Life has been a roller coaster ride since returning home. Bumpy, curvy, sideways, upside down, over and up and down and it has yet to let up. The speed changes constantly but there’s no chance of the coaster slowing down just enough for me to get off. In the end, it’s exactly how it needs to be. At every new curve, I gain more awareness and new direction on where I’d like to go, where I’d like to be. I finally feel I have more control and new ideas for what I’d like in my life and more specifically, what I’d like to be doing. Yet just when I feel comfortable enough to put my arms in the air for the upcoming drop; something changes, stalls or completely disappears. I’m getting closer and closer to the goal but I’m not quite there yet.
I strongly believe in the power of thoughts and creating what I have in my life. Recently, I thought everything was falling into place and then something changes. I’m beginning to realize something may be missing in my thought pattern? How I can get so close and then (paid) opportunities don’t pan out? Sure, there not meant to be and I definitely believe it but how much of it is the opportunity is not right vs. my thoughts and fears influencing the outcome. Though, I do have to say a few volunteer opportunities have been turning up and I couldn’t be more excited. I acknowledge them and am ever so grateful. It’s only been a few months since I’ve had more concrete ideas and direction so it’s only a matter of time before it all falls into place. Deep down, I know everything so far has been for the best even if it doesn’t seem so in the moment.
Recent circumstances lead me to a long, emotional and much needed discussion, though I had no idea where it would lead or uncover so much. My biggest fear resurfaced- a fear I was strongly aware of a month into my African journey. What am I going to do when I return home? What about a career? What do I want to do with my life? All the typical and important questions we all face at some point after college or mid twenties. Heck, I’m sure its a continual question, especially for us travelers who are more lifestyle focused. But more importantly, the question is: What’s my new dream? What comes next? Eight months home and I have yet to confront and tackle my fear, which is why it still lingers! Facing fear is half the battle, repressing or ignoring is another.
A month into my journey, I felt I was destined to come home between holidays, homesickness and feeling everyone I met on the road advised me “Africa is not safe for a woman traveling alone.” I was determined to prove to myself I could handle all the challenges, but more importantly I wondered, what the heck would I do when I returned?
My dream was to travel Africa and I had no idea what else I’d do. I figured a new dream would take shape eventually but until then, I couldn’t just return home when the road became too difficult or could I? I grappled with the concept but knew I’d regret packing my bags and not giving my dream a full chance. My uncertainty and lack of a new dream sustained me and encouraged me to press on, in the most challenging of circumstances but as with any good story I was able to rise above and meet people who shaped my journey just when I needed them to complete my dream.
New ideas and dreams are taking shape but like most dreams, they need time and patience to be fully realized. Through my continual transition I’m realizing I expect I should know what I want and then be able to attain it, forgetting sometimes it’s best to jump in and learn to swim than waiting at the pool’s edge for the opportune time. There is no outlined path. There isn’t a right or wrong way. I assume I should have life all figured out and just be able to flow into life-with a great job, new place, wonderful friends- easily after such a long time away. Truth is, transitioning isn’t an easy feat and it’s a constant process.
I just got to throw myself into the world again, let go of my comfort zone (home) and give living on my own in the “real world” a try. What’s the worst that can happen? I know the worst isn’t so bad.