Am I Nuts?

Maybe. Maybe not. Many of you who don’t know me well (and maybe some of you who do) may not know all the reasons why I chose to quit my job, give up my apartment and my cat, and go off the map finding my way in Europe for a few months without a real ‘home’. I took some time to write down all my reasons, and maybe it’ll help you understand me and my journey a bit better. I’m living my life and following dreams I’ve had. I’m often reminded by the work I do that life is too short to live unhappily. Here are all the reasons why I decided to do such a “crazy thing.”

–       I wanted to unplug from life.

  • The hustle and bustle of the city life was too over stimulating for me and was getting me down. I felt like I could never really just “be” – I had a feeling like I always had to do something and it was too much.
  • I was in a rat race with working full-time and running my business. As with anything, you can’t burn the candle at both ends forever, and I was starting to hit a breaking point. Before I got to that unhealthy place where it was really bad, I decided to walk away.
  • Getting back to the ‘simple’ life will help me understand what I want in my life when I return to the US and what I don’t. It’s sort of my own method for simplifying and filtering. I also do this each season when I go through my clothes to find things that I don’t need or want anymore – same concept.
  • Not be in the rut of being online all the time via the computer or my phone responding to clients or doing other things that waste time. I felt I was starting to waste free time on stupid things just because I was so burnt out from other things. It wasn’t good.

 

–       Find my passion again. I realized in the hustle and bustle of life happening, I was denying myself the simple pleasures that gave me the joy from enjoying the things I love to do. The Italian language and culture are some things that make me feel alive, and I hoped it would provide me that zest I was missing.

  • Why Italy, you might ask? I have visited this country 4 times previously and have loved it since the first time I came at age 16. I’m familiar with the culture, and have studied the language for 5 years throughout high school (though that was 13 years ago, so often I’m going on my memory of the language). I wanted to be out of my comfort zone, yes, but I wasn’t up for a challenge like going to live in Greece or Asia (heck no!) where the letters are completely different either and I’d understand nothing. I wanted a place that was a stepping stone; something familiar yet foreign. I’ve learned about myself that in general, I prefer stepping stones in life, as I struggle with taking huge leaps.

–       Challenging myself to learn new things:

  • Try learning the language in a different capacity other than studying in an Italian class twice a week can give me
  • Understand how to adapt to life elsewhere. I was far too comfortable in the US. I was aware of this and needed a change.

–       To see what it’s like to live in another country.

  • I’ve been so inspired by a few other friends who have moved away from their homes to start a new life in a completely different country. With great bravery and courage, they left behind their family and friends and moved to the US to start fresh. All who I know were able to find secure, stable jobs, and build a life for themselves. They have all branched out and adapted to a new culture, became friends with Americans, and have mastered this crazy English language with hardly ever making mistakes. I’m continuously amazed by them, and always impressed. I admire this quality a lot!
  • I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in another country since I was in college. I could’ve studied abroad but it would have set me back a semester and I chose not to. I realized that the window of opportunity to do such a thing was coming to a close. It was now or never, and always wondering, “What if…?”

–       The need to grow in a different sort of way than I ever have before. I was very ready for a new challenge because I wasn’t being challenged anymore where I was. It is important for me to make myself uncomfortable (by seeking new opportunities) when I feel comfortable. When we are comfortable, I believe that we’ve achieved something, and it’s time to reach higher and do something else. It was time for me to climb to new heights.

–       I wanted and needed to get back in touch with my emotions again. I felt too out of touch with them living where I did living the way I was, and this has allowed me to feel whatever I need/want to and there’s no outside distraction taking me away from feeling whatever I need to. I’ve been working on myself for a while now and this really felt like the right avenue to help me be more true to myself.

–       To be able to reflect (as I am right now) on things that I don’t normally take the time to. Organizing my many thoughts/ideas in a written form (via my blog, for example) is very therapeutic, as I don’t have to hold them in any more. My mind goes a mile a minute all day, every day, and I even wonder how I have as much energy as I do to keep going non-stop without a break. I’ve been called the Energizer Bunny before, and that is true.  My hope for this trip is that I will tune in to when I need to slow down and purge my thoughts on paper along with my feelings.

