Consider your life.
I can’t use enough words to say how important our lives are. You are more than a job. You are more than your latest or last relationship.
I had a shaking experience with a friend. We recently meet up, though we live in different towns, and have for years. I know his life isn’t what I’d hope for him, and despite my husband & I offering him a place to live at anytime…he remains where he’s been.
“What makes you happy?” I asked. “Not entertained, but happy…joyful.” My question was met with silence. If possible black silence. My heart cracked. I understood the non-answer.
“You don’t do anything that makes you happy anymore, do you?” I asked, and humbly he confirmed.
He went on to tell my husband and I that he doesn’t think about “these things”. Simple questions that are deep. What difference do you want to make? What makes you happy/joyful? If money wasn’t an issue, what would you want to do or be?
My husband and I explore this questions all the time, so that we can assess the steps we take in life. Money isn’t the goal, it’s the necessity on the way to goal. We try not to offer too much of our thoughts, ambitions, and life to such a minut factor. It’s not everything.
Don’t be trapped.
When I moved out of parents and into the shaky land of adulthood, one of my first purchases for my new apartment was two huge maps. One of my country, one of the world. I hung them on my wall, and I’ve looked at them frequently thought the years. I still look and I still think the world I know is small. There is so much more beyond me yet.
If I’m happy with my small world, that okay. If I’m unhappy I remember that I could choose change at anytime. Get up, move, learn, experience, move again. No problem.
Money maybe a factor, but only one. Determination is another factor. Friends and influences could be another factor. Don’t let this things pigeonhole you. It could always change. You have choices. You have options.
In our meeting up, my friend brought his newest girlfriend. They seemed to speak of their city as the representation of our state. (A pathetic representation that would be too.) I’ve been around most of the state, intentionally learning and experiencing different things, so that I could legitimately know that state. We all make broad sweeping statements, but I’d just like to be able to back mine up if possible. It’s a wonderful state. I love a lot about it; despise a little about it, and I have learn to adore many of its quirks.
When I mentioned that perhaps they don’t leave their own city much (which I’ve seen to be true with many people) the girlfriend tried to say they don’t have much money for that. Money has never stopped our friend before. He’d been an adventurer. Finding rides with friends, and friends of friends. Exploring whatever places he got a opportunity for. Maybe it wasn’t much, and yet …it was.
A while after talking with her, I realized she probably imaged traveling as a vacation. Hotels, eating out, spending money on attractions. We haven’t often done that.
GO and BE.
I believe every city has its own personality. And I suppose small towns do as well. A region can definitely have a particular culture to it. It’s amazing to see the stunning differences with crossing of a boarder, whether geographically mapped or not. You don’t have to spend tourist-y money to learn this. Being there, driving through, walking around, sleeping, eating, talking with people, watching people …all of these normal day to day things reveal the full experience.
Often my husband and I camp when it’s warm enough. It’s cheap and it tells a lot about region. Some place have been amazingly beautiful and calming, others were rough and more unwelcoming as a whole.
Ironically, at the end of the day, this isn’t about traveling or visiting places. It’s about living life, knowing there’s more out there when you need an “out there” to adventure into. Sometimes we live our lives in such a small space that we miss our whole lives.
Survival mood can only work for so long, before it stops feeling like life. Before hopes stops flowing in. I don’t want to see that happen. Sometimes, I have to watch it happen. I can’t force anyone to get help, to try something different, to adventure beyond the unhappy state that they’ve known for so long. Sometimes I can only proclaim that “other” exist.
We continue to pray. We continue to hope, while we have hope. We continue to remind people the think, seek, pray, progress. Sometimes the unpaved road leads to home.