"Our life is what our thoughts make it."
I read that somewhere and it resonated with me. A week or two later a colleague shared an article regarding research about human thoughts. Did you know that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day? Of those, 80% are negative thoughts, and 95% are exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before. Isn’t that insane? I don’t doubt it, because I’ve repeated the same conversations in my head, and I’ve had the same thoughts over and over again about certain people or situations. One example, is my grandmother; at age 88, she is riddled with regret — a fate that terrifies me.
I want to do things that make me feel alive versus simply living. I don’t want to be full of regret. I’ve been struggling with myself — over-analyzing my passions, worries, expectations, and disappointments.
Three months ago, on my 34th birthday, I visited Tulum. I would wake up to waves crashing, practice yoga on the beach, and dine in boho- chic restaurants. Everywhere I looked was telling me to stay. I was a tad bit depressed when I returned, which is typical after most trips. When I go on an adventure, I know magic will happen. When I come home, I know routine will soon follow. But this time felt different.
I’m even more tired of the routine. Tired of being busy. Too many of us talk about being busy as if it’s a badge of honor. We are so busy working and showing up for others, that we rarely show up for ourselves. We are busy until we are sick. We are busy until the weeks, months, or even years go by, and then we question — what have we done for ourselves?
It’s not a matter of being selfish. It’s a matter of “living our best life” so we don’t wake up when we are 80 years old, like my grandma, and feel unfilled — Have we lived a meaningful life? Have we been kind? Have we fostered relationships? Have we helped others? Have we explored the world, and seen the different landscapes?
For 6 years, I devoted my time, my energy, myself, to a company that showed little support when I needed it the most. It became wildly apparent that we are all replaceable in the workplace. We work for companies and sacrifice our time, energy, trips, holidays, and birthdays — for what? For a pay check, and for a position on our resume. But, at the end of the day, we won’t be remembered for how hard we worked. We will be remembered by the relationships we had with our families, and friends.
I understand that we need to make a living, I’m no different, but it’s just getting to me these days, and I’m trying to figure out what I need to do, to feel more inspired, and less stuck, in a routine of business.
I picked up Jedidiah Jenkin’s book, To Shake the Sleeping Self and he so eloquently said, “If discontent is your disease, travel is medicine.” Travel helps me re-group, it requires new learning, and makes me see outside of myself, and inside of myself, too. Experiences become a part of our identity. “Travel has a way of shaking the brain awake.” Jedidiah made me think of my age, my work, my goals, and repetitive thoughts — what do they all mean? Am I on the path that I want to be on? Am I making the right decisions?
“Is it possible to live a life without regret? Can travel ‘wake us up’ to life back home?”
Jedidiah lit a little fire inside of me. So, you can imagine how my heart exploded when I met him! I randomly saw Jedidiah at a concert a week ago and became a total fangirl with zero shame. He did what I’ve been wanting to do. He quit a comfortable job to travel for a year. He didn’t do it to run away or mask any problems, he did it to feel alive, and shake himself awake. If only I had the courage.
I’ve been fortunate to travel for a month’s time, actually 40 days was my longest adventure, but what about 3 months? 6 months? A year? I’d like to see certain parts of the world before I have a kid, before I feel like it’s too late. But is it too late already? Am I too old? I’d be an idiot to leave my job, right?
But what if I’m 80 years old, and I regret not taking that one big adventure? Maybe we are exactly where we need to be, despite circumstance, and despite regret.
I’ve been pretty caught up on where I should be, who I should be, and by what age, etc. So much, that I’ve been losing focus of the now. It’s great to have goals and dreams, but sometimes the end result is all we focus on, and it takes away from the journey. We put so much pressure on the end goal –- when I get that job, I’ll be fulfilled. When I get in that relationship, I’ll be happy.
There isn’t some grand revelation at the end of this post. I’m just rambling. Trying to figure it all out. I’m trying to live in the now, by spending time with the people who matter, and by planning my next adventure that will feed the soul. Because if not now, then when?
Why wonder when we can wander?