About a year after I lost Kevin I signed myself up for every opportunity possible in the hopes that my life’s dreams would align and I would be presented with the perfect situation. It wasn’t a bad plan and it sent me on a ton of adventures. I queried and received various travel writing gigs, signed up and won numerous contests and began to write controversial blogs related to my widowhood. While doing so, I sent myself back to school to finally finish a degree that I had been working on and off for 8 years. I figured that one of these opportunities was going to land me at the my dream destination – a place where I would feel satisfied in my career, I would empower and inspire my peers, and I would become somebody.
Five years has given me enough perspective to look over my choices and to realize what was most important to me: being near my family and loved ones, finding a way to give back in time and money to the organizations I believed in, and to pursue something related to my dream that would bring me a stable income. Reality is here and I see that the many different directions I took led me to my life today, to a quite content life without a ton of “what ifs” and excitement. It feels weird.
I’ve lived nearly all my adult life in some sort of chaos. I was definitely a girl who could create drama in her teen years and I have always had a great way of making a mountain out of molehill. I like things to be bigger than they really area. I’m a dreamer. I’m relentless and passionate about pursuing my dreams and have no shame in asking for help from the people whom I believe can help me get there. All of these things led me to the choices I have made my entire adult life:
- switching schools/states/majors halfway through my freshman year of college
- dropping out of school to work for a company I believed in
- falling in love with a man who was thousands of miles away in another country
- moving to Montana to live in the place that called my heart
- facing U.S. immigration scrutiny to marry the man I loved
- leaving a stable job to care for that very man when he fell ill
- moving back out on my own after he died even though I was broke
- buying things I thought I needed to fill the gap of my late husband
- chasing every travel writing opportunity I could
- writing a book
- traveling to great places while maxing out credit cards
- putting myself back into college a 4th time to finally graduate
- putting all of my heartache on my blog
- letting myself fall in love again despite all the risks
And then…a little bit of stability. Graduating college. Settling into a career instead of a job. Marrying the man I fell in love with knowing I could lose him. Finishing the book I had been working on for years. Paying off my debt a little bit at a time. Life has become a little beautiful and boring (I always equate boring with stable – I need to look into that) and I see myself wanting to create a little bit of chaos in my life to keep it exciting. I spoke with one of my best friends about this need I have to change things when they get quiet like this and I couldn’t figure out why. And then it dawned on me. It’s because this is what I have always done. For my entire adult life I’ve been on the hunt.
I’d like to find some peace in stability instead of seeing it as boring. I would love to accept that there can be a great amount of joy in remaining the same but everything I’ve done and seen the past decade has taught me that there is a lot of complacency in remaining the same and if I’m becoming honest I find complacency to be a really ugly and lazy attribute. Maybe I’m defining it incorrectly or looking at it the wrong angle
When I see problems, unhappiness, people who just kind of gave up and settled in, I see failure. The unfortunate thing is that I see it every single day; people who gave up on striving for their dreams because it probably seemed like the easiest thing to do and to me, they seem like pretty miserable people. That’s not to say they’re not nice, most of them have a great heart, but they’re unhappy. I see these safe, reliable choices all around me but I don’t see a lot of passion and joy in people who are doing “mundane” things. Life doesn’t always have to be an exciting adventure but it does need to fulfill you whether you are choosing to stay where you are or you seek out on something new, there needs to be a reason to be in that place right now. There should be something driving you to make that experience the best for you and your family, and your heart and soul should align with that. It should. It rarely does, but I honestly believe it should.