I’ve been trying to figure out if I was going to post this one at all. Maybe I’ve just been waiting for the right time. But, in light of some really big changes happening in my life, I figured it was time to share it with y’all because it really sums up everything I’ve been feeling for the last few weeks and months.
I wrote this post three and half months ago while I was sitting on a plane after one of the best trips of my life. I was full of so many emotions and I needed to try and capture the moment, so I figured I’d try and write it down. This was a little different than writing something down in a journal though, because I knew that I was writing this for you all to see at some point. Which was mildly terrifying. Let’s back up a bit…
I’m sitting on a plane from Helsinki to Reykjavik after an extremely quick (four day) trip to Finland to visit with old friends and my host family. I’m so excited I can barely get my thoughts down. I’ve been traveling a lot this past year: a lot of weekend trips to spend time with friends or quick trips to Florida. Mostly because I don’t love my job, but also because I can’t stay in one place for very long and I feel like I haven’t quite found my place yet.
Traveling has always been a huge part of my life. Even when I was younger we went on at least one trip a year as a family. I watched my parents go on business trips to places like Ireland, Switzerland and other countries that, from the eyes of a kid, seemed like they could be on a whole different planet they were so foreign. I would sometimes stand on the front porch looking at the planes flying overhead on the days they left wondering if Mom and Dad were in any of them, wondering where they were going and what it would look like, dreaming of the day that I could do the same thing. Flying and airports have always been a complete comfort to me. I love the energy that surrounds you in an airport, a combination of extreme excitement and nerves: it’s almost euphoric.
My first solo trip, my year abroad to Finland, taught me something more valuable than anything I learned in all my years of schooling: you can’t fully understand the world unless you’ve experienced it first hand. Since then, I’ve had an insatiable craving to do just that. I’ve made a lot of decisions and a lot of sacrifices to travel, and every opportunity that’s been presented to me I’ve taken. I’ve lived abroad in Finland and England, traveled most of Europe, and met so many amazing people from all over the world.
This trip to Finland was my first trip abroad in three years. I didn’t realize how much I missed traveling, really traveling, not just going on a vacation to get away but actually traveling and experiencing a country like a local.
I spent the last night of my trip with one of my closest friends from my year abroad, Mikku. We spent the night catching up, hearing everything that was going on with each other and what our plans were for the future.
Twenty-four is a really interesting time. Half the time I feel like I’m doing everything right: I have a car, a house, a loving and supportive family, great friends and I landed the corporate job pretty much straight out of college. The other half of the time I feel like I’m in a full-fledged quarter life crisis: I got a degree in a field, that after four years of college and a year of working in I have figured out that I really don’t love; and while I work with amazing people I don’t love my job, I miss my friends who are living elsewhere terribly and take every opportunity to visit them; I bought a house (seriously, who does that at our age?!) and I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. The only thing I do know for sure, is that I love to travel and I love this blog and everything that goes along with it.
Mikku is leaving her job and taking a seven month trip to travel the world on March 1st with one of our other friends Elli. I am so incredibly excited for her. She is going to have the most amazing time and she’s invited me to join them for a few legs of the trip.
Quitting my job and traveling the world is something I’ve wanted to do since about two weeks into my undergrad career. The last six months, I’ve worked so hard on getting bree west out there so that I could hopefully pursue blogging full time someday. Today I finally made the decision, April 24th is my last day of work. I am going to work my ass off with the blog, at my day job and maybe even another job and save every penny from now until then so that I can board a plane to Bali to meet up with Mikku and Elli.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with my car, my house or anything else. All I know at this point is that I am going to stop making excuses and I’m going to follow my dream of growing bree west and seeing the world. I am completely and absolutely terrified. But I think that’s what’s going to make it work. I’ve been able to hide behind my obligations and had comfort in a steady income. I’m ready to give that up to be able to make my dreams work.
Thank you so much for being a part of it, thank you for making it possible. I hope you enjoy my upcoming adventures, I can’t wait to share them all with you.
3 months later, I find that I have a lot of big changes coming up and a lot of uncertainty but I’m so excited for all of it. I think being laid off was a blessing in disguise. I’m definitely still processing everything and it’s still a little bit surreal. But effective this week, I am able to focus all of my energy on running this blog. I was devastated to have to leave such an amazing team of people that have taught me so much in the last year and a half and who I loved getting to know and working so closely with, but I am looking forward to being able to move onto the next chapter and figure out what’s next.
The result of these big changes is pure joy and excitement. I am definitely anxious about the future and what my next step is, but for now I have the luxury of really focusing on my passion and seeing how far it can lead me. This is the first time I remember being this happy not because of a thing, another person or a job, just a state of happiness from within.
I’m sharing this all with you not only to try and keep things honest and real around here, but to hopefully inspire you to think about your own life. As millennials I think our generation is unique in that we aren’t always pushing for the corner desk, we are redefining success and creating our own paths. I think we need to forgive ourselves sometimes for not knowing exactly what our exact path is at 22 or 23 or 24 years old, and it’s so important that we remember what makes us happy and what makes us tick. Once we figure that out, the bigger challenge is working that into our plans. So what sort of life is going to make you thrive? Figure it out and make a plan to try and achieve it – write it down and do it, sooner than later. Life is too short to be stuck in a job that makes you miserable and exhausted all the time. We only get one life to live, there aren’t any do-overs. I’m not saying to quit your job tomorrow, but take calculated risks and figure out how to get what you want. Give yourself goals and deadlines to make it happen. People aren’t going to remember you for being the last one in the office every night, they’re going to remember you for your passions and dreams and what you did to achieve them so stop putting them on the back burner and start pursuing them! You’ll only regret the chances you never took and you’ll never know what might happen until you try.
Okay, I’ll stop now I promise. I know it was a long one so thanks for hanging in there, it was tough to hit that little publish button on this one as it’s definitely not the prettiest post I’ve written! I’m so excited for everything that’s to come from these big changes. There will be some minor changes to content around here, a few more travel posts (yay!) and hopefully some more posts like this one (but much much shorter I promise!). More posts in general since I have all this newfound free time! Lots and lots of great stuff, I hope you’ll stick around!