Learning to Love it…Again

I have a habit of romanticizing things. I will idealize just about everything I can, which almost always leads to disappointment or burnout.

I romanticized airports as soon as I had the opportunity to do so. The first time I flew I was too young to have any memories of it, but the airport quickly became my second home. I loved every trip, but I loved the journey there more. The hustle and bustle and business of the airport drew me in.

A lot of it goes back to the blog I wrote about being busy. I have always wanted the life of a business woman who was jumping from city to city with new clients and meetings. I wanted to be jet-setting like that.

I’ve traveled more in the past twelve months than ever before in my life. Between moving to Montreal, being in a long distance relationship, working remotely, and going to conferences, flying became an every-other-week occurrence. I’m sure you can imagine how easily it lost it’s glamour.

Despite this, I am making my best effort to learn how to love flying again. It used to be very easy for me to be happy in an airport, but now I find that I have to make an active effort to find happiness in traveling. It takes more work, but it’s worth it to remind myself of how grateful traveling used to make me feel.


Smell the Roses

I went hiking again today and noticed that I was checking my watch a lot. I love to track my time and see how I’m progressing in my strength and stamina, but this level of tracking was excessive. I started to become more concerned with how quickly I was getting through the loop and stopped observing the world around me.

As I got close to the end, I almost missed a doe running up the trail. Her and I both stopped and watched each other for a moment. My dog stood beside me instead of running at her like he usually would have. The whole moment felt frozen and mystically beautiful, like something out of a Lord of the Rings movie. I thought about how I had been checking my watch right before I saw her and wondered if I missed her do something spectacular.

Deer aren’t special creatures in my mind, they’re actually kind of a pest. For being a pest though, they’re hard to catch a good glimpse of, especially up close. I find myself still wondering what else I may have missed while worrying about how fast I had made it through the trail.

There is a time and place to track your progress. There is also a time and place to stop and observe the world around you. I’ve always enjoyed seeing my progress, so I always hated it when people would tell me “stop and smell the roses.” As much as I hate to admit it, progress doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t supplement your happiness. Roses die, does run off, life continues on regardless of your observation. You have to appreciate the moments when you have the ability to catch it. Smell your roses today, for they could be wilted and grey tomorrow.


A Big Step

I submitted an application today. In fact, I sent it in about two minutes ago. I have visited the webpage for this application dozens of times since learning about the program behind it, and I had always come very close to clicking the “submit” button, but never did it.

Today, I couldn’t sleep, I was sick all morning, and I woke up feeling anxious and fidgety. I tried everything I usually try when this happens: eat something, drink some coffee, meditate, take a shower, splash some cold water on your face, do more suggested methods of anxiety reduction until you finally realize that this horrible feeling isn’t going anywhere because it’s being caused by something more specific: the sense of loss. The feeling of self-destruction, the feeling of dishonesty within yourself.

I opened the page. I didn’t think, I just filled out the short form. I wrote a brief paragraph about why I was interested in the program and I tried not to edit it too much. I wanted it to be the true reason, not the reason that I wanted people to hear. If I was going to apply to this program with the idea of “being honest with myself,” then I was going to start being honest with everyone.

There are very few people in my life I would say I am honest with. In fact, I would say there is really only one. This is not for lack of trying. I have made an effort to be truthful with people close to me about my doubts, my aspirations, my curiosity about my options, but they usually are not interested in hearing about alternatives. They want to see me on a secure path, which I can appreciate as them being caring, but it can be hard to feel pressured into a safe situation that bores me to death.

Here is the honest truth: there is a path I chose to take that I began to doubt before I even started it. My research, my experience, and my logic told me that this path could benefit me, but it may not push me to the best that I could be. That thought devastated me. I knew then that I would struggle with the balance between security and prosperity for a significant part of my life. I begged for counsel from those closest to me, and only found concern for my financial well-being, not my happiness. I saw that I was the only person who could honestly see what happiness meant to me and what I would need to do to achieve it.

So I hit the submit button at 9:27am on July 20th, 2018. The morning I took the first step towards my happiness, even if it meant a step away from security. Being secure, being financially stable won’t mean anything without a fulfilling life. I know I won’t feel fulfilled if I lie to myself and refuse to even entertain alternatives because those around me see them as “radical” and “on the bleeding edge.” They don’t understand that that’s exactly where I want to be.