In a word, 2015 was…hard. Really, really hard. I felt like everything was against us and nothing was as easy as it seemingly should have been.
I felt trapped. In reality I know that you are never really trapped. But the choices we made were the best of a crapy lot. So I resented that our circumstances didn’t allow us the option of making a better, or easier, choice.
At the end of January I will of been in my job for one year. A job that I felt tricked me and then trapped me. Although it was definitely needed, without it we couldn’t of stayed in Vancouver for this long after all, it didn’t turn out to be what I thought it would be. It caused me more anxiety, stress and overwhelm than I had ever come up against before and all of this was in return for a serious pay cut and no decrease to our cost of living. This job and our wider circumstances made me feel completely inadequate and lost, like I had no idea how I had gotten myself into this mess, and worse, that I had no idea how to get myself out of it. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing with my life because we couldn’t afford to live how we usually do when we move abroad.
I immediately and repeatedly tried to fix things or change things but I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, hell I didn’t even know if I liked something or not, let alone if that was what I wanted to DO.
Skip forward to now. Its been difficult but I have slowly continued to try and help myself, dedicating time to reading things that inspire me, and realizing that the dream or ideal thing you think you want, might not be what you really want. You might actually only want the end product, not the lead up to it. I’m slowly learning to get in touch with the reality of finding what I enjoy, what I like, and what I want to do.
When we started this blog the aim, the dream really, was to become location independent. To build a blog or a business that would generate enough money to allow us to travel full time. I still absolutely love the idea of this, it sounds so care free and exotic, but I have realized that I’m in love with the end product, not the hours, months and years of working towards something that may not bring in any money at all.
Instead, I’ve realized, I like having the ability to go to a dedicated location and get paid to do things that contribute to a larger something that I (ideally) get some form of reward or warm fuzzy feeling out of; and then to be able to walk out the door at my allotted time and leave it all behind me until tomorrow. To be able to dance between ideas and projects in the time that I am not at that location, knowing that I still have a paycheque coming my way no matter how I spend this private time.
And that’s ok.
Maybe what actually suits us is having a steady income and taking as many small trips as possible each year. After all, this is what we have been doing for the last five years. It doesn’t sound as glamorous as ‘location independent’ or ‘digital nomad’, but it’s no less worthy of being a ‘dream’ way to live your life.
Being a person who frequently picks up and moves half-way around the world means that I ’m very practical. I don’t have stuff. You know those pictures of sterile apartments that people say have no soul? That’s my kind of apartment. I don’t have pictures of friends and family on my walls or my desk. I don’t have trinkets out on shelves and tables because I hate dust (it’s not that I hate to dust, I actually just hate dust). If every surface in my house had nothing on it so I could wipe it clean without having to move anything, it would be a dream for me. What I’m trying to say is that we don’t spend time and money on things that don’t lead to us experiencing life through travel in some way shape or form.
But during all this searching for what I truly want I’ve realized I need to try and balance this practical/sterile side of myself with getting in touch with my creativity. Creativity is not practical, it’s not clean and orderly, in other words, it’s not me. But I have it within me, I always have, and I need to start honouring that. I need to forget about the fact that I’m spending money on something that will ultimately go in the bin, and let go of the guilt that I could be spending it on travel instead. I need to start realizing that if I don’t nurture some of the things that allow me to find a bit of freedom and flow in my everyday life, then the space in between the times we can afford to travel will be empty and intolerable.
When things are going bad it’s even more important to indulge in a few things that bring flow and feeling into your life, no matter how impractical it seems. It’s also very important to stop the guilt, shame or embarrassment you experience for wanting to express yourself in whatever impractical way lights up your heart. It’s not frivolous to invest in and care for yourself after all, and shame and creativity cannot live in the same place.
Shame, guilt and embarrassment kill creativity.
So this is what I’m welcoming in 2016.
- I want to continue to read the beautiful, inspirational resources and workbooks that I have found on several blogs (E.g., thisislifeblood.com, healthyyouhappyme.com) and I want to continue to try and get in touch with my true creative and curious self.
- I want to work past this block inside of me that makes me feel like creativity is a luxury and something that everyone grows out of when they enter ’the real world’.
- I want to write and create what I want to write and create, when I want to write and create it, and stop thinking that there is a magic formula out there that I can replicate.
- I want to express my creativity and femininity in ways that feel honest to my inner self, and not be embarrassed because it is so completely impractical. And;
- I want to experience that feeling of looking around, taking a deep breath, and feeling your heart swell, whenever I possibly can.
Hopefully, if I can manage to spend time with myself and listen to my instincts (I know they are in there somewhere below all the chattering in my mind) 2016 will allow me to move this block I can feel around my chest making me claustrophobic, and allow me to get in touch with myself, to enjoy all of the truly wonderful things I have in my life and to feel free whether I’m on the road or not.
Oh and that job I mentioned; I found a new one and I start next month. Here’s to new beginnings.
What about you, what are you welcoming into your life in 2016?