I love my job. Let me start that way. But I still have stirrings about what the next 10, 20, 30, 50 years will hold. The longer we live, the longer we work. I foresee no plans for an early retirement in my future, and I’m OK with that. I am coming to terms with the fact that my life is a constant state-of-learning-process, and also, a state-of-finding-process. Since middle school, my career dreams have centered around writing and travel. I was fortunate enough to land this current job which puts me in a place where I get to learn about all the amazing things to do in Pennsylvania, and I still am allowed to write about my own travels on my own. It’s a win win!
When I look at pictures of National Parks, State parks, and anything outdoors related, I still feel that yearning. I don’t know if it simply has to do with the part of me that has yet to explore all the National Park Units, as I want to complete on my bucket list, or if it’s something I feel called to do. I think about what I will have to do, fitness wise, to make myself even physically able to get to work in the parks in some capacity, and I wonder if I have the gumption to do what it takes to get there?
I recently filled out 2 applications of which to consider – volunteering in some local State & National Park sites. I don’t know if I really have the time to commit (I probably don’t) but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to submit an application to volunteer and then to see what’s available. I always look at all the options, see what is actually available, and then decide based on instinct of the opportunities that present themselves. I live most of my life on gut feeling, and most times, it has provided some wonderfully interesting explorations.
It is hard to give up time that I have volunteering to causes I believe in, like Sarcoma research, and Widowhood support, but I also know that I am not obligated to these things. I have been a part of them because of my commitment and belief in their worth. I also know myself and my guilt feelings – the feelings that I must be a part of these communities forever because they affected my life so greatly. This is a lie I tell myself. I can come and go as I please, and however little or large I support these causes with my time and energy, it is helpful. And if I take a few years break, or I step away completely, it is also OK. Right? 😉
I know that so much of the time I have dedicated to these things has taken away from pursuing some things I really want to explore in life. I know that guilt eats up way too much of my time, and living doesn’t eat up enough of it. I’m getting totally sidetracked here…but there is a point. I want and need, for many reasons, to step aside from the things I feel obligated and passionate about, to the things that I feel I want to pursue and be passionate about. No guilt. No obligation. You hear that brain?
So what ties does that mean cutting?
What commitments does that mean I have to make?
What do I need to continue to learn to lead to the next step, the next journey?
I completely agree with you that, though I love the present (and idolize the past), I can’t wait to see what the future brings!
Idolize the past…I couldn’t have put it any better myself.