Blood, sweat, years and tears.

1
It kills me when people say I’m “lucky” to finally be living the dream of being a professional writer living abroad. I understand the good intentions, but come on. This shit took a lot of painful work and sacrifice. How could it not?
I was 23 when starting on this path. Both incredibly good and incredibly bad life experiences played a role in the baby steps it took me (and takes many) to get here. At 38 years old, I’m finally on day five of living in Thailand. Want to know the secret? You can’t ever give up. Not ever, ever, ever. Well – at least not for too long. Actually, that’s probably really the secret.
You’ll get taken away. Accept that. You just have to be ready and willing to fight your way back. And it sure as hell is a fight. A bloody and brutal one.
I knew it would be a different kind of transition once finally landing from the rough stuff it took to get here, but I didn’t necessarily think it would happen so fast. On day one of finally living this particular dream, the mischievous little lady who works as a chef where I’m staying spilled coffee on my laptop. She got it repaired, but most of the verbiage is now in Thai. That’s been…interesting.
As far as she goes, I’m pretty sure she’ll be one of my very best friends in Phuket before long. We’re headed to Songkran, the Thai New Year, and next full moon party within the next week together.
I also managed to get a mosquito bite on day one that is now grotesquely infected and a touch of Traveler’s Thai Tummy.
Know what else I’ve already got?
An amazing new home with a family made of people from Holland, Africa, America, France, England and of course, here in Thailand. I think I’ve already fallen in love half a dozen times, had long nights of bonding and skinny-dipping and have started to find a happiness I hadn’t really realized I had lost.
I recently saw a quote by Sarah Addison Allen that said “she understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.”
The first thing I thought of was the people I was so close to not so long ago and have lost over the last year. They’re still there, but our connection isn’t.
I finished my degree, lost my dog, started going to festivals that were incredibly important to me, became a professional writer, ended up in the hospital with seizures and started living the bohemian life of wanderlust that had always been in my heart.
As I listen to the only other two Americans at the enchanted tropical retreat I now call home giggle in their room for hours, even more pieces of my already lonely heart shatter at the reminder of friends loved and lost who I once thought I could never grow apart from.
Whether growing in different directions or one person is changing while the other is in a place of staying still, life often doesn’t let you stay close, and the more you fight it, the more it fractures.
As much as it hurts, there’s people out there, even some you already know, who will be close to where you’re at in life and save your broken heart.
This is the salvation from those dark days of despair. Also knowing, if you can see through the pain, that you and that person you loved so much may make it back to the same place some day. Maybe.
Maybe not.
I have been lucky enough to fall in love more times than I can count in my life. Not romantic love, but best friend and family love. The loss of this love, especially in exceleration from the last year, makes me wonder about this dream I have fought my whole life for.
A therapist once told me that life is a house of doors, and we can’t walk through all of them at once. I suppose I have tried to do that more than I’ve cared to admit in the past. Maybe now that I’m finally doing the last thing I didn’t think I could live without accomplishing…maybe now I can finally fully appreciate and enjoy what I do have without mourning what I don’t.
And maybe now my life will finally be open and ready for romantic love. Funny how that damn irony of life always comes into play like that.

I am proud of myself because I always make my dreams come true but it bothers me that my process of finally making it happen after multiple attempts exhausts those around me.

A year of living in a hippie commune and on a yacht, playing Gaelic Football, visiting Ireland & Scotland and working as Director of Sales & Marketing

boat

When offered a position as Director of Sales & Marketing, I was quick to jump ship in the Bay Area and run home to San Diego. While I prefer to do business in San Francisco, there’s a breaking point for how long I can handle being away from home. Funny coming from someone who’s about to move out of the country.

My family didn’t think I should take such a shaky and low-paying job (I’m a sucker for startups), but I knew I needed to get home. That impulsive decision had nothing to do with my ultimate goals, but somehow seemed to be the move that set my life toward them. It was maybe the first time I could hear my own voice above those telling me otherwise.

