Year off, year on.
I’ve decided that I am not going to stress out about finding a new adventure to take me away after this year.
I one hundred percent want to travel abroad again, I want to live everywhere in the world with all the people.
But I think I’m learning the type of adventurer I am. Which is a 50/50 one.
I was in the bar last night, talking to CJ.
CHINA OR CHICAGO.
And Colin was like, that’s so crazy they both begin with CHI.
And I’ve decided that I’m moving to Chicago next year. Or wherever I happen to decide. Somewhere relatively close to family, but also a new environment. I think it would be fun and easy to live with Ben if he’s still there. Maybe I could just sleep on his couch and not even pay rent??!
No, I’ll pay rent. I really just want to have a normal life for a year after all of this. Not that I don’t want spices of adventure in my life the next year, but I want the ratio switched.
So every other year, I will do something like this year. Where I just fly across the world and do something that completely stretched my boundaries, but at the same time is the only thing that I could possibly do.
Both times I’ve flown far away from home- I’ve felt like I didn’t really have a choice. It was something I had to do. And I’m sure I’ll feel that way again in a year or so– but it’s not the time right now.
Besides, I’m so busy with this life here, I have no time to research new adventures.
During my adventure years, I focus on finding myself. On my relaxation and self years- I focus on finding the adventure in the everyday.
Love those opposites- matching pieces.
I really want to have a year where I can eat whatever I want, wear whatever I want, and do whatever I want.
I want that freedom, craving that freedom.
My life is so mapped out right now– feel like I’m always walking on eggshells. There are so many rules, so many things I have to do.
I want to be able to fix organic Mediterranean food every night. Have wonderful music blasting on speakers. Be out in a city all day- cafes and people and thought in chaos, and in my room with my tapestry and soothing colors reading a book alone after the sun goes down.
I want to write like no one is reading.
I know what I want.
But I want this more, right now. This is where I need to be, and so I am giving up some of the things I love about life, for the tradeoff of this experience. Which is going to make me a new person, just as everyday experiences do.
But the key is pushing, pushing, pushing myself really hard. And finding that beautiful alone time to unpack it, and realize what I’m really thinking under all the learning.
And then to take a year off afterward to schedule myself in a way that is soothing to me, and productive for me to get my mind straight. Figure out more the way I want to think about things, my mindset is my magic.
My mindset is my magic. And my magic is getting neglected because I’ve been interested to see what everyone else’s magic around me is.
And I this writing might not make sense to the readers, but it’s something I want to write for me. And hopefully I can get better at expressing it.
50/50. On year, off year. During adventure years– focus on the internal. During internal years– focus on saying yes to adventure.
Did I tell you I got the job offer for Beijing, though? Let me map out what I’ve done, and what I want to do. As the future’s been on my mind a lot lately, I feel like it’s important for me to give credit to my past accomplishments as well.
2011- England and Europe
2012- Coop and Graduation from College
2013- Cafe, social work life and love
2014- Team travel program
2015- Chicago and recharge. Volunteer full time all over city with organizations that inspire me. And get a cafe job on the side. Work toward job with volunteer organizations.
2016- Then I can go do something crazy again. After I’ve recharged, and written my heart out alone in a coffee shop in a big city for a year. I will go abroad for a year. I have a list of ways I can make that happen with a job– but I know that a year off will lead me to the one that I will have no choice but to choose. Say yes to.
But that’s a year and a half away. And right now I have this all to live and love and write. And I don’t ever know where to start. Because it’s such a strenuous project for me. For all of us. It’s like a ghost town when we come back to campus– teams are getting smaller and smaller. This program is not for the uncommitted.
I tried out our tent the other night. They are 3 person tents– and literally just have room for three people to sleep in, Sardine style. Can you believe this is going to be my room starting on Tuesday? I have no idea who my tentmate(s) will be– we’re in the process of figuring that out. Probably Jess and I, which will be nice. Have lantern reading nights right next to each other in our sleeping bags after the sun goes down.
No campfire songs for me, I’m going into this project with a new respect for my need to put a bit of distance between myself and others.
But yeah. Distracted. And then summer of 2016 I’ll do something else, then take a year off after that, etc.
And I’ll keep writing my book through it all, and gaining social work volunteer experiences wherever I’m at.
And then by 2021, I’ll be heading to graduate school for a masters in Social Work with International focus, and study abroad experiences where I will volunteer overseas instead of just learn how the locals party.
Really set on this plan, and feel good about it.
Talked to a woman who did this program 15 years ago, and she went to grad school when she was 30 for a similar degree. And she worked abroad, and was in and out of her parents house for the whole of her 20s. Talked to a few women recently about their “terrible twenties” actually. And they did it all, and got lost in it all, and would talk two steps forward, three steps back, but in the end it doesn’t matter what ladders you’ve climbed– it’s about how much experience you have, and what attitude you develop with them for them and from them.
Stream of Consciousness.
We had our job fair day, and the keynote speaker was pretty much me at 54. And it’s crazy to think that she’s got 30 years of doing the same shit that I’m doing now– what that looks like in 30 years– how it changes you but you still stay the same!
She announced to our entire program that she has always felt that pressure to “choose a mission” and a life’s work and stick with it, but she has just always felt a rush by getting into new situations, and learning about new people and issues and places. And she didn’t settle. She followed her passion. And at 54- she still doesn’t have a single issue that she can claim as “hers,” but she is always there for the next opportunity. She’s always working on something, flying around the world, and staying at home.
So I guess it’s nice to realize that it’s not something you need to “grow out of,” it’s just who some of us are. And it’s agonizing to be that way in our specialized society where it seems like everyone has their niche, but she’s saying that you can make your own. And she did. And that’s awesome.
Create your life, don’t just live it. Active, not passive.
That’s what I needed to remember this morning. And I just remembered it.