The Crossroads: An inner struggle of change

Crossroads inner struggle of change

Crossroads inner struggle of change

This post was hard for me to write. It is vulnerable and honest. I had to write it though, because I know I am not the only one with these struggles. Let this be a gateway for positive and supportive discussions to come. I am at an internal crossroads and having inner struggles, I know the only way to go is through change.

I am discontented with my current life situation. Yes, I love my husband and dogs more than anything, we can pay our bills, and put food on our table. We are fortunate, because at one point, we have experienced firsthand what it’s like to go without, fearing for our next meal. Conversely though, as I look back at past posts and journal entries, I notice a change from within. Despite the hardships, I was so full of joy and positive notions. I was content with my life and knew my future was bright.

I know my future is bright and I have big dreams for what may be. However, I am stuck and drowning in the present. I am no longer enamored with my life and I feel my dreams are slipping out of reach. I just celebrated 5 years with my company. I am so fortunate to still be at the place of work that jump started my young career at age 22. There are opportunities for growth in my clinical role but those routes no longer align with the vision I have for my future self. A piece of me dies each day I walk into work, not because of my boss, my tasks, or my coworkers, nope, I hit the jackpot with all of those. My heart breaks because I am removed from the life I yearn to live. I find myself burned out, which is common at the 5-year mark, and I am acting on auto pilot like a robot. I often ask myself: How am I making a difference today, am I helping anyone, and what is my purpose?




The truth and reality is that my desires have shifted and grown but my daily regimen has not. I am figuratively being pulled into two directions at once! The goals set for me only partially align with the goals developing within ME. I love being a dietitian and have helped numerous patients along the way. Now, my eyes have been opened and enlightened to the world of travel and the joy that comes with connecting to people from different parts of the world. While I still want to counsel people in nutrition therapy, I feel I have been called to do so in another format.

Crossroads inner struggle of change

Being the oldest, on all sides of my family, meant I had to lead and be the example for those being raised behind me. When I was growing up, I never had the option to “not” go to college. That was the expected “next step” after high school. I never doubted that route (and still don’t, honestly). I knew which college I wanted to be admitted to and that I wanted to help people in the health field. During my coursework, I never faltered from dietetics. My end goal was to graduate in 4 years, get a dietitian job with full benefits, and travel. I have accomplished all those dreams and more. I have achieved things most people never do, but my life is still unfulfilled. At 27 years young, I have reached a proverbial fork in the road. What I have always striven for no longer validates my belief system.

Need more inspiration? Here you go!

1. Preparing for Expat Life: Frugality & Patience

2. The fears of moving abroad

What I DO know is this: I am tired of mundane routines, expectations, and responsibilities placed on me by others, I detest watching people waste away in hospital beds knowing I cannot cure them, I can no longer withstand the work-life balance of slaving away for 5 days with only 2 days of respite promised, and I hurt being imprisoned indoors 8+ hours a day while I yearn for the great outdoors. I am capable of much more than a typical 9-5 career. I also know that this “new life course” may only last a short bit and there may come a time when the 9-5 life is my destiny once more. I am okay with that. I am learning to listen to both my head AND my heart which has proven to be quite difficult. I am scared but faithful.

Crossroads inner struggle of change

I am not afraid of hard work or discipline. I obtained my Master’s degree through distance learning while working 40+ hours/week and planning a wedding! I have been known to work 3 jobs at once to afford to travel. I have always followed my head’s emotionless logic, and did what everyone expected of me, never straying. For the first time, I am being brave, I am stepping out, I am listening to my heart.

Doing so, has lost me tons of support. Friends and family who have always said, “You’ve got a great head on your shoulders” and “I am so proud of you”, are now doubters of my competence. They haunt me with questions of “Why would you ever want to move abroad and leave your life behind” and “How can you give up your hard- fought career”?

I do not see my life as a failure. I do not see my plan to move abroad as a setback. Everything in my life, up to this point, has taught me strength, ambition, and determination. I would argue that everything happens for a reason and all that I have done has prepared me for this very moment, these very crossroads. Situations are seasons of your life that come around to guide, redirect, or to teach you life’s grand lessons. Be brave and make that change!

Crossroads inner struggle of change

My hope is to inspire others to go in the directions of their hearts, with or without support. To those who have supported us faithfully, thank you. We will never be able to say that enough because you were here for us when we needed it most. You were here when we doubted ourselves. You picked us up and set us back on track! When you choose your own path instead of the path others “want” for you, there is always going to be backlash. At the end of the day, live the life YOU want. Keep the people close that support you. Have faith that one day you will find your “tribe” of people that have similar visions and dreams as you.