I had long-since wanted to start playing Gaelic football after a friend who had previously played introduced me. It took me about two seconds to join the team’s pub league and start dating another player.

Shortly after getting home, starting the job and Gaelic football, I moved into a large, beautiful and free-spirited hippie-commune style house that sat on a hill overlooking the ocean. The friends I had been staying with while looking for a place didn’t think it was a good idea. In fact, one even stopped talking to me in part because of it. Still, I trusted that the environment and that the roommates would bring a sense of calm, peace and love into my life in a way that was much deprived and much needed.

That was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. I had my own space but still was part of a beautiful communal environment that fed my mind, body and soul. Whether it was morning sunrise Yoga, surf trips to Baja or communal dinners and happy hours, my lifestyle was as beautiful as the people around me. And as was becoming the norm, friends who had shown concern quickly became eager to join in at any given opportunity.

On a roll, I visited Ireland to see some of my family’s roots (a commonality I was constantly told by locals was the only reason people go there) and Scotland. An experience that has me planning on living in Glasgow and Edinburgh toward the end of my time living abroad.

Once back in the states, the job that had caused this adventurous chain reaction had done its duty and it ended. It was not the plan but not surprising, either. Soon after, a woman I had met through networking in the San Diego Chamber of Commerce pointed me to the opportunity to work with another woman who had previously been featured on Showtime and had a standing in the polyamory and tantra community. This was different than anything I had been subjected to, and therefore made me both excited and nervous. Through working with her, I was exposed once again to new ways of thinking, healing and being. I finally got to start learning about tantra, something I had long-time craved, saw a higher level of communication, experienced shibari and witnessed my first orgy. Most importantly, I found new avenues of love and healing.

The next part of that amazing year’s adventure came into play seven months after joining the commune house when my sublet ended and I moved onto what was soon to be my own (well, half my own) old wooden yacht. Once again, something the people in my life advised against but ended up joyously joining in on whenever they had the chance.

Not only did I get to have such an unbelieveable experience aboard that boat, but the harbor in which I was docked was an adventure of it’s own. The people who lived in this particular marina had grown up on boats. Stories consisted of whales swimming under their boats in Alaska, building movie sets in Mexico and other voyages I had only dreamed of at best. These people were true adventurers whose lives were mapped out by the gruff lines of the dark and leathery skin of their bodies, and yet there was still other sides of beauty that would never have been expected. For instance, the owner of the marina was part of a practicing orchestra that practiced every other Wednesday. The enormous boat garage would be transformed into a theatre of music in which I could listen from my boat or grab some wine, a blanket and go watch with friends from a few feet away. If that wasn’t enough, I could go to the hotel across the street where a professional venue and it’s concerts were visible from the pool.

I gave away the boat a few months later. It was too risky to keep and too much money to work on. I expected that. Most of the prodigious experiences of my life have been more temporary that the average person is used to. It all sounds like a fantasy lived when looking at it from the outside, but what’s not seen is how hard it is once you get in. The saying “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” doesn’t just go for people, it also goes for experiences. It’s the Yin and Yang of life and amusingly reminds me of the quote “adulthood is like looking both ways before crossing the street and then getting hit by an airplane”. Still, life will always be hard, so why not make it as glamorously dream-fulfilling as possible. If nothing else, at least I’m at least trying.

How about you? Tell us about a time others told you no but you followed your heart anyway.

Just another manic Monday?

Monday
First, let’s give it up to those smug people who give the most ridiculous and unrealistic advice on how to handle Mondays. May you run out of gas and a donkey kick you in the face.

That first day of the work week isn’t a favorite for most of us, but maybe it should be.

OK, that might be a bit of a stretch, but there seems to be a lot of complaining with very little done about it. Why not make it better if we can?

Switching gears is an often unpleasant and slow process that tends to be strong-armed instead of eased into. It’s a wonder that this seems to be the norm, as it is actually possible to massage our way in with just a little creativity and effort if set up a few days earlier. A few days earlier because errands, chores and making plans should be avoided on Mondays at all costs. They should also be easily canceled. Unless sadomasochism is your thing, of course.

