Searching for my "happy path"...
Anddddd just like that my time in Colombia has nearly come to a close... and what an adventure it has been! With 2018 being one of the most intense years of my life, I decided to come to Colombia for several reasons, though with one main intention: to RESET. Knowing that traveling has always been the best medicine for me, I had hoped that by coming to Colombia and putting my New York life “on hold” for a few weeks I would get some much needed perspective and clarity - something that almost always comes from living and traveling in a new place without the comforts and luxuries (and stress!) of my everyday life. Between my daily practice of conscious-stream-of-thinking journaling (at LEAST 3 pages every single day), 20+ hours a week of intensive Spanish classes, and daily allotted quality alone time to read, write, think and listen to music - it has been SO refreshing (and necessary) to finally grant myself the mental and creative space and energy to truly think about the things that matter most to me.
As much as I’ve always prided myself for doing my “own thing,” following my own career goals/path, and never settling for anything less than great, when I got to a point last year where I was simultaneously running out of money AND nearly all my creative and professional inspiration and motivation - to say I got to a pretty dark place would be a massive understatement. With the financial burden of simply living day-to-day in New York without having a steady job/income, on top of trying to keep up with the lifestyle of my very successful software engineering friends, I began to crack - and at a rate faster than I could get ahold of. Though, realistically, I’ve never imagined myself with a traditional career/lifestyle, when I realized I no longer wanted to go in the direction that I had started (social media marketing) and that I now had NO idea what I wanted to do - I started putting IMMENSE pressure on myself to find that PERFECT career. After all, I was surrounded by so many amazing, smart, creative, successful individuals who seemed to have it all figured out. Therefore I must have it all figured out too, right? But there I was, struggling to pay rent, feeling more lost and ashamed then ever before.
As much as I knew it was probably time to just “buckle down” and get a “real” job, I could NOT get myself to do it. Was I just being stubborn? Unrealistic? Naive? Irresponsible? Immature? One of these days I’d need to just “grow up,” right? What was WRONG with me? Why couldn’t I just suck it up like everyone else? Why hadn’t I created my own successful businesses by now? Was I just a failure? Was I not smart enough? Creative enough? Driven enough? Maybe I was just incompetent and would end up waitressing my whole life (which, btw, is OK if that’s what you want to do!). This was the internal dialogue I had with myself every day. And it was just a matter of time before I believed these things wholeheartedly.
So I came to Colombia thinking (and hoping) that maybe I’d come to my senses and figure out my perfect job and next steps moving forward. And while I can say I have most definitely NOT figured out my perfect career (is there actually such a thing as a perfect career anyway?) I have gotten much clarity on my next steps moving forward: being HAPPY! So, yeah, maybe I won’t ever have a “perfect” career that pays a shit ton of money, at least in the traditional sense, and maybe I won’t ever climb the “ladder,” or have a set salary of $200K. But if I can continue to build a lifestyle that suits ME (whatever that may be) and give myself the freedom and flexibility to think about and do the things that I love, THEN I’ll be successful. Because if I can find a way to travel more than one week out of the year, meet cool people every day, NOT sit at a desk from 9-5 and actually look forward to waking up (even if it is just serving vegan crepes for now) then that is success to me. And, sure, I’ll have to sacrifice some things and be better about saying no and setting my priorities, but to live a life that’s aligned with who I actually am and what I actually believe in - that’s the true goal. Because, guess what? That’s a hell of a lot more important to me than anything else. And the happier I am, the more inspired and creative I feel - allowing me to come up with real solutions, actionable steps and potential businesses to actually help the world (the NEXT truest goal ).
So yeah, I guess what I’m trying to say is NEVER underestimate the power of travel medicine, introspection, intuition and your own personal alignment (which, of course, is always changing and evolving). While, yes, we need to make money and pay for certain necessities, our happiness and well-being should always be our first priority. And if that means not having a “real” job or living in the nicest, coolest apartment or being able to say yes to absolutely everything - then so be it.
Let the journey of life continue :)