Lately, I’ve caught the travel bug. [At least I think that’s the sort of bug it is; otherwise, I need to start stockpiling tinctures and head south with the birds because I am so over this season… and let’s be honest, the fun in being sick isn’t really as prevalent when your mom lives a couple hundred miles away and sick days aren’t about getting to stay home from school to eat popsicles and watch cartoons.] The reason behind this itch to get away isn’t totally clear to me: I’m not sure if it’s because I feel discontented with my life right now (hence the hiatus in blog posting… I tend to feel less inspired to write when I am not in a place of contentment or am feeling unable to gain anything apparent or potentially useful from periods of reflection) or if I’m just fully realizing my mortality and how temporary this life is — so I feel like I can’t waste too much time in one place because I have only a finite amount of time to experience what’s out there — but either way, I feel like I need to get out of here.

Whether it be for a weekend, a few months, or a year, I feel like a fulfilling experience away from the everyday would help me to return to my home feeling refreshed and grateful for its comfort and stability. That would be great, only my home isn’t offering me much stability or comfort right now. The leaves of change are swirling around me {this phrase is totally cliche in most cases, but this time it’s actually true: 100 + mph winds whip in, uprooting trees and sweeping up pretty much everything in their path, eventually depositing their goods in disarray all over my yard during this season; it’s far from a joke} and as they catch me in their upwards spiral I’m suddenly completely aware that my feet have been swept up from underneath me and plotting out some sort of game plan in order to figure out just how to plant them back on solid ground has become futile. My job situation is somewhat inconsistent at the moment, and my roommates [who have helped me to form the foundation on which this chapter of my life has been built] are moving far away because of new opportunities and new people are moving in. And I’ve found myself focusing on the negative aspects of each of these changes instead of seeing the beautifully transformative possibilities for which each allows, were I only to open myself to them. Perhaps it’s a lack of outside fulfillment. Challenges that might be initially hard to face present themselves as more than just obstacles; instead, they become all-consuming and enclosing shadows, sweeping over and through me like a fog and sucking me into a vortex, its existence being totally unbeknownst to me until I find myself winded and entirely incapable of forward movement.

The thing is, there are plenty of wonderfully astounding and staggeringly positive aspects of my life, and inspiring, brilliant, loving beings co-create divine, light-filled existences all around me. Magic exists everywhere, especially here, and I have access to it. It’s all entirely within my reach. But I’m not cultivating an open, healthy heart space for myself that allows the intake of this flowing, all-encompassing beauty. I’m not allowing myself to be grateful for what I have available to me. I am not taking advantage of all the support and benefit that exists in my world. This is what I’ve realized. At some point in my writing experience with this blog I’ve written about leaving the comfort zone, and how those who recognize they live within their comfort zone but do little to alleviate this issue are in the worst comfort zone of all (as blissful ignorance eludes them.) Well, I’m finding myself to be quite the hypocrite in this moment. And I’m sure as shit no fan of any hypocrite. This sort of self-loathing speak won’t get me far, so instead, this is my drive:

I am desperate to figure out why I’ve allowed this to happen, and just how to stop allowing it. Because I’m certainly not okay with it.

This is why I feel like maybe I need to get away. I’m searching for something… but what it is, exactly, I’m not sure. I just know that I’m not finding it by sitting right here. I read, I practice yoga, I take vitamins and supplements and eat healthily (and am surrounded by a culture that values this in a huge way), I rarely drink (because it only obscures my clarity and leaves me with residual negative thoughts and feelings in the days that follow), I watch and I listen and I challenge myself when I can and I try to write on my findings. But it’s still not coming to me.

I read this quote recently and while it seems simple and even a little silly, it applies to what I’m feeling right now (or the inverse, I guess): “Wherever you are, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” At some point in the last couple months my light’s been slowly depleting. It returns to me sometimes (and I’m totally aware of it when it does… and it feels awesome) but shining it is more of a struggle these days. And I certainly don’t take it with me everywhere I go.

I know that I have everything I need within myself, I just need to figure out what it is that will fulfill me and make me feel like my everyday is worthwhile. I want to feel like I’m contributing something to this life and making it the best it can be for myself and for everyone I come into contact with. The people I love deserve that… because they have given me so much. I deserve that. Each of us deserve to feel that light shine within ourselves.

Part of what scares me is that I’m fully realizing how fleeting my youth is. I’ll be 26 in a couple weeks and this seems huge. It’s more terrifying than past birthdays have been… 25 will be soon be a somewhat distant memory and there’s nothing I can do to hold onto it or slow down its inevitable passing. I can take the lessons I’ve learned in the past year (which have been a multitude, I have to admit; I’ve shed myself more times in the past twelve months than I have in the past twelve years) and take them with me, and of course I will, but what now? This is contributing to my feeling that I want to travel today… because today, I’m still young. (Will 27 still be young?) What I don’t want, though, is to travel because I’m trying to escape something here. If I do that, I’ll have my eye on some obscure, unclear goal up ahead of me and miss all that is happening in my peripheral. And as I am well aware, the journey is the destination. What I want is to travel because I know I am one who can fully embrace beauty, see it in humble places, appreciate everything around me and recognize the meaning and raw wonder in all of it. I know this about myself, and knowing that I’m not flooded with that wonder right now brings me to feel a bit like a new environment will bring that out in me once again. I feel like when my body moves, my mind moves, and then what follows is the movement of my spirit… and I become re-inspired.

Because what worries me is that getting away would just be a temporary fix. Because what seems to be true in the past when I’ve left is this: I’ve had a great vacation and then I’ve come back to my home to see that not much has changed. Things change for a little bit, maybe. I’m more energized (I write mad lists when I’m in Chicago, for example, and feel motivated to adopt new, positive habits in my life), or more relaxed, or whatever… but finding a healthy, clear head space and a purpose in the place where I live is what is going to sustain me.

Maybe the search needs to be right here, within myself. Then, when I find that light again, I can go share it with the world. Maybe I’ll stay here a little longer. Continue to practice good habits, force myself into a practice of positive thinking, work to find sustained purpose in the everyday. Continue the search right here at home.

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{I have to say, I had no intention on getting this personal when I began this blog. (Because somehow my negative, somewhat depressed thoughts that lead to these blog musings feel a lot more personal than anything else I put up here.) I suppose this is where I learn to manifest the continuance of my growth process (integral to my evolution as a writer) and just say this: Here it is. I’m human, no shame.}