Warning! This is a personal post. It will not include any lists or destination recommendations. It will give you a raw and candid look at my personal journey. Welcome.
I’m an extremist. For better or for worse, there’s very little grey area with me and over the years (and UPS and DOWNS), I’ve come to learn that it’s simply part of who I am.
For the most part, I’ve embraced it.
This leads me to do incredible things — like follow my dreams to the edges of earth and build little companies and help others build theirs and love with abandon and keep up with friends from all walks of life and dance until dawn and still kick ass at my work the next day (actually I think that makes me more productive), and less incredible things — like never really be fully satisfied with anything and completely shut down and fall in a hole when I get too overwhelmed because of all the things I agreed to do because I truly really do just want to do all of the things.
It seems that I’m either successfully zooming 100 miles an hour in 10 directions or standing at a left turn down a one-way street unsure of where to go.
The struggle is real.
But, I just turned 26 so that’s all perfectly OK because I’m still growing and learning and now is the time to make mistakes and I have my whole life ahead of me and yada yada yada, right?
Until it’s not.
Deciding to pursue a life of travel was the scariest and most rewarding decision I ever made; the insecurity, freedom and autonomy of it all drives me more than anything has before.
While I was still in my sales job, I picked up a book “Where Will You Be in 5 Years” that helped me define my goals.
In the very beginning, it prompts your thoughts to define your life’s Mission Statement. With full confidence, in pen, I wrote:
“To inspire, motivate and help others live their fullest lives.”
I was stuck between desire and perceived expectation. I wanted to get unstuck, and then do something to help other people get unstuck too.
Having you guys tell me along the “currently exploring” journey that I’ve inspired you, through emails, letters, comments and in person, is the most rewarding set of words I could ever hear. It tells me that my actions, and this path, are in direct alignment with fulfilling my life’s mission. And in the grand scheme of the universe, what could ever be better than that?!
But, I still need to find the balance in it all.
Of course, the inspiring, motivating, pretty part of this journey — is when I’m traveling!
When I’m out there exploring the world and connecting the dots and diving head first into locals and learning what’s beautiful and great in life and what desperately needs help and slowly picking up bits of understanding to help me piece together answers to those questions. Curating pieces to add to the shop (did you notice that new tab up top?! Coming Soon!), sharing stories, helping other brands grow along the way.
That’s what I want to be doing.
The less inspiring part, is when I’m eyeballs deep in unanswered emails, behind on posts, frozen in too-long to-do lists created by a new set of perceived expectations, and weighing out whether or not it makes sense to stay put and pay my rent in San Francisco this month — because this sure doesn’t pay like sales did. Double-edged reality of being based here: it’s usually more economical to be on the road.
And that’s the part I’m still figuring out — the need.
Finding the balance between creating and producing, freelancing and traveling, saying “yes” to opportunities and being realistic about the time I have available to pursue them. Myself and the relationships I choose to have around me.
Creating time for stillness.
Slowing down my mind.
Balance, I think, will be my life’s greatest lesson.
I’m still learning it.
Photo by Antonio Venegas.