Speaking of massaging our way in, a great massage can be the perfect example of a way to do that. Even a $20 foot massage or pedicure can be a great lunch break or after-work treat, as can going out for happy hour (total cheat day, so go for what you really want) or going as simple as allowing yourself a chill movie night. Netflix and chill not to be discluded.

Good ideas for the middle to end of the day, but where most of us need the most help is in the morning, so let’s talk about that.

It already hurts to get up with an alarm after a couple days without, but getting up twenty minutes earlier is one of the sacrifices that will end up being worth it. Have your coffee pot pre-set to brew twenty minutes before rising so that you can zombie your way over to get a cup and then go sit outside while you wake up drinking that cup of magic. Tai chi, meditation, Yoga or something of that nature can be added in, but only if it sounds good, never forced. In other words, most of us will just laugh at the thought, but there’s a crazy few that will go for it.

When it comes to the body, even ten or fifteen minutes of cardio can make a huge difference. Whether a walk, elliptical or doing a set of burpees if cardio is too hard to figure out can get those endorphins going and make you feel like you’ve accomplished something before even getting in the shower.

Don’t forget to treat yourself on the way in as well. A specialty coffee or some other kind of treat (or even by order if you work from home) can be that little touch of self-nurturing to set you right. Want to make it even better than that? Do something easy and simple for someone else. Buy the person behind you a coffee, give an extra big tip, pay someone’s toll road fee, keep little care packages for the homeless in your car to give out, etc. It’s hard not to feel good when doing for others.

Figuring out how we can start our workday later and/or shorten it by a couple hours is where the money’s really at. Just having that little bit of extra time to transition into getting up and starting is guaranteed to bring a smile and relaxation where grumpiness and stress had previously. A couple more ways to do that are to set up projects to be easily finished, emails on timers to go out early and setting your day up to be mostly “busy” work so you don’t have to brain too much. Set them all up together and you look and feel like the day’s productive success without much effort. Win, win!

Making Monday manic might not really be all that likely, but a little bit of effort and thinking outside the box sure can get it a whole lot closer!

Tell us your ideas on how to make Mondays better. And for kicks, the ridiculous and/or unrealistic advice you’ve been told on how to do so in the past.

Canary Crap and Letting it Fly

hard times
Those who try way too hard to turn truly bad situations into positive ones are full of canary crap. The following three examples will explain exactly what I mean, but don’t worry – I promise I’m getting to a bigger point.

I recently spent hours going into phone carrier stores, calling, and emailing for the best and cheapest services only to end up paying two carriers at the same time while my number was lost. Then I had to do the same things for hours while trying to figure it out. During that time, not having GPS almost got me lost multiple times which included a time I almost ended up in Mexico. I also came close to running out of gas during one or two of these lost adventures during which I only once found a gas station and it couldn’t take cards. That in turn got me so flustered that I lost my gas cap and later left my license at an Auto Body store when trying and failing to buy another one right before leaving town.

This was all during a trip to visit my family during which I got left behind for a big family outing that I had extended my stay and canceled important plans for.

In honor of third time being the charm, bank issues caused a cascade of issues and fees on bills and problems with my flight for a move to Thailand.

Oh yeah, and the cherry on top – lots of health problems right when I was supposed to move abroad. Lots and lots.

Did I somehow become the star in a sitcom and I’m not aware of it? I know I’m the class clown and my life tends to be pretty entertaining with both extreme high and lows, but this is just bananas.

By now you’re probably exasperated and about ready to give up on my getting to that point I promised.

So here it is…

Sometimes in life, these kind of things can put you in a position to have to make a big choice.

This is one example of many things that have triggered the people in my life to comment on there being a lot of signs telling me to stay in California instead of moving abroad. I have a different theory.

