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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Like, Follow, and Share because someone is dealing with the same situation right now.
Be well and travel often!
**This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own**
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