I can remember very clearly my first serious speed wobble. I must have been about six or seven years old. I was flying down a very big hill on my bicycle on one of my dad’s signature all day excursions. I wasn’t wearing a helmet (you didn’t back in the ’70s) and my brakes were the reverse peddle variety i.e. not very effective. As I lost control of the handle bars and the front tire began to veer back and forth in ever widening loops, I could anticipate the crash. It was awful. I sailed over the bike onto the asphalt, scraping knees and elbows, and seriously bruising my child sized ego. It was a small miracle I wasn’t tossed into oncoming traffic and that I didn’t sustain a brain injury. I can’t say I remained calm, but I do remember carrying on. I didn’t want to miss out on the zoo visit.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across the words above on sandwiches boards outside flower shops, in magazine articles, at yoga studios where I’ve practiced or random places you’d least expect. The universe was trying to send me a message. It’s funny, though I desperately wanted to believe it was possible, the cynic in me put up mental road blocks. My internal thoughts would read something like this: “Yeah, it’s a great ideal but come on how many people are living that dream?” I’d imagine for a moment what it might feel like then rush back to my desk and try to make peace with the life that I’d chosen to lead but wasn’t very happy with.
Sometimes in life you have to take chances. Normally I don’t leave much to chance even though I do take risks. For example, I moved to New Zealand from Canada without a place to live, without a job, and basically without the foggiest idea about what I was getting myself into. Oh, and I came with two small children. Amid a beautiful backdrop, I endured the break up of my marriage, an earthquake, more episodes of lice than I care to remember, a broken heart, a run-over cat, and enough house shifts to fill an address book. On the bright side, I grew personally and professionally, saw some amazing sights, travelled beyond our borders and developed a network of amazing friends, yogis and professional contacts. Bonus: I also became a published author. Perspective is often difficult but on balance the good in all likelihood outweighed the bad. In fact, if I had to write out a list, I’m positive the pros would outnumber the cons, even if the con side was an emotional juggernaut.
Amanda Morrall is a New Zealand based personal finance expert. Her first book Money Matters was published in 2013 by Penguin Random House in NZ.