My brother and the boys he was in the Marines with had drills called work ups before they went on long deployments. These were two week trips into the desert in which they replicated the lifestyle, behaviors and duties they would be executing overseas. Maybe that’s what life tries to do to/for all of us.

Ever since losing my fur-baby on May 5th, I decided to finish the dream I set out to accomplish fifteen years ago when I first tried to move to Spain on a worldwide sabbatical. Since then, life has done everything to get in the way.

I don’t see these things as signs that I’m not supposed to go. I see them as work-ups to make this adventure more realistic for the challenges coming my way. We all have to face such crazy unknowns at one time or another. Mine are likely to be even bigger and require more when living abroad, so I’m going to need more skills and experience to face them. Getting used to thinking fast and being flexible are essential. All of this rough-going has more prepared me now than ever before.

I also have a theory that my beloved San Diego and San Francisco want to hang onto me as a part of the family.

Still, I’d rather not have to go through so much, whatever the reason. If I went through it abroad, at least it would be directly relatable to living out my dream. All this nonsense is just beating me up and wearing me out. I’m all for the whole love and light way of thinking, but I’m also more of a realist and am only a partial hippie in part (though many of my friends would disagree with the partial part). Those who are always way too positive in crappy situations drive me crazy. There is no balance with that and comes off as insincere. There’s a certain beauty in the hard parts of life. I do believe in the Yin and Yang of everything, and try to see the beauty in the darkness of that. Maybe I’ll reach that positive place of all light and rose-colored-glasses, but right now I’d rather see and be around others who appreciate that balance.

Tell me about you? We’d love to hear your experience of good and bad events waterfalling in the sequences of your life and how it affected something big that had been coming your way.

How do you feel about trying to keep it positive versus acknowledging the negative as well?
Let us all know!

Seizure Story

seizure
For some silly reason most of us seem to be taken off guard by the unknowns that come at us in life. One strange trait of human nature in that, as ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus pointed out, the only thing that is constant is change.
Something happened in my life a couple weeks ago that was one of those bigger moments. Even when barely coherent, I knew this would affect my move abroad, but I would never let it stop me from making that happen. Still, it was one of those moments that threw my world off it’s access…
My roomie T’s Border Collie had been scratching on her door, so she was sleeping on the couch in an effort to keep her boyfriend from being woken up. The pups usually sleep with me when P is spending the night, so his scratching must have meant that FR sensed what was going on.
When trying to sleep, T heard an eerie screaming coming from my room and thought I was having a nightmare. Shuffling through the dark to my room, she lightly grabbed my leg to tell me I was having a bad dream.
That’s when she realized the nightmare was real.
Instead of waking me up, what T felt was my body shaking uncontrollably. Instantly turning on the light, she was introduced to the horrifying vision of my arms extended straight out, eyes wide open, and blue lips with foam filling my mouth.
Screaming for her boyfriend who used to be a paramedic, P instantly told her to call 911 as he turned me on my side, now with blood coming out with the foam at my mouth, and began to clean my airway.
I turned back to a normal color, all the while being completely unconscious for the four to six minutes of terror T and P faced while saving me.
To make things even more surreal, once the seizure finally stopped, I turned on my side and went back to sleep as if nothing had happened.
I don’t remember the firefighters being there at all, but I do vaguely remember the paramedics. Dressed in dark uniforms, restraining me against my will and with one very large paramedic so obviously unhappy to be there that I could tell through my fog, I thought they were police and I was being forcibly removed. Disoriented and barely able to see, my confusion was obvious by continuous “what the fuck” type statements, struggling, and unbuckling the restraints that were being put on for protection. P started to get through when he authoritatively yelled at me to stop resisting, but it was the real look of horror, hurt and heartbreak on T’s face that really brought me back. She had fought through this horrible event to save me, and now I was looking at her with confusion, distain and my own heartbreak as I thought she was having me forcibly removed from the property.
“R! You had a seizure!” It was her words along with the emotion in those big hazel-blue eyes that really broke through.
At that moment I stopped struggling. As I was sat in the ambulance and oxygen tubes were run along my face, my body went limp in silent confusion.
It would be days before my brain would fully reset, but I knew this was one of those game changing moments that would affect my life forever.

