Today I Get What “Be Careful What You Wish For” Means

December 15, 2011 Katja Presnal

A moment in my life…

Today I entirely get the meaning of the saying “be careful what you wish for.”

Two of my big wishes came true.. but I can’t have them both at the same time!

The business dream I have been dreaming and working for is happening. I have been wanting to move back to Europe to travel more there and give that opportunity for my children as well and we are moving to Sweden next year. This is all amazing news, and I am more thrilled than I could be.

The thing is – I can’t build a business in the US while living in Europe, now can I?

Now, of course I can via social media, and that’s why I work online so I am able to work from anywhere in the world, but at the same time – it’s not going to be the same.

I’m afraid I am disappointing people, I’m afraid I will miss opportunities.
I’m afraid I’ll disappoint myself.

I am even afraid – what if I am making the wrong choice and picking the “wrong dream”? And how do you know which one is the better one to choose from? I can think of 100 reasons to move to Sweden, and 100 reasons why to stay in New York. I can think of emotional reasons, I can think of logical reasons.

I feel in my heart and I know in my head that moving the Sweden is an amazing opportunity for our family, and it is the right choice. We had to make the decision very fast and I didn’t have any hesitation when making it. Most of the people whom we tell about it think how crazy it is that we made up our mind in less than 24 hours to pursue this and it took less than five days to make it official. We could have spent weeks and weeks to think about it more, and yet we would have come to the same 100 reasons why and why not. And we still would have had to make the decision knowing that either way, things are not perfect, and we would have to make sacrifices whether it’s sacrificing the amazing opportunity or sacrificing what we have in New York.

The bottom line question what I asked my husband when we were considering this was this:

Think of us sitting in our home in New York six months from now.. watching TV and there is something filmed in Stockholm on. Would we hug each others and say we are happy right where we are, like we are now, or would be look at each others and say “we should have taken the job, we should have gone to Sweden”.

We both said “we would say we should have gone”. And the decision was easy after that.

I truly believe that you regret the most the things you didn’t do and you had the chance to do them. I do not want the shadow of the dreams and wishes that could have come true to follow me the rest of my life. I rather have these moments when I am feeling “why did I ask for this” and be overwhelmed by the fact the wish came true and the fact that the reality never is exactly how you dream it to be. Like… Ideally I would be already transported myself, my family and everything we own to a nice apartment in Stockholm. But in reality there are so many things that will have to happen before we are living our Scandinavian lifestyle in Stockholm.

I will most certainly have to work very hard to make this wish come true. Selling everything we own is very overwhelming. Logistically and emotionally. Saying goodbyes to people I love and are part of our everyday life is tough.

Sometimes we forget that life isn’t always easy, even when dreams come true and we are living our happily ever afters. Life takes a lot of hard work, guts to follow through and patience to climb to the top.

I know why so many people don’t even try, I know why so many people are afraid to dream big and commit to taking big leaps in their lives, because it’s not always easy.

But it is not an excuse NOT to even try.

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (12)

  1. Wow! How exciting for you :) I’m so happy that you’re making the jump. And it’s awesome that it’s Sweden. Best of luck and enjoy all Scandinavia has to offer!

  2. Sanna

    Onnittelut rohkeasta päätöksestä! Ehkä sinusta kuullaan nyt enemmänkin Suomessa? : )

  3. Katja, I know we talked about this happening a few years ago, and now that it’s finally time, I am as excited and as worried about this as I would be if I was in your place.

    I think it’s almost impossible to regret deciding to live in Europe, but at the same time, social media-related business is a bit tougher here. But you are a star, I am sure you will do very well. Best of luck in your new adventure!

  4. Katja, that’s amazing. We recently made what feels like a big move – but not THAT big! But we did it because we knew it was the right thing and it was about pursuing dreams.

    I hope yours come true.

  5. Katja,

    You have always inspired me and I know that if anyone can do this you can! I will miss you terribly but I know this is an awesome opportunity for you and your family! Dream Big, Conquer Your Fears, and Blow Them Out of the Water!

    Your gonna ROCK Europe!

    PS. I want to see lots of pictures and updates :)

  6. Katia,

    At the very top of the your blog is the tagline, “LIVE LIFE to the FULLEST.” Part of what that means to me is this–Sometimes you have to just leap and KNOW that that the net is there.

    The net is there. Leap.

  7. First of all – woohoo for you! Secondly, just the fact that you both know that you’d regret it if you didn’t do it shows how synced you both are. I know if I ever had a chance to leave the US and take my family just about anywhere in the world I would do it.

    There is something about living in the unknown and learning how to adapt and really showing the kids the bigger picture. I have longed for that opportunity for a long time. Today you are getting that dream come true and I can’t wait to see how you make the best of it and how it changes or even grounds your family together.

    I wish I could have meet you in real life but like so many others just being able to learn and grow through your blog and Facebook will just have to do :)

  8. Just so stinking thrilled for you and your family! Thanks for sharing this journey with us. Can’t wait to see what the next phase of your life holds for you!

  9. We’ve been good friends for a few years now and if there’s one thing that I know and believe about you is that you can make ANYTHING happen if you want it. Whether it be living in Sweden and running a business in the states, or whatever transpires (since this business is about constant growth and change), you’ll do it.

    On a personal note, I’ll miss you terribly – but that will only force me to move ahead with my goals – and as that happens I’ll get to see you IRL more often.

  10. I love this. I love seeing how your decision was made, but I know your fear all too well. OH, I know your fear! It’s that same fear that kept us from taking an Italy assignment instead of San Antonio, but, I have to be honest, I am really loving San Antonio, so I think we’re okay, I think we definitely made the right decision.

    I think your family is ultimately one who lives chasing down dreams, living such a unique, enviable life. Your family has a type of bravado others wish they had (like me!) I can see the kids’ college applications, how much they are going to stand out when shopping universities someday.

    You have made the right decision, but the second-guessing and the “what-if’s” are tough on the noggin, aren’t they? Relentless.

    I am looking forward to your being able to kick your feet up when you visit, and not worry about anything. Plus, I sort-of just can’t wait to see you guys, even if my hugs will be slightly bulbous in the mid-section, and awkward. :)

    Love you!

  11. Katja,
    Two things jumped in to mind as I read your post so thought I would share them with you. Hope you like them:

    RISK

    To laugh is to risk appearing the fool
    To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
    To reach out for another is to risk involvement
    To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self
    To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss
    To love is to risk not being loved in return
    To live is to risk dying
    To hope is to risk despair
    To try is to risk failure
    But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing
    The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing
    They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live
    Chained by their certitude’s, they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom
    Only a person who risks is free.

    – Source unknown
    and
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

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