Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Power of Passion and The Reality of Dreams

"The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion." -Unknown

April has been a month of accomplishments and goals realized. When we first arrived to Kathmandu, we had little money but big dreams of how we wanted to make a living for ourselves. Utilizing our connections and resources in Nepal, we set out to make our dreams materialize into reality and were blown away at how simple and easy it's been making things work. Here's a run down of the announcements:

Fleeting Life's newest HipCity Contributor

As many of you already know from my Facebook, in the beginning of April, right after I hurt my foot, I landed my first freelance writing job. I stumbled onto the website while I was nursing my foot, started reading the author's bio, realized we had an uncanny amount of things in common (mutual weirdness, a love of dance, especially salsa, both getting into a hit and run accident) and I felt an immediate connection. I saw she was looking for new contributors and saw she didn't have anyone for Nepal and I emailed her with a list of reasons why she should hire me. I woke up the next morning at 6am and before I even acknowledged Matt, I checked my phone that was faithfully lying right next to me in the bed, and saw that Christina had already emailed me back: I had the job!
Check out my published article on the left-hand side of my page under the "Published Websites" section!

The timing couldn't have been more welcomed or more perfect. My first assignment was the underground salsa scene and I had already contacted three of the Kathmandu Salsa Academies and had set up meetings for potential teaching positions. As we went to the appointments, I scouted the buildings for likability and prices, jotting everything down for my article and asking permission of the academy owners.

Spanish Language Center Newest Salsa and Bachata Teacher

Only a week after starting private salsa lessons, we were contacted by the Spanish Language Center in Naxal and asked for a meeting to discuss starting a group salsa course on Saturdays. We went to our meeting and landed our first professionally paid teaching position. In truth, Matt landed the job as I'm technically his assistant, still learning how to teach my own students.

Sushila Arts Academy's Newest Dance Teachers
Two of our students in a private salsa lesson.

One year ago, as I sat in my black Mazda6 in the Best Buy parking lot, Matt asked me what my ultimate dream was. I had just gotten news that I was to be laid off at the end of the month and had precisely two weeks to figure out what the hell I was going to do before the axe came down. I couldn't wrap my head around it: I was getting laid off from my career that had just started. I couldn't give Matt an answer for a while. I sat thinking. After some time I answered, "I just want to dance and do yoga. I want to be a dance and yoga instructor for children and teenagers and open my own studio." 
At the time, I counted myself out before I even tried because I knew it was a long road to financial stability if I chose to be a teacher and patience has never been a virtue of mine.
Now, I'm here to say dreams come true and in the most unexpected ways. I found Sushila Arts Academy through KTM KTM google group, emailed the owner and told her that Matt taught salsa and would love to coordinate with her.
She emailed me back and we met with her the following week. After sharing her vision for her academy (which also specializes in music and theater), she gave us a tour as we got to know her better. It was an instant connection and I fell in love with the place. Her vision is so similar to ours, bettering the world with the passion of expression through art in all forms: music, dance, painting. I told her I have a classical training background in ballet, jazz and contemporary and she offered me a contemporary dance teaching position on the spot as her teacher is leaving in September and she will need someone to replace her.
 I ALMOST CRIED I was so happy. She offered to help us get year long visas and offered me a salary well above American wages (which means I'd be BALLIN in Nepal), visas permitting. Never in a million years did I expect to be offered a position in teaching something other than salsa! As for now, we will be teaching salsa twice weekly until August and helping coordinate her theater productions.

With the start of our salsa business blooming from private lessons into collaborating with language schools and arts academies, my budding writing career and other projects I've yet to announce (this is just the tip of the iceberg), our schedules are full and our passions in pursuit.

In all honesty, Matt stepping up to the plate and using his thousand and one skills to make money and develop our businesses has allowed me the freedom and support to start my writing career. All the money we've made this month has been because of the long hours of teaching, massaging, dreadlock-making, and editing articles he's put in. His networking and marketing skills (along with my secretarial skills) have paved the pathway to pursuit of dreams, making our vision of lifelong travel a reality, giving me the confidence to keep pushing forward with goals. For those of you who want to follow your dreams, however ludicrous or outlandish they may seem, this is a testament of the power of passion. Stepping out of your comfort zone, taking a stand with what you want to do, not what you think you "should" do or what others expect of you, will take you places you never imagined possible. Thinking quickly, believing, and doing what you are passionate about will transform your reality, allow you to do anything in the world and bring wealth, prosperity, happiness and fulfillment into your life.

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