I’m still trying to process everything, but one more month at the beaches of San Diego isn’t exactly the worst. Having already changed my working patterns and gotten rid of my belongings accordingly, I’m already living the nomadic lifestyle I plan to keep up for the next few years.
Sometimes these human bodies just can’t handle all our awesome.

Ignite the Window

Layla
The moments that ignite life change. You know them. Once in a blue moon they sneak in like a whisper in a dream, but usually they’re an explosion of a big life event.
For me, it was my dog being killed.
As a woman in my mid 30’s who has not yet been into relationships or having a family of my own, my little girl was my whole life. Especially since my friends had all but dumped me for the upgraded version. AKA: marriage and kids.
Before the mental lectures begin about finding grace and love, this being a natural progression of life, some relationships only meant to be in our life for a time, etc., understand that I’ve already heard it. Over and over and over.
I do have a decent amount of that openness and grace in my heart, but there’s more that comes with being such a passionate and loyal person who loves fiercely. I refuse to apologize for believing that it’s important to accept the hurt as well as the acceptance. I will not feel bad about caring enough for it to make a difference.
That loving so fiercely is something I wished wasn’t a part of me when I lost my Layla four days after her tenth birthday. It was also my mother’s birthday and to make that loss even more shattering, my family was the reason, though well-intentioned, that she got out and got hit by a car. Exactly what I had told them not to do countless times before. And they were awful about it.
Before you begin to think badly, understand that these are wonderful people who were also trying to deal with their emotions about such a great loss to our family. Typically, they are loving, nurturing, and giving people. They just don’t happen to react quite so wonderful to me. I guess you could say that we don’t speak the same language. My being eccentric and not having kids doesn’t exactly help my case.
As much as I love them, being around them has always been incredibly painful, harmful, and dangerous in my life.
Let me give you a relating example…
When I recently finished my undergrad 18 years after starting, my dad wanted to give me a celebratory gift. Knowing it was something he could actually do with his illnesses and is currently less pricey, I told him I wanted a family cruise.
He was excited at first, but when my sister no longer wanted to go because of our fight about what happened to my girl, he cancelled it.
It was then that I painfully shot out when asked that I wanted instead, that a one way ticket out of the country.
I was lost in grief and could barely breathe let alone think or feel, but my father’s reaction changed that.
He unexpectedly agreed with a comment about how he would normally be worried, but could tell I wasn’t happy and needed it. I’ll never forget that moment.
Losing my fur-baby absolutely changed my world, but it was that comment from my dad that spun my life off it’s tracks and into a direction I had all but forgotten about.
That moment broke the ties of the reality I had been living. Everything and everyone I had been holding onto were no longer a weight keeping me home in California. I was instantly and unexpectedly free once again to fulfill my dream of leaving to explore the world.
I didn’t end up leaving on that October 6th date of the ticket he had purchased for me, but I’m kind of glad. I’d rather have the beginning of such an important journey start on my own time, terms and from a good place. Not from such a sad loss.
Now, haven’t gotten rid of all of my belongings (such a strange feeling), having connected and made friends in Thailand, researched and said my goodbyes, it’s time to go. I’m overly-ready and very much aware that these windows don’t tend to stay open for too long. It’s an exhilarating feeling that I will be on a plane within days of selling my car.
I suppose you could say third time’s the charm. The real countdown has begun…

Share with us. Tell your story that this post makes you think of.

