I realize that my last post wasn’t exactly the most encouraging or hopeful thing I’ve ever written. What it was, though, was honest. It was difficult to put myself out there as much as I did, but it was also pretty liberating. I wrote what I felt.
I said in the post that I realize that I’m very blessed to have the experiences I’ve had and to live in the US and, as such, I don’t like that I’m struggling. It was important for me to say that, but I don’t think I properly emphasized how much I dislike my lack of satisfaction. I’m not a wealthy person, but I do come from a place of privilege. I’ve been to places some people will only read about. I’ve seen some of the world’s greatest masterpieces with my own two eyes. I’ve met different people from more countries than I can count off the top of my head. I have a family who supports me and a home to which I can come. I’ve done all of this while healthy and with all limbs attached and functional.
When I consider all of this, it makes me feel like a spoiled child who didn’t get exactly what he wanted for Christmas despite his parents’ numerous gifts. I’m aware that saying all of this so bluntly doesn’t paint me in the best light. It’s possible I’m being too hard on myself. However, a stated goal of this blog is to be honest, and this is more honesty.
Where, then, do I go from here? How do I reconcile my understanding that I ought to be satisfied with the lingering dissatisfaction I feel?
I met with a friend the other night, and in the course of our conversation, he said something I needed to hear. I’m at the point in my life where the choices I make and the way I spend my time will impact the course of my life. This isn’t an entirely new thought, nor is it something I haven’t thought myself in the past, but it was an important reminder.
This brings me to the answer to the questions above. Ultimately, it comes down to making a choice. A choice to live with determination. A choice to set goals and to have the focus to get where I want to be. Sitting around feeling sorry for myself, especially given the numerous blessings I’ve received in my life, is not the way to go. I need to take the lessons there are to learn in this stage of my life and learn them. I’ve learned and grown so much from the time I’ve spent in Europe. However, somewhere along the way, I got this foolish idea in my head that I can only grow while I’m in Europe. This is simply not true. When it comes to growth, we’re either going forward or backward, and being stagnant is most definitely going backward. This is true for me, and, reader, it’s true for you, too.
One of the other things I wrote in ‘Back at Home’ is that I felt like I failed in my pursuits because I went with the idea that I was going to live in Europe and teach English, only to come back after three months. I got a lot of responses, and several people reached out to me, sharing many reassuring sentiments. I want to thank every person who responded in one way or another. Your words mean more than I could ever say. They really helped to put things into perspective for me, which was exactly what I needed. It’s so easy to get discouraged and/or frustrated when things don’t go the way we want or expect. Frankly, though, it’s a common occurrence for things in life not to go exactly the way we want. Accepting this reality and adapting to it often leads to growth. It might be painful, but much of the time that’s how growth happens.
I mentioned in ‘Back at Home’ that I have the feeling that I’m running on a treadmill. I still feel like this, but I only saw it from one side. Yes, I’m inside when I want to be outside, but I’m still running. I’m still active. Maybe the scenery isn’t exactly what I want to be seeing at this moment, but there are still things to see.
A piece of advice often given to business marketing bloggers is to finish a blog post with a call to action. In my case, I suppose the proper way to end is with a call to action for myself. It’s a call to choose to find joy and to grow where I am. It’s a call to find satisfaction regardless of my surroundings.
My hope is that you, reader, in your own life, no matter your circumstances, will do the same. Blessings and peace.