When re-structuring your life, there comes an unavoidable point when you have to decide whether or not to carry certain elements from the past into the present and future. Obviously, what is over and done with, closed and broken remains in the past, and one just has to come to terms with it. Then there are the special cases of not exactly knowing what to do next, which direction to head, and how to re-build. In my case, since I moved countries, practically everything is new and a lot of what was familiar was no longer applicable.

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Dream or Reality? ©MTHerzog

The past four months have been all about “learning by doing” with the help of friends and specialists in the field. When I decided to move to Germany in April there were so many aspects of the new life that I did not take into consideration, or was simply not aware of because someone else had always taken care of that. Now that I am in the thick of things, so to speak, I have a much clearer idea of how to go about everything, what is expected of me as an individual, a taxpayer, and as a professional.

The job hunting debacle is something I want to move past now, and set a new course. I wrote the other day about the importance of having a Plan B, and when applicable, Plan C and D because you never really predict with certainty how events are going to unfold in your life. As any general will tell you, never go into battle without a strategy or weapons.

In as much as I am a strong, independent and capable woman, I will always be Asian, hesitant to speak up and speak my mind and get into a discussion here in Europe. But unless I open my mouth, things don’t move and those around me can’t figure out what I need or where I want to go. Overcoming my own shadow is an arduous process but I take little steps each day.

Last month I took the risk and walked away from the idea of being employed by (and subordinate to) someone, going from unemployed to self-employed. Huge conversion in terms of mindset and taxation, but more importantly, a lifestyle. At 50, I am allowing myself the luxury of turning my skills and passion into my work, building up on a dream and painstakingly overcoming my inhibitions. This is no time to be shy and scared, because I need to survive, and want to live!

Initially, I relied on the skills that I have and those which have rescued me more than once. I jumped back into translation, rekindling some old ties, and being blessed with some work to get me going. But I desperately need to be creative in order for my soul to thrive, and technical translations is certainly not designed for that. My greatest passion was and always will be writing. So I took a chance and reached out to a friend who introduced me to the world of literary translation in the first place. I was hoping for a window of hope, but wow, was invited into an entire castle instead!

Having carte blanche on your life if unbelievably empowering, but scary as hell. I alone determine the path I wish to journey on from now on, and being on the verge of a major breakthrough made me realize that this is my moment, that fantastic point when awaking from a dream because it has now become my reality.