Finding Bohemian Flight

Sylwia Bartyzel -
Two times I’ve bought a one-way ticket to Thailand from California and two times I haven’t taken those flights. The first was eight months ago right after my dog – the center of my universe – was killed. The second was a couple weeks ago when I finished up tying up all but one of the loose ends of my life. I had canceled the first when realizing I had a lot more to do before leaving to live around the world for a few years. This didn’t surprise me much, as everything in general seems to be twice as hard and require twice as much work as originally expected. The second did surprise me, however, as the flight was randomly canceled due to the airline failing to confirm after I had already been experiencing a surreal streak of bad luck with my plans and in life.
Some pals thought this was the universe trying to tell me to stay. Like a hardened cast trying to stick to the body as it’s peeled away, I felt it more likely to be a comfortable and hardened energy that was resisting change, good or bad. Well, I’ve grown beyond needing the crutches of my past, and it’s time to break free before the things I love turn into a gilded cage.
Back when I first lost my fur-baby and started talking again about finally moving abroad, it didn’t appear that most of the people in my life believed it, though the shocking realization of those who did really threw me on track. The lack of support from those who didn’t stung, but it’s not too difficult to understand that such a big change can be hard to grasp. Especially when so many talk about grandiose ideas without ever acting on them. I had been talking about this move for 15 years after all, though I’ve had a tendency to finish what I start, regardless of how long it took.
It’s funny the way these windows only open in our lives every few years. This is the first time I’ve really felt the freedom to go for it since first trying 15 years ago when my aim was Spain. Well, I made it there on holiday, but my move didn’t get farther than from the Bay Area to San Diego once I had discovered how much happiness there was for me in that sunny paradise. If there’s one thing growing up with severe depression made me certain of, it’s that we don’t really know what we’re doing and if we find happiness, we should hold onto it with all we’ve got.
Finally at the point of really leaving, I’m more excited than scared, but also burnt. It’s taken almost all of my energy to get rid of all of my belongings and say goodbye to the loved ones that include a sick father and the kids who will likely be teenagers before I live in the US next.
Everything I have set for the future now revolves around this adventure and even the nay-sayers, though we’re all sad to say see-ya-later, are excited for it.
When feeling the inevitable worry and pain of such a move, a good friend from Scotland once pointed out that the internet has made the world a much smaller place in that it has given us a way to get and stay connected. Since then, I’ve been able to take a deep breath. Thank goodness for the new friends I’ve made and life I’ve created, for I already feel like a memory to the existence of the person I used to be. My life took off before me and has already started abroad.
Thailand, here I come.

Power in Perspective

Julia Caesar2 - unsplash.com
Outside sunrise meditation with the birds chirping the day awake is both soothing and one of the most cheerfully annoying ways to wake up. All things considered, it’s my favorite time of day.
Those who know me have a hard time believing that such a social person prefers mornings to night, but there’s a magic in it that nurtures peace and inspiration. As a typical tortured soul and crazy pain-in-the-ass writer, these things are much needed.
Perspective is something that makes each one of us live in our own world. We may need reminders, but most of us are aware that individuals tend to see the same thing differently. What we may be less aware of is how different we also see it as individuals from one moment to the next.
For some, sleeping in starts the day with a feeling of rest and irie vibes. For me, it’s those early mornings that inspire promise, peace and productivity. Getting up after 8 AM makes me feel like I’ve already lost the day and am starting with the chaos of trying to catch up before I’ve even begun.
We each have our own patterns to stay (semi) sane. The formula of what works is different for each and is constantly changing. To be self-forgiving enough to accept and work with these quirks can be difficult but also necessary.
The chaos of constant change doesn’t stop in the land of internal crazy. Relationships, events and other things outside of ourselves add to the land of constant internal change. Often the most right when we feel we’ve gotten a grasp on what’s already in our heads.
Take my upcoming move to Thailand.
When first planning this and other adventures of the next few months, it was more for education, adventure and fun. Now, having lost those closest to me (thank God I still have my family), it’s about finding my new self and healing. And still to be wild, free and to have fun of course, but that’s much further down the line.
Sometimes I’m amazed by the thought that these places and events were already such a good fit before needing them, and other times I think I’m just choosing to see them from a perspective that works for where I’m at.
Challenge yourself to take a moment to analyze the perspective of what’s going on in your own internal life. Share it with us in the comments. Let us in on your very own version of “your name” in Wonderland.

