I think. I reflect. I write.
For many years my thoughts danced in my head, grand scenes playing out in timeless fashion. Sleep would be foregone due to my mind’s late night adventures. I kept these dreams, regrets, and secrets inside – until decades later I met a new acquaintance, who quickly became a loving friend, and who told me that I had a story to tell and to write everything down.
Then the words poured out – and for the first time in a long time I felt rested. The release came in many forms; a private bound journal that has accompanied me to hundreds of cities, a public blog to share with anyone curious to read, shorthand notes in my phone, and honest conversations with those my soul trusts. Writing is my solace, my expression.
So when it dawned on me that for quite some time I have not been inspired to pick up a pen or open my lap top, I knew something needed to change.
As last summer came to a close, I was confident that it was time to return home. After a few years away with thousands of miles traveled, I yearned for the comforts that only family and old friends could give. I was looking forward to coming home, creating a routine, catching up with people I grew up with, and spending time with family.
This change of heart aligned with a milestone birthday where I became an independent adult in my country’s eyes. At 26 you should have your own insurance, retirement, and 5 year plan set up. So I was fooled by the dogma of society – I thought I needed a steady job to plant some roots.
I was wrong.
Born in December, I am a true Sagittarius – an adventurer by nature and eternally on the go. How did I think I could convince myself that packing away my passport for an office job would be the next step to take in my life?
Nevertheless, I was hired for a job that I am very grateful to have had for it allowed me to build new friendships, gain experience, and find security. However, if I am spending over 35% of my waking hours at my job, I better love it. Although this opportunity may be enough for some, I wasn't fulfilled. I am not meant for an office, I am not meant to be indoors staring at a computer screen. Perhaps if there was potential to move up in the company to a better suited position then I would invest a few years in an office. Unfortunately, I started waking up and not wanting to go to work. I was consumed with indifference. The eternal winter that buried New England froze my spirit as well.
Once again restless, I joined the rest of the world and dove into the deep abyss of online job searching. I have been a feeder fish in the big ocean trying to stand apart from the rest. Applying for jobs online is a frustrating, unrewarding, and time consuming battle that I am still fighting. I am currently mastering the balance of being proactive and patient. The wondrous milestones that have happened in my life occurred in the moments that I buried my ego and surrendered myself to a greater power – in the moments I released my white-knuckle grip of control and let life happen naturally. On the contrary, in today’s society hard work pays off and at times you need to aggressively go after what you desire. Thus, I am left dancing this two-step of creating a path for the future and also living in the moment.
As the weeks turned to months and no job opportunities in this area surfaced, I became quite aware that it was time to reflect and reassess. On St. Patrick ’s Day, I was sitting on the floor when a decision was made, simply and abruptly. If I am not fulfilled, change something. There is no time in this life to be complacent. Where others may thrive in routine, order, and security, I find joy in freedom, novelty, and change.
As Steve Job’s said, we cannot connect the dots looking forward. So in retrospect, it became rather clear that I was meant to come home, but not to stay home. I needed to recharge and meet my new niece and nephew. Yet with my homecoming I noticed that everyone is leading their own lives and carrying out their dreams; so it does not make sense for me to sit and wait for the free weekends or family events to insert myself into their lives. Even though I have been home since September, I have not seen or spoken to family or friends much more than I did during my travels. We all need to let each other live our own lives. Wherever that may take us, whatever our joy consists of – there can be no judgement, only support.
I cannot call this next move a chapter, as I do not wish to give it an end before it has even begun. I bought another one way ticket to Europe and put my two weeks’ notice into my job. I am flying to Europe with a plan that consists of no more than just visiting friends in a few new countries, continuing to apply for jobs, and to finish writing my book. Faith has brought me this far in life, and it will continue to lead me. The right opportunity will present itself when I am in the right place, at the right time, surrounded by the right people. I refuse to settle for a job that does not align with my personal values or fulfill my soul. So I will continue to explore and network until divine timing plays out.
Contrary to what many may believe, I am not running away as I have nothing to run away from. I am running towards a full, free life. My roots were laid long ago, they are everlasting and do not need my physical presence to persist. They are nurtured regardless if I am near or far. My first passport stamp started something grander than I could ever imagine – there is more to see, more to give. I have no commitments that are my own – and perhaps I subconsciously do this so I never have a reason to stay – so why not continue to wander and make the most of this life while the dots connect themselves? I do not know what my life will be like a year from now or tomorrow – but what I do know is that I can make conscious decisions and actions that will fulfill my soul and may provide opportunity for the future.
In the moment when my head and my heart aligned and agreed to go abroad, I felt immense relief. As if I no longer had to force myself to try to make the typical 9 to 5 life work.
I am not going to plan, control, or expect. I am simply going to be.
So with that, I am off once more.