Follow Your Heart Recklessly

I followed my heart to Seattle.

by Rasmus Rasmussen on June 17, 2010

After I moved to the US in 2005, several people said that was such a brave thing to do. At first, I didn’t understand what they meant by this. I certainly didn’t feel particularly brave – or even particularly smart, really. After all, I left everything I had except for what would fit into a suitcase, a duffel bag and a carry-on.

At the time, I was just getting into music photography and had cultivated some relationships in the business. None of which were any good in Seattle. I didn’t even move here on purpose. It was just supposed to be a few days attending a workshop, and a two-week vacation.

But then love happened. I met Kelly and knew that pursuing a relationship with her was more important than all of the above. That certainly did not feel like bravery. More like a necessity, because I had found a soul mate in her, and not giving that a serious shot seemed downright foolish.

It was only later, I realized that what those people were talking about, was that we all carry some measure of wanting to uproot ourselves, go somewhere new and start over. And that has nothing to do with not liking where we are. I believe it’s human nature to both carry a deep rooted curiosity and a craving for adventure. It’s why we went to the moon and the reason we go to amusement parks. We all have a little bit of Indiana Jones in us and the people who called me brave, saw in me someone who had gone adventuring. And that part is definitely true.

I started thinking about this after watching Chris Guillebeau’s TEDxCMU talk (you can watch it in the sidebar or read his post, Fear and Permission). In it, he mentions the little fears preceding him and his wife’s move to Africa. Things like forwarding your mail. The little worries that keep most of us from going out there, adventuring. That’s when I made the connection between my perceived bravery and those who had bestowed me with this description.

I am not braver than you or anyone else. It took me two years to build up the courage to go to the top of the Space Needle. But I did follow my heart and to a certain extent acted recklessly in doing so. So that is my suggestion: follow your heart recklessly.

I have not regretted doing so. Not one bit.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Justin Rosenberg June 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Great stuff, Ras!!

I’m with you — I believe we all have a little Indiana Jones in us!! And congrats to you and Kelly on finding soul-mates in each other. Although the naysayers might disagree, good people can have happy endings :)

Cheers,

Justin

PS. Sammy the cockatiel says hi!!

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Rasmus Rasmussen June 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I prefer to look at it as a new beginning, rather than an ending. But semantics aside, thank you and my best to Sammy! :)

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Rahul Pathak June 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Rasmus,

This is a fantastic, heartfelt post and your advice is 100% correct. It’s like the old saying goes – “better to regret the things you did than the things you didn’t do…”

Cheers & thanks for the dose of inspiration.

Rahul

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capac June 20, 2010 at 12:11 am

You are right, Rasmus. We only have one bullet. Let’s use it.

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Harrisonamy June 21, 2010 at 9:53 am

Totally agree,

I once went to Canada deciding I’d try working there for a year. I had a plane ticket, my visa and one night in a hostel booked.

One of the biggest decisions, the most least planned, and by far the best thing I’ve ever done.

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Glenn June 23, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Great post Rasmus. I found Chris’s TEDxCMU talk thought provoking too, but I’d also like to call-out Jonathan Fields’ “Turning Fear into Fuel” talk, also at TEDxCMU. Here’s the link if you’d like to post it; I think your readers would find it a worthwhile listen: http://bit.ly/aTzfbR. As I find myself at a crossroads of whether or not to pursue my passions after many years of giving them little attention, it brings up a variety of emotions. As a father of a 7 year old, I want to show my daughter that change, while not easy or comfortable, isn’t something to fear, but something that can invigorate life. Security and routine have their place, but if your life isn’t stirred a bit, you’re bound to wind-up holding regrets. I got side-tracked with my current career, but it’s time for a change. My soul demands it. “Today is tomorrow’s yesterday. Make it count.” Keep the inspiring posts/interviews flowing!

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Rasmus Rasmussen June 23, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Glenn

I see your dilemma. I think there is another aspect to it though: life will get stirred up from time to time whether you want it or not. Which I see as yet another reason to stir it on purpose – because it strengthens you overall, also when bad things happen that are out of your control.

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marsha August 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Ras,
you touched me! walking passed your apartment, I have always felt you both radiate an energy of creativity. Hearing how you two came together, magnifies that feeling! Thank you!

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Rasmus Rasmussen August 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

LOL – Sounded kind of creepy at first, like you were lurking around my apartment or something. Then I remembered that we share the building! Thank you for being such awesome neighbors. :)

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