I come from a very family orientated background. Every birthday is celebrated with a family dinner or event, and holidays are full of family time. It has been this way for my whole life. If you too have a family like this, then you know just how valuable and precious those times when memories are made are. However when it comes time to “grow up” sometimes this can make your decisions about where or what you want to do in life very hard.
The first time I moved out was into a house approximately 20 km from my parents. Family dinners still happened at least once a week, I could go over there anytime I wanted and vise versa. Christmas was spent at my parents with all our loving family, for my birthday my parents still made the drive through the blizzard and blowing snow just to spend some time with me. It was marvelous, only being 20 km from them, it was like living on your own but still having the comfort of your childhood right there.
I then decided that I needed more from my life, I wanted adventure. I needed some time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, because working a Monday to Friday job, wishing that the weekend would come faster or that a week of holidays would be just around the corner, wasn’t how I wanted to spend my life. I don’t want to have to wait to retire to have fun and “live”. Why not do so during my most active years? When I have all the energy to go out and explore? Why not?
I graduated five years ago this year. After graduation I told myself that I would take at least a year off, then I would know what I wanted to do with my life and I would follow through. Well five years later, here I am sitting on the top of a mountain, writing this piece. I’ll give you a quick background on the last five years, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. I worked at Second Cup for a few years, during and right out of highschool, I absolutely loved it. Loved the people I worked with, loved the customers (well 90% of them) and If I could make a good, comfortable living working in a coffee shop, you bet I would. I then took an EMR course, because I always thought growing up that I wanted to be a doctor or a nurse. I’m forever thankful for all I learned in the course, but decided that seeing people s bones protruding out of places they shouldn’t be was not in my future. My dad told me “There are many rewarding times in the field, when you save someones life.” I am always thankful for his advice, but it is definitely not something I think I could handle on a daily basis. I then took a nail course, mostly for fun. Which it most definitely was! It is something I think I may return to some day, take additional courses, it is a form of art, which I adore. I spent many years, four in total, working in the call center of utility companies, power, water, and gas. It was a great experience, however I don’t see myself being in a call center, dealing with grumpy, un-grateful people for the rest of my working days.
So that leads us here, to the top of a mountain. The last six months have made me realize that there is more to life than working like a dog and longing for the weekend. Adventure is something that everyone should experience. There is a whole big world out there and we have the ability to explore it! So while my one year off has turned into five, I don’t regret a single moment. I have met amazing people, learned a lot about adult life and myself. I have impressed myself, continuing to do so, with my abilities and the things I have and continue to accomplish.
My next move, as you have probably figured out was a lot more than 20 km away, try 1100 km. This was one of the biggest decisions I have made to date. Definitely one of the hardest. So if you have moved a vast distance away from your family, you know that it is tough. If you havent and are thinking about taking a leap on a new adventure, I encourage you to do so.
I will be honest and let you know that it will be very hard at first. You will have to be strong. Like mentioned earlier, it will be especially hard if you come from a very family orientated background. The first birthday you miss and can’t be there for will be extremely hard. It will be an emotional day, with random outbursts of tears. You will want to throw everything in your car and drive until you are with your family. It will be one of the hardest days, knowing you wont be there for the family dinner or the family events. The way to get through this is to remember that you are strong, that you are on the right path in life. You are taking a chance and trying something totally different. Spend the day talking with them and as hard as it will be, you will get through. I know this because it was not even two weeks after being here that I missed my baby sisters birthday, the first in nineteen years. I felt this exact way, the day before, the day of and the day after only started to feel better. Although I wished nothing more than to be there to hug her, I am confident she felt my love and she had a magical day.
As we grow up, what I am learning, is that we need to adjust our family traditions. People may move away or do different things with their lives. Our traditions don’t need to stop, they just need to adapt. New ones will come about and all will be okay. I have learnt that this is life. Holiday traditions we had when I was five differed from when I was eleven, from when I was eighteen and now. That is life, ever-changing.
It is a big adjustment, going from seeing your family once a week to seeing them maybe once a month, or every 6 weeks. I, myself am working on going into week 3. It has been tough, to say the least. I talk with my family on a daily basis, and face time so we can see each other faces. Technology is a wonderous thing. We are truly blessed to live in a time such as today. I am thankful we don’t have to communicate by snail mail. What a time to be alive.
I am very thankful for this time. I have worked hard since I graduated high school and it is so refreshing to be able to have some free time, some me time. I am thrilled to have this spring and summer, to be able to go out, when I want, where I want. To experience the outdoors, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and best of all just exploring. So far I absolutely love my time outdoors, I love working in the fresh air, I love the beautiful scenery that I get to experience each day and the lovely new people I get to meet. I love hearing their stories. I have the time to work on my painting and art, my writing, I have time to learn new things! I have started learning to read Tarot cards and am excited to learn and try many more new things.
I challenge my readers to make an adventure of their own. Get out there. Do things! Now that the weather is starting to warm up, go for walks when you get home from work! It is a marvelous way to spend time alone, reflecting, or with loved ones, winding down after the long day at work. Work is work, and as hard as it is sometimes, we all have to learn to leave work at the office. It takes time and effort, but you will not regret it once you do!
Make 2017 about you, if you need to change something in your life to make yourself happier then do so! Quit your job, move, get out and meet people, learn something new. Explore all that this world has to offer. The time is NOW. Stop waiting for tomorrow and do it today. Do something that scares you, in a good way. Challenge yourself. Dance in the rain, stop to smell the flowers and enjoy every moment of the beautiful life.
Be wild and free,
*A very special thank you for all those in the medical field, first responders and medical staff. What you do and deal with on a daily basis is something myself, and many others couldn’t. Your work is amazing and always remember to take care of yourselves. There are many that let the work get to them, seek the help you need, always be strong. We all owe you a massive, heart-felt thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Without you, we wouldn’t survive.