I wanted to share a few things with you. Some things that I think are worth saying.
Since the moment I decided to quit my job and sell my possessions in order to embark in a life full of travel and unknown territories, I've been hearing a reoccurring theme of statements from those around me: I wish I could do something like that. I wish I could travel. I wish I could go to Thailand...Rome...Bali...Barcelona...Paris. I wish. I wish. I wish.
Before this chapter happened in my life, before I decided to take the plunge, I was that girl that said, "I wish." I heard about people who just upped and traveled and I always thought how awesome that would be, but of course knew it was highly unlikely I could ever do anything like that. I mean, that's crazy talk! I have a job! I have responsibilities! Someone's got to pay the bills!
So I just wished instead. But to me, the word 'wish' signifies something unattainable. It's like saying, "I wish I could win the lottery." It'd be great if that happened, but it's so far fetched that I've accepted it probably won't happen in my life.
So at what point in my life did I switch over from The Wishing Girl to the Take Action Girl? Good question. I don't think it was necessarily an instant decision or a life-changing event that occurred. I think it was a string of events and a string of situations that brought me to that decision. I was working in an office job, doing the 9-5, sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen all day long. Most days, I would think about how much I didn't like the job I was in, but either couldn't come up with a better solution or was too comfortable to make any drastic changes.
I'd constantly ask myself, "Is this it? Is this the kind of career I'm going to have until I retire at 65?" Maybe it wouldn't be that exact company forever, but it'd be something similar. Something that made me feel like I wasn't challenged, I wasn't excited, and that it didn't bring significant purpose to my life. But like the rest of America, I was comfortable. Plus, I was content enough with my life outside of work that I didn't do anything about my overall situation. I would put in my 8 hours a day, then I'd come home to friends, family, and a loving boyfriend to infuse some excitement into my life. I convinced myself that the majority of people have a similar situation and I should just be thankful that I have a job and roof over my head and quit my complaining.
However, after several years of living that life, I couldn't ignore those nagging thoughts of "But why? Why should you have to settle for 'the norm'? Why can't you just go do something that really makes you happy? What's the purpose of this life if you can't be excited about it? Do you really want to spend the next 40 years of your life going through a mediocre routine?"
The answer? No. Absolutely not.
And that's when I started to toy with the idea of traveling. Quitting my job, selling my things, and just buying a one-way ticket to anywherebuthere. I rationalized with myself that I was an educated individual with 8 years of working experience and if all else failed, I could always come back to XYZ city of America and jump right back in to that familiar office routine. Funny enough, that rationalization brought comfort to me. Knowing that my current life, my current surroundings, and my current routine would always be there gave me enough courage to leave it all. Having a willing partner in the same boat as you certainly didn't hurt either.
As I'm getting older, I'm learning more just how precious this life is. Just how short it is. Just how uncertain it is. A friend of my brothers, not even 30 years old, died a few months ago from an apparent, and very surprising, drug overdose. A few weeks ago, my friend's brand new baby only got to live for 5 hours after he was born due to unexpected heart failure. A blogger friend my age lost her mama to cancer less than a week ago. And I'm not writing this to create feelings of sadness in you, I'm writing this to further express my support for the cliched statement of: Life is Short.
I have no idea how long I'm going to live. I could grow to be an old woman of 103. Or, I could die next week in a random freak accident. Point is, I just don't know. I also have no idea what's going to happen after I die. Like I said: uncertainty. But what I do know is that whatever time I have here on this Earth, in this life of mine, however long or short, I want to fill it with positivity, love, and happiness.
The kind of happiness that makes you smile from deep down. The kind of happiness that you can honestly say, "If I died tomorrow, I'd die a happy person." Happiness can be different for everyone. Right now, my happiness is traveling with my love. Next month, happiness could mean having a place to call home with him. It could mean taking that photography class I've always wanted to but was too timid or busy. Several years from now, happiness could be creating life and watching him or her grow. Who knows. But I welcome it all.
I think my point for writing this post is to encourage you to remember that there is no right or wrong way to be happy. I want to challenge you to ask yourself what you really want out of this short life we have. I want to support you in taking that courageous leap towards whatever happiness means to you. To push you to never settle. To ask questions. To seek answers.
That's all I've got, friend. Thanks for listening.
It just started raining, so I'm going to go outside, sit next to my man, and soak it in. :)