"I followed my dream - maybe you should, too"

Nicola Foleher has just achieved a long-term goal, and thinks maybe you should consider doing the same thing.

Nicola Foleher, working at her desk.

Nicola Foleher, working at her desk.

Foto: Donna Richmond

Engelska2023-11-27 09:00

How does one go about building a new way of life? Gone is the comfort blanket of familiarity that I cherished in England, and in its place is a clean sheet of opportunity spread out before me here in Sweden.

In England, I had my own business as a holistic therapist. I treated women from all walks of life, made connections and friendships, and loved it. 

I also had a small side business selling handmade crafts and artwork that got me through the many months of covid-19 lockdowns we experienced when I could no longer treat my clients. It kept me sane.

After 20 years as a therapist, I made a conscious decision to take the opportunity to move somewhere new, and create a life full of something new. For me, that meant putting down my essential oils and folding up my treatment couch for the last time. 

I did not want to simply replicate what I had left behind; what would be the point of that?

As I thought about how I wanted to live in Sweden, I decided that I needed to make my new life one that was rich in creative and artistic freedom. Luckily, we moved to a place that is so infinitely beautiful that you cannot help but be amazed, inspired, and in awe on a daily basis. My muse is around me all the time.

A big part of this vision is to build a career around my artwork and writing. I know it will take time, and with no formal training or education in either of these things beyond high school, my default setting has naturally been reluctance, procrastination, and self-doubt.

Nicola Foleher's calendar.

However, I often tell myself, if I can emigrate in the middle of a pandemic to a country I have never visited, where I do not speak the language, then I can do anything. And I am slowly but surely moving in the right direction.

I have the passion to make my life as an artist, illustrator and writer work. It has to: it is what I see myself doing forever. I cannot imagine ever wanting to stop. 

And so, as I write this, I've just published my first work of art for sale, a calendar that contains not only my artwork, but more importantly, my dreams, my hope for the future, my new roots, and my example to my daughters that you can do anything you put your mind to. 

I offer that same thought process to you. If you have something that fills your heart with joy, something that you think about all the time and dream about for hours on end, then why not start taking steps to make it a reality? 

You'll never regret trying, but you will regret ignoring your calling.

This is a column and the views are the author's own.