Some days I find myself thinking, “This is the most amazing experience ever! I am so glad we decided to do this trip.” Sun on my face, surrounded by gorgeous mountains all around, the affirming thoughts come so naturally. I stand tall, smile, and laugh. I feel proud and confident about what we are doing and the purpose behind it.
Then there are the days I almost drown myself in asking, “What are we doing? What did we get ourselves into? Are we crazy?” The bank account gradually dwindles and questions of doubt come flooding in during moments of frustration and what seems like failure. Plans don’t go as anticipated, we spend more money than expected, clothes rip and get another hole, “hangry” strikes on the bus, and we haven’t slept in a real bed in months. “Why are we doing this again?” I ask myself, “Isn’t this supposed to be fun?”
Aside from my own rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions, people like to give their own opinions as well. Most of our family and friends support what we are doing, or at least haven’t voiced their concerns to us. Some are excited for us, some envious or jealous; they might admire us for the “guts” we have to do something like this, or cheer us on from the sidelines as we run this crazy, unconventional race.
Yet there are a number of people we’ve conversed with in the past few months that believe we are foolish. “I would never do that,” they say, “It’s not smart.” In some cases they use our story as a means to feel better about their current life circumstances: “Well at least I’m not wasting my time and money like that.” Or they try to tell us how two married adults “should” live their lives.
I wish I could say that these negative comments or unsupportive opinions didn’t bother me at times, but they do.
I wish I could say that I’m consistently confident in our choices, but I cannot.
Through the bobble back and forth, I’m beginning to see the importance of this inner conflict as it consistently forces me back to true self. It reminds me to lean upon my own beliefs, values and understanding, as opposed to handing my life over to another. The unease tells me to be quiet and still, to meditate and listen for God. The array of emotions leads me to check in on a consistent basis, to make sure that I am still in alignment with what I purpose to do at this time of my life.
Amidst a recent bout of doubt however, what struck me as most interesting to observe was this: one circumstance can have as many interpretations as there are people to have them. The single circumstance here (or with any that ever took place) is the only constant in any equation. The decision Taylor and I made to quit our jobs to travel around the world is plainly a fact. It is instead the meaning of this circumstance that can change so drastically from one person to the other, one moment to the next, based on the interpretation of it at any given time.
Bottom line No. 1: Circumstances only have the meaning you give them. Consciously choose the meaning that best supports you.
Sometimes I feel like we are irresponsible and crazy. Sometimes I feel like we made the best decision of our lives and are learning and growing from it in so many ways. I choose the latter outlook to give this time in my life the meaning I want to derive from it, the meaning that supports my greatest good. I’m thankful for the voice of doubt in my head because it makes me check in with my true self, but it does not mean that I have to listen, follow, or abide by this voice.
Bottom line No. 2: Focus on your own personal beliefs, values, and purpose. Do not give your life over to others.
Some people look at what we are doing and think we are stupid. Some people look at what we are doing and think it’s an amazing adventure. If we let others determine our lives we would either be on the next flight home, feeling bad about what we’ve spent the last few months doing, or we would continue traveling forever and never come home. Honestly, neither Taylor nor I want either of these. As challenging as some moments have been, we’ve loved our time away, and don’t know when we are coming home yet, but look forward to our return on our own time, however far off it is.
Advising and mentoring with others is wonderful, and I highly recommend it, but never let others make decisions only you can make yourself. We hold the true answers for ourselves if we take the time to sit patiently with our beliefs, morals, and values. Who knows, maybe after you sit with them awhile you will see that one of them is out of line and needs to be adjusted? More and more to come, but for now I leave you with these questions:
Is there a circumstance that you can give a more positive meaning to in your life to better support you and your goals?
Have you handed over a part of your life to society or another person? How could you benefit from taking time to review your personal morals, values, and beliefs?
Remember, knowledge without action is worthless. Please leave a comment below and do something today to bring you closer to living your greatest life!
Wishing you all the best,
Sarah + Taylor