As Elizabeth Gilbert says in Eat, Pray, Love, “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly, than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

Believe that! Stay tuned for new adventures coming down the pipeline.  

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Be well and travel often!

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Crossroads inner struggle of change

**This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own**

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About Author

Maegan and Michael are Adventurous Southerners who share their world journey and approach to living the travel lifestyle. You can expect humor and lighthearted banter blended with REAL travel stories and tips. Maegan is a registered dietitian, while Michael has an excerise science background, but both are outdoor lovers, and revel in the beauty of cultures unlike their own. Now, Maegan and Michael are working towards expat life through remote work. Join the adventure. Do you love to travel? Does your full time job or career prevent you from living the life you dream of? This is the duo to follow. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Comments

  1. […] body of water or strolling along a shaded, tree-lined path as the sun glimmers through the leaves. Working in a hospital is a mental game of upmost stature. I am “trapped” (not actually) for 8+ hrs a day indoors with […]

  2. […] I NEED this trip! When else will Michael and I be out of college, childless, and physically capable of doing this? If we wait for “retirement” age in the traditional sense, we will be drained of life. We will have had 40+ years in a career (most likely corporate America careers). I can tell you after only 5yrs, I am no longer passionate about the work I do. I am not finding my purpose here.  […]

  3. Lyssie says:

    I feel like I just read my life story. I worked a 9-5 in a corporate office for 5 years and slowly felt like I was wasting away, not changing the world or myself. On my 30th birthday, I quit my job and booked a one way ticket to Spain to teach English. I was terrified to leave behind a steady, stable job with a paycheck I could count on. But after 3 years of going back and forth, applying and turning it down…I finally took a leap of faith and went for it. And it was the BEST decision of my life! I’m only sad I did it for one year. At 31, I felt too old to keep living a “fantasy life” as my mom and boyfriend called it. I needed to come home and settle down and be a real adult. That’s not the goal I see for myself, but I have no one on my side but myself. Currently, I’m trying to force myself into the role of the “typical American” getting a job, getting married, and having kids. I have none of those things yet but I feel the pressure. It’s tough when your head and your heart don’t agree, and I’m trying to deal with that struggle as well, from the other side of living abroad. My advice: move abroad. Even if I can’t follow my own advice right now, I still feel like everyone would benefit would moving abroad!

    1. maegan89 says:

      I’m thrilled to know you took the leap for a year! I’m sad to know you are being pulled back into this typical lifestyle when you sound too extraordinary for it. If you don’t feel in your heart that it’s the life you want, then don’t let the pressures of everyone else’s expectations drag you under. It’s okay to go against the flow. I’ve realized that if family or friends cannot be supportive to an extent and it’s always a fight, I am better off without them in my corner. They are not helping hut hurting me. I hope you’re able to find balance in this new season of your life. I’m 28, not far behind you (and childless). Cheers!

  4. Love the honesty and so great to get to know you on a more personal level. I have been fighting the same demons myself. I also want more than a 9 to 5 job where all I look forward to is the weekend and a few weeks off a year. So kudos to you for helping me and articulating exactly how I feel. Loys of hugs and love and cannot whete to see where this crazy life takes you. And I totallly get the expectation to perform. I too was asked where, not if I wanted to go to college. Much love anf so proud of you. And not in a weird condescending way. Lol. In the words of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, “I want more than this provincial life…”

    1. Maegan says:

      Ugh, I love beauty and the beast and yes I want so much more! You know me so well! I can not wait to see your Greece posts!

  5. Tracey says:

    I can see your point on this post. It is seen as the ‘done thing’ to enslave to work 9-5 often longer hours, and for one 2days off to enjoy by ourselves?! We must be mad to live in such a world. I think only You truly know what you need to do and what will make you want to get up in the morning. Do what makes you happy. I have never met anyone who adores their day job, and of course there will be pros and cons in every life decision but if you don’t take the opportunity when you have it, then you’ll never know

    1. Maegan says:

      Absolutely right! It is also true hat you should find joy in all situations and that will lead to a happier life as well. We’re just trying to fix the imbalances.

  6. Valerie says:

    Great thoughts here about life .., I am st a crossroads myself so many decisions ! Loved your beach photo!

    Val

  7. Irina says:

    I love the honesty in your post! Thanks for sharing, it really is hard to walk on a path that doesn’t follow the usual (expected?) pattern. I’m sort of at a crossroads myself 🙂 Good luck on you next adventures!
    Irina recently posted…The Versatile Blogger Award NominationMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Thankyou! Goodluck to you in finding your way through the crossroads yourself!

  8. […] 1. The Crossroads: An inner struggle of change […]

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