–       To be truly independent.

  • I’ve depended on Ajith a lot in the time I’ve been in Seattle. I needed to prove to myself that I can lead myself through anything though I feel blind in the process. He very much lead me through living in a city because I knew nothing about it. It scared me in the past that I had to drive in an alley to park my car, and I had no idea how to ride a city bus. He taught me a ton (which I’m forever grateful for) but now I need to bump it up a notch and try these same sort of things – but on my own.
  • I’ve cared so much about pleasing others (often, it was my parents) throughout my lifetime that I’d forgotten that this life is for me to live, rather than me trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. This sounds rebellious, and it’s not intended to be. Instead it’s more about me listening to what I really feel I need, and listening to my intuition.

–       I want to be an open book (living my truth) to everyone. For a while I kept my life of being a psychic quiet in fear of what people would think. Honestly, it’s what I do, it’s what I love, it gives me purpose, great joy, and has grounded me in ways that I never imagined. I am who I am and am really trying to embrace that person.

–        I wanted no strings attached to anyone anywhere. I want a fresh start, open to any and all possibilities that fall into my lap. I want to just ‘have fun’ in any sense of the phrase with whomever may cross my path. Seattle was making me more closed off because of the culture there. I definitely was lacking the adventurous, curious side I once had in me because I kept getting turned away here or there. I’m opening up new doors by being in Italy. I’m excited about that!

–       To rediscover what it means to be in the moment doing whatever I want when I want. I was living each day based upon my calendar (that had hardly any white space) and it was a rat race.

–       Strengthen my intuition by having no distractions so I can be true to myself, and myself only. I’m not being influenced by anyone or anything – what a gift to truly be ‘me.’

–       To become healthier and listen more to my body’s needs. I figured if I had more time to devote to cooking healthy food (that I really want to eat), I would feel better and lose weight. I want to be more active too. I want to have a more regular sleep schedule that helps me stay on track.

–       Put the time and energy into organizing myself so I am as prepared as possible for an even  more successful business than I already have. I plan to work on updating my website, developing and sending out a survey to my clients so I can best meet their needs in the future, updating pamphlets, putting together a nice PPT presentation for the classes I intend to teach, etc. All of these things have been put on the back burner and I’m very ready to take the bull by its horns.

–       Catch up on things I never made the time for but that are important to me. I want to respond to e-mails in a timely manner, write letters to my friend Malcolm, read, post pictures to my online albums, organize my computer files the way I want, etc. Catch up on all the misc. things I never make time to do.

4 Responses to Am I Nuts?

  1. Stefani says:

    Nice list! Very comprehensive and well-thought out! I’m sure that I would benefit from taking the time to come up with a list of goals such as that… but I guess for me I am in my outside-comfort-zone area right now being in graduate school and then starting a new job when I graduate… all of this is pretty uncomfortable. I would like to be more centered though, try to spend more time on things I enjoy instead of wasting hours surfing facebook or whatever. I would like to be more active, eat more healthy food, and feel like I utilize my time more wisely but it is hard.

  2. Darrell Peil says:

    Very impressive self-analysis of where you want to be.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks! It was important for me to write all the reasons so I remember every thought that I’ve had along the way to get me here. It’s also helpful probably to people like you who I don’t get to chat with much to fully understand me and what is going on. 🙂

  3. Ram says:

    Mel,
    Love everything in this blog, truly inspiring many including me have been stuck not chasing what we want to do. I am happy you are doing it , some day I will catch up and will have stories to narrate.

    I have thouroughly enjoyed you friendship and company. Sometimes I Might have come across as rude, but that was not me, it was the situation. Hope u put that behind your back and accept me as a good friend.

    I wish you all the best and for me still searching for signs on why , how n what , too many pondering questions.

    Ram

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