As the year comes to a close and we transition into 2012, I feel a massive wave of appreciation for how incredible this year has been. One year ago I was making my way around Great Britain, searching for new adventures, with not a clue as to where I was going or where I wanted to be. I was still totally immersed in a vagabond life style, embracing good times but quite confused about my purpose and the future. When I reemerged in Spain to be an English teacher, I faced hefty challenges, but fell absolutely in love with the country that I chose on a whim. Spain became an essential part of me and the bonds created with the amazing people that entered my life remain unbreakable. In one short year I embraced a new home, learned a second language, and grew into myself in ways I never thought possible.
Now as I sit here in limbo, awaiting a return to my beloved Spain, but knowing it will only be a brief stay, I ponder what's next for this upcoming year. The future seemed much more daunting one year ago, but today I am at complete peace with it, confident that each small step I am taking is leading me down a road to happiness. It's hard to imagine what life would be like right now had I not made dramatic changes and taken risky steps. Even yesterday a friend challenged me about what point there was in moving around and spending precious time and money on living in other countries. My simple answer was that it is my passion and it makes me feel incredible. Maybe to some it is not a logical or worthy way to spend my resources, but to me I have experienced such contentment from the time I've spent exploring that there is no dollar amount that could be placed on it.
Many New Years resolutions are made based on things people want to change or improve in their lives like their health, their weight, their relationships... but this year mine is a little different. I resolve to merely continue on the path I am on now and not be wavered by outside influences that aren't in sync with what I know in my heart will bring me happiness. So far it hasn't done me wrong and for the first time I feel satisfied with what I have already. I look forward to new experiences and a good career and more great people to enter into the picture, but right now, even if I am "just a waitress" and not living in an exotic destination, I feel so liberated and grateful. Thank you to everyone that supported me and came into my life in 2011. I look forward to seeing how the next year unfolds and embracing every moment of it.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
How can a travel blog continue on when traveling has temporarily ceased? While I wish I could say I've been dazzled by the secret wonders of Raleigh, North Carolina, rediscovering the beauty of the city in which I was raised, I do not have this feeling in the slightest. Begrudgingly, I've plugged myself back into the service industry, filling my hours with restaurant work day and night, because let's face it, money is a necessary evil. In the mean time I've been trying to embrace the free time I am allotted to take the focus away from the external world and become more inwardly "present". What I am beginning to very slowly understand is that life can be quite beautiful regardless of the life situation (that is the location, job, social life, etc.). With the help of some insightful reading and occasional mind expanding chats, I've been able to be more inwardly focused and see each moment for what it is, embracing the tiny pleasures of living in the "now". It was much easier to find myself in this state of mind as I explored new lands and absorbed myself into Spanish culture; but even now, as I take a short, midday break from serving tables and sit in this nearby cafe, I feel that same reminiscent feeling of tranquility and peace of mind. Sometimes when I reminisce on the past or look on to the future, I begin to feel deprived and a sensation of being in a suburban prison weighs down on me. Therefore, keeping my mind steady and realizing that this inner calm and happiness is always accessible is absolutely essential. I'll be back on the on the road soon enough, but in the mean time I'm pleasantly surprised with all that I've learned from this limbo period. I won't discount my passion for travel, but being sucked out of that dream and into a very different reality has it's own awakening benefits that are revealing themselves in the strangest ways...