It’s been over a week since I’ve gotten to sit down and write a post for my personal blog, and it’s been an interesting one. I feel like a lot has happened, which is funny because most of my days have only consisted of sitting at my desk, writing, researching, and occasionally talking to my dog. Needless to say, the only major developments have been internal.
I was always pretty Type A in school, and I got a real high from working hard and having it pay off academically. Outside of the classroom, though, I didn’t care that much about working on myself. That’s drastically changed over the past two years, and I’m extremely proud of how hard I’ve worked to become a woman I can be proud of. I’ve spent months upon months forming a healthy relationship with myself, and it’s honestly thrilling. Over the past week, though, I’ve really been smacked in the face with a flaw I still struggle with constantly.
This past Friday, I had a third-round interview for an opportunity I’d discovered and gotten really excited about. Basically, it would entail spending 12 months living and working (remotely) in 12 different cities – cities like Prague, London, Chiang Mai, Belgrade, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lampur, and more. I’ve had an insatiable travel bug, or wanderlust, for at least a year now. I found out on Monday morning that I was accepted and could take off for the year in January 2017.
Crazy, right? I moved into my dream apartment in California less than two months ago, adopted a dog that I’m obsessed with, and started building a life here with the love of my life. But the idea of traveling the world as a “digital nomad” just seemed so enticing… and crazy.. and life-changing… I get a rush of adrenaline just thinking about it.
My boyfriend was, understandably, hesitant. He knows better than anyone how badly I want to travel, but at the same time, we would have to break our lease and I’d be making him a single dog-dad in a city we moved to together. When I was honest with myself, I realized I would be furious if I were him. After a long conversation with Jeremy, my mother, and my best friend Sloan, I realized that this opportunity was just not for me. As soon as I officially decided to reject the offer, I felt an odd wave of relief. Why was I happy to decline an opportunity I had felt incredibly excited about a week prior?
That’s when I realized that it wasn’t the reality of the opportunity that enticed me, but rather the idea of it. I wanted to spend a year traveling the world because it was scary and different than what most others are doing. I’m embarrassed to even write this and put it out into the universe, but I was attracted to the idea of living an enviable Eat, Pray, Love life for a year, with constantly changing scenery and unlimited writing material. Are those the right reasons to go? Probably not.
This realization got me thinking about how much I struggle with restlessness. It seems like as soon as I get too comfortable someplace, I get a strange desire to shake it up, make new plans, and seek out some excitement. A while ago, after planning out our upcoming weekend with Jeremy, I added, “Sorry, I just always need something to look forward to.” He laughed and said, “Oh trust me, I know that.” Is that a bad thing? Lately, I’ve realized YES, because it’s constantly taking me away from the here & now.
It’s almost like my newfound personal autonomy has made me want to live life in warp speed. Oh, I’m actually able to lose weight? I’m going to become a vegan distance runner right now. I fell in love? Well, when should we get engaged/married/start having babies? I can work from home and support myself writing? I’m going to support myself writing in Southeast Asia for a year. Calm. Down. Caroline.
Right now, I am going to work on taking a deep breath and enjoying exactly who I am and where I am at this exact second. I am going to savor every day, finding the excitement and fulfillment I crave in my own life I’m building here, with my supportive boyfriend and hilarious dog. I don’t need to take off to travel the world the second I feel restless, and I don’t need to plan out my life six months from now to feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I can be excited for the wonderful things I have coming up without overlooking the wonderful things I have here, right now.
So… that’s my ramble for the week. I almost concluded this blog post by saying I’m excited to see how my future unfolds when I focus on living in this new way… but instead I’m going to say I’m excited to see how today unfolds.