A few years ago, I took a trip to a small 12-mile island off the coast of Venezuela named Tobago with my boyfriend and his family.
This was my first time leaving the United States and I remember the anticipation that lived inside me as I prepared for this trip.
I had never experienced different cultures, tropical rainforests, or the remote emotions of being so far away from home.
We stayed in a small bungalow in a fishing village named Castara Bay. During our stay we snorkeled, went deep-sea fishing with the locals, and ate interesting food. One day, we borrowed a teal 8-passenger van from a local and circumnavigated the entire island without a map or a destination in mind.
I remember feeling filled with wonder at the untouched beauty of the rainforest, the bright flowers, and the captivating view of the dark ocean crashing against the deep cliff walls of the island.
Most of all, I remember feeling a sense of loneliness attached to this little oasis far from civilization. I was confronted with the reality of the resources Tobago lacked and the opportunities the Tobagans would never have on this island.
Sometimes, I feel like this island. Castaway from the energy of my surroundings, lost in a sea of unmet potential and secluded doubt. Feeling the overwhelming realization of the resources I lack and the opportunities I might never have the chance to receive.
Career paths, relationships, health, life goals – how can we succeed at any of them if we separate ourselves from the living and pressure ourselves to figure it all out for ourselves?
There’s an African Proverb that has found its way into my life a lot lately, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to far, go together.”
This applies to every aspect of our lives. Yes you could potentially accomplish everything on your weekly, monthly, yearly to-do list all by yourself. And if you take this route, I applaud your perseverance. But it’s likely you will experience extreme burnout and discouragement in the process. That burnout may fester within the confines of your spirit, keeping you from the depths of your true creativity.
You don’t have to do it all alone. Don’t make a martyr of your work and life. Why sacrifice your happiness for the stubbornness of singularity? There is nothing noble about accomplishing everything on your own if you lose your love for the craft in the process.
Here’s why: we were created to help, connect, share, live, love, suffer, and experience life together.
The sooner you reach the realization that you need the people around you to help you, the sooner you can accomplish all those dreams that live within you.