In 2007 I thought I wanted to spend 4 years in college. In 2009 I thought I wanted to quit college. In 2014 I thought I wanted to move to the mountains of Montana. In 2015 I thought I wanted to live forever in Seattle.
In 2016 I thought I wanted to stay in a full time teaching job in Thailand.
In 2017…all bets are off.
A year ago I posted this quote from one of my favorite books, A Severe Mercy:
Often we talked of the sad and somehow outrageous fact that in most lives, perhaps our own before long, there isn’t time for long walks and sitting on walls.
I cited it as one of my reasons for moving to Thailand: seeking a better, quieter life away from the inananities of the 9-5 and a paycheck driven life.
And yet what I have found as I enter my second year here is that I have left one busy life for an even more hectic one. I leave for work at 6:40 and return well after 5 and have no down time in between. I work on Saturdays. I make good money but I have no free time.
And so, I find myself doubting whether this job, this career, is even the right path for me. As in so much of my life, what I once thought was good step for my future might have actually been a step back.
And so, we reassess. Cut out the bad and replace it with good. Look for ways to create the best life possible. I’ve started copywriting. I’ve always loved to write but never figured myself good enough to make a career of it so I never tried. But as it turns out, you don’t need to be all that talented to write about pressure washers (which was my first paying gig). I’ve also begun teaching online. I’m thinking I will eventually transition to working online full time and actually start creating a life in which I have time for long walks and sitting on walls.
It’s a hard thing, knowing what’s right for your life. 27 years in and everything is still a lot of trial and error. The beautiful thing is that the errors aren’t the end. I’ve started and stopped plans dozens of times. I’ve moved 17 times. I don’t have a steady career exactly, but I am constantly working towards a life I can be proud of. A life that makes me happy.
My mom always used to quote this proverb at me whenever I’d fail at something.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
So here we go. Trying again. This time as a copy writer, a new teacher, an adventurer, an artist, an exerciser, a dreamer, an emotional mess…a beautifully imperfect human. Trying, failing, moving on, trying again.
In other news, best friend Kate came to visit and it was the best thing to ever happen. Some things in life are trial and error, some things are just happy accidents that turn into incredible things. Such is our 7 year friendship. We drank, we ate, we basked in the sun, and it was pure and lovely and wonderful. I’m very thankful for the good things in life that stay good despite all the changes.