Photo by @juliacaesar and downloaded at https://unsplash.com/

Come with me. This is happening.

LaylaToday is the first day of something different.

When my fur-baby was killed the month before last, within the same year of being abandoned by four of the people I thought would always be there, my life was spun off it’s access.

Fighting to survive has been like trying to swim through an ocean of nightmares and dark water. When I planned a trip home to San Diego along with booking so many of the things things that had long bee on my bucket list, I no longer cared. I moving on instinct, as there was nowhere else to go.

Going home to SD was the first step in a direction that threw me off a cliff of the crumbling memory of what my life used to be. I was still an out-of-control mess hurling my bruised and battered soul in this direction, but in some way the trip seemed to do the only thing that there was still to do. It forced me to face the skeletons in the closet of my past and heart that I had being trying so hard to keep trapped inside.

And then I came back.

Today is that first day, and everything feels different. After 18 years, I am finally finishing my bachelor’s. After years of telling myself I would do so, I am finally going to Reggae on the River and Burning Man. Fifteen years after my first attempt to move out of the country, I am doing it. In 3 months, I will be living in Thailand.

I can feel it now. My world is changing. A bigger change than I have gone through in this adult life.

Come with me. This is happening. And it’s only going to get more exciting.

Failing and rising to fail again

This time was harder. I’d been through rough times in the past, but this was different. When I’d lie on the beach, join friends at champagne brunch or do any of the other things I knew “should” make me happy, they didn’t. I couldn’t sleep anymore and could barely function. I didn’t even have the strength to work on the things I love. Before this rough patch, I had managed to soar closer the sun than ever before. As life goes, I had to take ten steps back in order to advance to the next level. While I knew in my head that I was still on the right path, I couldn’t feel it in my heart.
As the sun woke me by rising outside the windows of my balcony, I would lay there and stare at the beautiful rolling hills in front of me. I could logically register that I was experiencing paradise, but couldn’t feel it. Passion and emotion are who I am, and I couldn’t feel it. I was completely and utterly burnt out. Depleted. Kaput.
When is enough enough? And when is it time to realize that one is not giving up but realizing that while most pieces of the puzzle fit, it may be time to change direction in others? I pride myself on being strong and not being a quitter. Even when the walls come crumbling down around me, I convince myself that I can hold up the roof all on my own. Mom said something that made sense to me. She said that in those kind of situations, she has to remind herself that she’s not God. I wish she would have given me that advice a few months ago.
Full time work, school, social life, volunteering, travel, working on an e-magazine and editing a book seem impossible, but I thought I could do it. For a while I did. Problem is, with no breathing room, there’s no room for the unknowns that come up. And they always come up.
What do you do when everything in your life is important? The only thing I didn’t care about is the draining and unhealthy job I was working. Problem is, that’s the one thing needed to survive. Ironic when the only thing that doesn’t mean as much is the downfall of everything that does.
Life is fluid. Things change. I’ve always chased the dollar with the idea that I needed that money to fund everything else. That and I like flashy things. I’ve come to realize that in the big picture, these jobs have just taken me away from what I love most. It’s important to back up and look at life as a whole from time to time. And to reassess what’s important and where those things lie in relation to each other. Our lives change, we change and so does what we want.
It’s not easy for any of us, and it’s natural to veer off course from time to time. What’s important is to try to understand and realize that it’s not time or energy lost, it’s just a natural part of growing. And that it’s important to not stray too far or too long. Words can never encapsulate the feeling when really going for something, but as the Dalai Lama said, “great achievements involve great risks”. We’ve all heard it, but to actually feel it is another story. It’s hard, painful and changes our lives. It’s only in those moments that we really know how important our goals are to us and if the journey has showed us that we are meant to go after something else.

A travel & lifestyle journal about the messy pilgrimage of adventure and personal growth of a Gen Xer.