Finally (Un)Settled

After taking trains, planes, buses, subways, cars and boats every couple of days and moving around between cities and countries, I’ve finally been somewhat settled in the London area for over a week (….it’s still hard to keep track of days). But, here I am, halfway across the world, calling this apartment my “home” because it’s where I can cook my food, simply hang out and rest my head at night.

That’s the funny thing about life – you’re born in a location you don’t choose, and for many, it’s home forever. I think our generation is really shifting this fact. From workplaces to living situations, offices and bedrooms are becoming global, and the world is both our play and work ground.

People always say “do what makes you happy” and then society places this box around what’s accepted and expected. If you were to truly design your life, start with just one day. How would you wake up and spend your time? What routines would you like to implement? What would you avoid wasting your time on?

Every day, here, while traveling, I’m trying to wake up and do the things that I actually want to do. For example, yesterday, I went for a 3 mile run near the Thames and then went to a coffee shop nearby to read. This morning, I’m listening to music and writing, then I’ll spend the day with my friend, because that’s exactly what I want to be doing.*  I’m very aware that there’s privilege in this set-up because I don’t have to be at work at a certain time or take care of kids, etc., but if there’s something that you want, there’s ways to make time work on your side, regardless of responsibilities. With a surrounding fortunate set of circumstances, I’ve worked to make this my reality.

Some people have asked when I’m coming home. I don’t have the answer. For as long as this is what I want to be doing, I’ll do it and make it work, however I have to. I once made the mistake of flying home from Australia instead of continuing on with a friend to New Zealand because I felt like I had to (or should) go home and jump back into a job. I’m not going to prematurely end what I want to be doing because of external influences that make me think I should be doing something else. Now, after having a taste of actually doing what I want, when I want (this has become my definition of freedom), I am willing to do whatever it takes to continue.

Life is a series of choices. We are faced with big and small ones everyday. Choose whatever it is that sets your soul on fire and practice day in and day out.

“I am the master of my fate,

      I am the captain of my soul. ” – William Ernest Henley
* Side note: other skills I want to learn – if you have advice on the best ways to do it, please share – graphic design, another language, basic coding, an instrument

 

Advertisements

One Way Ticket

I’ve got a one-way ticket, my passport, and an open mind with the willingness to tear down the boundaries of my comfort zone. It’s like spring cleaning for my life, yet again.

There’s something about summer coming that makes me want to escape and start fresh. It’s like being in school for so many years gave my mind, body, and soul the muscle memory to get away for a few months, take a break, and then jump back into routine. But, what if there was never meant to be a routine? Society has this way of making you think you have to do what everyone else is doing and puts this notion of success at the end of a supposed, and possibly illusionary path.

And then, writing it down makes everything so real. Like the truth of your inner self is staring you back and asking you what you’re going to do next. I don’t know.

I sat in the sauna today and watched my sweat roll off of my chin and hit my hands, cascading into a puddle on the floor. I was there, but I wasn’t there. I was just watching things happen to my body and the people around me, but letting everything go in and out, like watching a screenplay unfold and accepting whatever was to come. A man slipped down from leaning against the wall and fell to the floor. Slightly embarrassed, he quickly stood back up like nothing happened. On my part, there was zero judgment. Just an understanding that the floor is wet, and yeah, shit happens, but you get back up and readjust yourself the next time you lean back on the wall. Learn from your experience.

Like the drops of water and the man, I think that’s the way life is meant to be lived. Letting things roll and fall however they may, and being accepting of the outcome, while also knowing when to wipe it all off and try again, taking with you what you know and being open to knowing that there is still a lot you don’t.

Gaining Insight

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Kierkegaard

Everything we do leads to what comes next in our life, and at the time, it may seem like nothing is making sense. Sometimes, it even feels like things are completely falling apart. The thing is that sometimes things fall apart so they can come together correctly. And, when that moment strikes when you can sense the harmony, you can look back and understand how you’re where you’re meant to be. Each little kink in the chain provides equivalent value and support to hold it all together, no matter where it is positioned.

If you’re unhappy with any aspect of your life, the good news is that you have the power to change it. If it truly is out of your control, you can always control your attitude and how you approach the situation. On one hand everything can be made into a grueling challenge and, on the other, the same hardship can be a lesson to grow from- an opportunity to create a solution.

I’ve been through ups and downs in my “career” path, which is natural as I am just over the two year mark of having graduated from college. I’ve had jobs that people would probably kill for, working with companies that have comfortably resided on the Fortune 50 list for decades. But, I never felt settled. The jobs didn’t align well with what I valued or where I saw myself going in my life. I took chances, and I left them. Not because I’m an impatient millennial who ONLY wants happiness and comfort (although I wouldn’t complain), but because I know when something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. For each experience, I am so grateful to those whom I met along the way. I can see how I’ve genuinely learned something from each person and position.

Finally (the impatience of two years is shining through), I find myself in a position where I truly see potential for growth, expansion, and success. New things always provide jolts of energy, but this feels both exciting because of its newness and, more importantly, because I want to grow along this trajectory.

Although taking the jump and leaving comfortable, well-paying jobs in prominent companies with great co-workers was scary at the time, I know that I made the right decisions for myself. Ignoring outside rational voices, and even your own brain is really hard for the most part, but in the end, you ultimately know what you want. If you don’t go for it, no one will hand it to you. For if I had not followed my soul, I wouldn’t be where I am now, or where I may be a year from now, and five years from now, etc. Ultimately, one day as I’m looking back on my life (which I do every so often),  I know I will see the picture in clear view and it will all make sense. Even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else, you know you can’t go wrong when you’re listening to yourself.