Thursday, July 11, 2013

Following Someone Else's Dream: The Beginning

Vol. II, No. 1

"My dream," he said, "is to one day go back home to New Zealand."

I shuddered.

Three months earlier, I'd met him. For the first time in my life, I'd experienced love at first sight. And despite all the odds* stacked against our long-distance, overseas relationship, we were becoming we. So when he moved to New York from London so that we could be together, he didn't even bother to finish unpacking before he told me we needed to talk. Hand in hand, and mostly in uncomfortable silence, we walked in the summer afternoon to that old triangle-shaped Italian restaurant in the West Village of Manhattan. There, gravely, he told me what he had to tell me, and then he asked cautiously:

"So what do you think? One day? Could you leave New York?"

At first, I didn't say anything. Maybe it shouldn't have been such a big deal to hear that, but for me it was. And I knew he could tell it was going to be a big deal. I'd already told him that I was living my dream, that ever since I'd been a kid in Cincinnati, I'd wanted nothing more than to live in New York City. As a kid, I'd watch the financial news, delivered by Tom Brokaw on the 6:30 broadcast, and swear one day I'd work on the "Doe Jones stock market."And, sorta anyway, I did.

Arriving Auckland airport, June 2013
"But I love New York," I'd said to him at the restaurant, adding that I'd think about it. I'd never been to New Zealand, but that wasn't the point. The point was that I was living my dream, and I'd made a lot of sacrifices to do so.

So, what do you do when two dreams seem mutually exclusive? Whose do you choose? How do you even know if they're mutually exclusive? Can a dream, a path, change? Should it?

And there's the rub: "Should it? Should you change your dream?" That was a question I spent five years asking, and have never once come any closer to answering. I mean, if you're really meant for something, isn't it just a little bit wrong to get intoxicated on the elixir of love? Aren't you diverging your own path, where perhaps you were not meant to? Aren't you giving up...on yourself?

For the next five years since we met in 2008, I pondered these and all the other questions. Then, one day a few months ago, we did move - he and I and our little baby girl - from New York to New Zealand. It wasn't that I'd answered all those questions, quite the opposite. It was that it was time for both of us to take a leap of faith - he to finally follow his dream, I to experience the odyssey of changing my own path.

There will be more to come as I continue to write about this subject - from New Zealand.

*We met at The Sevens in Hong Kong. If you've ever been to The Sevens, you know the odds are about a kajillion to one that you'll ever hear from, let alone recognize, the person you took a liking to in the South Stand.

-Patricia Sexton is the author of "LIVE from Mongolia!", the true story of a woman chucking in her Wall Street career to follow her dream to become anchor of the Mongolian news. Her book will be published by Beaufort Books in October, 2013. Follow her on Twitter at "LIVE from Mongolia!"and on Facebook at


fingers said...

Trish, the courage you've shown in chasing true love has inspired me. I've just expanded the parameters on my RSVP search engine to include any chicks within a 10km radius of home (previously it was 3km). It's exhilarating; I'm positively giddy with new-found expectations...

Patricia Sexton: Author, Filmmaker, TV Host said...

Fingers, the universe is very proud of you. Yet you may find your faith challenged when you meet a woman 11km away. Looking forward to hearing what you decide!