Over the past month or so I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and considering introspection is one of my favorite pastimes, this is nothing new. I know that I am passionate about travel, writing and a handful of other hobbies but when it comes to my long-term goals, I’m clueless.
Granted, I’m only 26 but it still scares me that I don’t really know what I’m fighting for. I look around me and all of the people I admire are passionately hustling toward their goals, as if huge roadblocks are nothing but minor setbacks.
There is a part of me that wants to keep up with the non-stop traveling but then again, when I was consistently on the road, I often wondered if I was wandering the world looking for answers that only time can reveal. I think a large part of that is because I’ve always viewed my life in short increments. In high school I was primarily concerned with getting into a good college and once I got to college I was already itching to enter “the real world.”
In the four years that I’ve lived in New York I’ve had just about every experience a girl can ask for: working at a record label, starting my own company and freelancing for everyone under the sun: from lean start-ups to The New York Times. And yet…I’m lost.
I don’t think I’m lost in a bad way because in many ways I feel found. I think that for the first time in my life I’ve seen first-hand how many opportunities are out there in the world if we only have the courage to reach out and grab them. I truly believe that getting laid off at 24 was the best thing that ever happened to me. While I knew full-well that record labels were becoming sinking ships within the music industry and that my company was continually shrinking in size, I still felt like a complete failure.
This is the moment in which I decided to create Bohemian Trails. I really had nothing to lose and everything to gain. With no income and no clue how to make my travel dreams come true, I worked harder on my blog than I’ve ever worked on anything in my life. All the while, I didn’t know where this path of exploration, both internally and externally, would take me but I was determined to continue on my journey.
After two years as a full-time freelancer, it’s truly an incredible feeling to know that I have the power to choose what opportunities to pursue and which ones to leave behind. It took getting laid off from a job for me to realize that I could take control of my destiny. As tough as it is to be a freelancer, I find comfort in the fact that I have multiple revenue streams and because of this, I feel a sense of freedom I’ve never known. It’s nice to take on a new assignment because I want to and not because I have to.
I guess the reason why I decided to write this stream-of-consciousness type post is because I want everyone to experience this power. I know so many people who hate their jobs and don’t leave simply because they “have nothing else.” I identify with this phrase so much because I too felt the exact same way. I really believe that you never know what you can accomplish until you are put to the test. I was too scared to quit my job because I was afraid of being on my own financially. I know I would have mustered up the strength to leave eventually but getting laid off was the kick in the butt that I needed to set my goals in motion.
And in many ways, this thrust into reality made me experience life on a much deeper level. Everything felt like a fresh wound but in the most beautiful way. As I began viewing life with a new set of eyes, it ultimately made me a happier, more fulfilled person. As a result, I gained much of my confidence back, found success as a travel writer and met the love of my life. Up until this point, I had never fully let down guard in life or in love and as frightening as it was, it made me feel more connected with the world around me.
Of course, my life is far from perfect. Just flip back to my opening paragraph and you’ll recall that I still feel lost in many ways. Part of me knows that this is part of my introspective nature but I’m optimistic that I’ll find the balance I so crave. I may not know what trail I’m meant to go down but like all things in life, it will reveal itself when I’m ready.
What life experience altered your perception of success? Tell me in the comments below!
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