While I’m Away

Despite the path that culture has taken in recent years on social media, I still find it hard to write something with the expectation that people will enjoy reading it. We have somehow moved  into a world where everyone fears that everything they do won’t be watched and listened to by everyone they know (thanks Facebook and Twitter), and somehow I never really got onboard with that. I’ve never been one to really enjoy posting photos of my food, or to constantly let everyone know what’s going on in my life because quite frankly I know most of you don’t really care about 99% of what’s happening.

Despite my aversion to the idea of letting everyone know what’s going on with me, requests for a bit of information on my life has lead me to this. My upcoming adventures and people’s desires to hear about them have given birth to a blog, something I never actually thought I would participate in. Through this writing, I will attempt to give a bit of information on what’s actually going on in my life, and allow myself to record what’s happening so that I can remember what this drastic change meant for me at the time. Bear with me as I ramble throughout this ridiculous period in my life, because I can almost guarantee that I’ll go at least partially insane by the end of this.

Honestly though, everyone can do with being a little more insane. After all, that’s what led me to my current place in life.

For those of you who aren’t aware, I’ll be moving to New Zealand for a year starting January 10th, 2017 with a friend from college (shout out to Nate Payton). We are going without much of a plan, but knowing that that’s the best way to have an adventure. Is an adventure really an adventure if it’s planned out? Plans remove all the interesting twists and turns that you run across, all the divergent paths that can be taken, and all the opportunities for completely ridiculous decisions. Although yes, there’s a certain amount of planning that must take place such as getting work visas, figuring out flights, etc. Everything that had to be planned out has been done, and now it’s just time to wait and see what happens.

This decision was made solely out of the desire for adventure. After asking a few friends who are a step or two ahead of me in life what they wish they had done in their twenties, quite a few said that they wish they had travelled more. I’m determined not to be one of those people who looked back on life and only see what could have been instead of taking advantage of the situations in which I have found myself.

I currently don’t really know what it is that I want to do with my work life (I have some ideas, but nothing concrete), but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what I want to do with my life. The distinction between the two, work life and simply life, is an important one to make. Since childhood, we are constantly asked what it is we want to be when we grow up. Why is it that nobody asks who someone wants to be when they reach adulthood? Isn’t it enough to say that you desire to be someone who is: adventurous, spontaneous, loving, friendly, accepting, wise, influential, ridiculous, and overall just generally good? When looking at life through this lens, the work life becomes far less important. I do think that one should do what they love as a career, but a career isn’t who you are. Why do we treat the work section of our life as the thing that defines us?

Many people will claim that their career isn’t at the very top of their list of priorities, yet they seem to fill their calendar with work and only then start filling the gaps with the rest of life. I understand the practicality of this, but what would happen if someone decided to reverse that trend? If the person you desired to be took precedence over work, that being what filled in the metaphorical calendar of your life, only then to have the gaps filled in with a career? This move to New Zealand is not, by American standards, the smart thing to do. It pushes back my career (that I haven’t really begun) and probably isn’t the most financially smart decision. I have found however, that by sitting down and thinking of all the reasons not to go only seems to make me realize that all of those are not truly good reasons. Making a shift and drastically changing my situations in life is my attempt to make the switch from the career-based life, to actually living life. This isn’t to say that I won’t pursue a career after I get back, just that I know I must learn to live life as an adventure instead of merely doing what everyone else says I’m supposed to do (i.e. start a career, settle down, white picket fence, etc.).

For those of you who have made it this far, well done and I’m actually a bit surprised that you’re still here. If there’s one piece of my mid-twenties knowledge that I’m trying to impress upon you through this, it is this: Your life must not be defined by how others perceive the world. Notice here that I say “must not”, and not “cannot.” People allow the worldview of others to shape their world all the time, and I find that to be a tragedy. Don’t allow yourself to miss out on an adventure simply because someone else believes it’s not something that should be done.

Taking an adventure is something you’ll never regret. Yes it’s scary, it may be irresponsible, and there may be a thousand fake reasons that you shouldn’t do it. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Learn that new skill you’ve been considering. Take that trip you’ve secretly wanted to for the longest time. Conquer that fear that has paralyzed you for far too long. Whatever it is that you have to do to live, do it. Take the leap into the unknown and realize that it’s just as likely that you’ll hit rocks at the bottom as deep water, but that that’s ok. If you break yourself, you’ll just have to take time to heal before finding another place to jump. Already I’ve heard too many times “I wish I could do that” when I discuss my upcoming trip. My constant advice to them is just to do it. Stop wishing you could make the leap, and just jump already.

So here’s the first of (hopefully) many posts to follow. My next update will be from the other side of the world! Hope you enjoy hearing about my adventures while I’m away.