Growing up we are always asked what we want to be when we grow up and we are full of ideas. Our imaginations our only limitation; a princess astronaut, an underwater doctor, whatever you can dream as a child you truly believe you can be.
I recently read that adults are constantly asking children this question to get ideas for themselves. That as we grow up our ideas are diminished by the practicalities of life, the things we need to do, are expected to do. Things that fit into what society has taught us to be right.
We become stifled.
For most of my working life I have been in the corporate world sitting behind a desk, each day mirroring the last, the next. My abilities and output at the highest level but my creativity and dreams diminishing. Hiding. Lost in the monotony of the everyday shuffle.
I was in my early twenties when I quit my first corporate job, unsure of what I wanted to be or do or where I wanted to live. I just felt stuck. After days of commuting home in tears unable to voice the reasoning behind my unhappiness I knew it was time.
I remember clearly sitting in my bosses office that afternoon as I gave him the news – how he looked at me, through me and knew that money wasn’t going to be a solution – it wasn’t about that. He knew his only response was to offer me more or let me go and we both knew I had to go.
I jokingly referred to this as my quarter-life crisis but I think it was the first time among many that the universe was guiding me to a higher purpose, I just wasn’t ready to listen yet.
For a few months I travelled back to Spain walking the first 200 or so kilometers of the Camino de Santiago though the weather and homesickness eventually wore me down. I spent the rest of that year working at a coffee shop.
Endless days of just walking across the land, a single minded focus of getting up and covering distance by foot nor cup after cup of lattes, custom drinks per person however helped me discover what it was I was destined for. I still did not know.
At the end of that year I traversed the country to take on a new job, similar to the one I’d left. The city being the only difference though it was a city I held huge love for in my heart. That helped.
It seems that not a lot had changed within that year except the passing of time but it felt that this time it was my decision to go back to the life that had somehow found me in the past.
When I finished highschool – before then even – I knew university was in my future, and so I applied. I was accepted and the 5 years flew by in a blur. Before I had time to stop and think I was part of the working world, steady pay and corporate job – I was on my way. But I never knew how I got there, it happened in a blur, going through the motions but not my emotions. That year away allowed me to realize I did actually love it. For a time…
What part of your life are you living without experiencing? What are you going through the motions of rather than savoring every breath of?