Reality crashes down hard on you when you know that you are returning home from an around the world adventure- jobless and have become a thirty-something that will be living in your parents basement. The planner in me basks at the idea of another high paying corporate Project Management gig, so that I can max out my savings and can feel comfortable about future investments and expenditures. But the person that I grew to love during my six month excursion, REALLY hates that idea.
So what's next?
One of the best things about seeing the world is meeting people with a vast variety of backgrounds, expertise, experiences, and passions. I stayed with a poet, soldier, translator, pianist, restaurant owner, roofer, teacher, waiter, farmer, coach, journalist,....hippies, black guys, white guys, asians, middle easterners, brazilians, spanish, italians, norwegians, finnish, japanese....and there was ONE COMMON THREAD that stuck with me.
Many people who rent out their homes via Air BnB are not the richest in the world. But many are truly and deeply happy because they are following their passions in life.
The best example of this was the couple in Japan who live a shoestring lifestyle. The husband paints to live music on weekends and the wife starts each morning with yoga. Every day they spend 12-14 hours out of the house pouring their heart and soul into the art school that they opened, where they do awesome things with kids (like put on native drumming music, cover the furniture in tarps and have the kids climb underneath creating 'cave drawings'). They were some of the happiest people I have ever met. Each day their eyes were filled with excitement to inspire and share their love of movement, music, art, and self expression with a younger generation.
On the other end of the spectrum was a work-a-holic so focused on saving up that he put his passion for stand up comedy on hold. The more we got to know him, the easier it was to spot his deep sadness day in and out as he trudged from job to job, doing things he hated, working with people he loathed. But at night as he told us jokes or showed us video of his old stand-up comedy gigs, he lit up. That is when his beautiful soul emerged.
So here is whats next for me... things that light me up. Things that fill my heart with happiness. Experiences, jobs, and endeavors that allow my passions to shine.
I may not be as well off as I once could have been, but I will be happy, and that is how life should be lived. Happily.
So that's my new goal for me. Not to let this passion driven adventure end today.
Call me a hippie. Call me a dreamer. I am calling it LIVING.
So whether it be telling jokes, doing a martial art, slaying motherhood, performing artist shows, writing plays, traveling the world, reading, gardening,....ensure you are making room for that which you are passionate about. Maybe you can't afford to do this full time- but YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO NOT MAKE TIME FOR BEING TRUE TO YOU. Make sure you are filling your heart with the things that make you shine and make sure you are sharing that love and glow with others. Because if you aren't, then you are missing out on really living. You are missing out on truly connecting with others. You are missing out on whats so magical about us as humans. Our ability to light up. To inspire one another. Our ability to fill our souls with things that ignite greatness in us.
I return tomorrow, excited for all the wonderful places that my passions are leading me.
I urge you to wake up tomorrow, with the exact same goal.
Believer that everyone is special.