was certainly never on my dream agenda!!
I was that child, full of dreams and imagination, that loved animals, wrote songs and poetry and loved to dance but never had a clue what course I should take or what job I should do and with my poor parents not knowing what way to point me I changed my mind A LOT!
Looking back I realise I was never going to fit into a box or a category and so I drifted from course to course and from college to college without really getting a qualification in anything of substance.
I just went along with what came my way and became enthuastic as I could with what I had.
This HSE job was permanent and paid the bills which was important as Joe and I had so little.
He was trying to set up his stonemason business 'traditional stone' and so I was happy to do something that I didn't find particularly exciting but gave us something secure we could rely on.
Restoring the cottage was our main objective and so we had a joint purpose and that kept us going.
The thing is, sometimes we allow those things that had a good purpose at one time in our life, drift on for the rest of our life and we lose sight of where we are and now how we've evolved.
I spent 19 years in the same job.
I made some wonderful friends along the way and I think that played a huge part in why I stayed, that, and the fear of the unknown and the lack of confidence in myself to be able to try something new.
After Joe died I needed security more than ever as my whole world had fallen apart, but as time went on that little girl full of dreams and ideas and creativity started tugging at my sleeve.
I was bored, i was unfulfilled, I was straining at the leash but I was still so afraid to take that leap of faith.
My family and friends tell me they think I'm brave, but the truth is it took me 15 years of thinking, a husband, 2 kids and a pandemic to find the courage to break away from those 'golden handcuffs'.
Social media is full of following your dreams and never give up memes but it's usually on the pages of hugely successful business people, entrepreneurs, influencers with millions of followers.
As a 40 something woman with a young family you feel that sort of level is unattainable and unrealistic, and for the most part it is.
But the thing that took me the longest to realise was success doesn't have to be this huge loud thing.
I've come to know it's much more personal experience.
It may not make you rich, but better than that it can give you a feeling you've accomplished things that fuel your soul, that make you smile, that make you feel you finally found something that fits you, not the other way around.
It's called life's purpose and it can be a beautifully quiet thing that you gently walk into without even realising because it's something you love and you can do as easy as breathing.
It can be something that you've always been doing, a gift you've forgotten you possess, under your nose or even literally on your doorstep as it was for me.
I know your sick of hearing it but life is so short.
Maybe your way ahead of me and you've already acknowledged and acted accordingly when you felt that bubbling excitement and energy, and you took the jump years ago.
For some of us it takes longer and the path has a lot more twists and turns.
Is that child inside you tugging at your sleeve?
It's always going to be a little bit scary,
But it's never too late and you are not too old
*We couldn't include everyone as there are so many but I want to say Thank you to all the guests that went to the trouble of writing in our visitors book every word honestly means so much 🙏 💚 ❤️ *