Are you satisfied with your current life? I mean, really satisfied? Or do you constantly have that niggling feeling in the back of your mind that you will be more content when you finally get that bigger house, new car, better job, sexy partner, exciting holidays?
Yeah… me too!
Its funny isn’t it? We feel as if we will ultimately be happier if all of these little individual elements come together. We are greedy gits, always wanting more, more more!!
With social media, we have an instant and constant platform for comparison on how ‘unperfected’ our lives are compared to others. We scroll through newsfeeds of people bragging about their ‘perfect super exciting lives’ and we are left feeling like- “Well damn! Better check us into this fun location and make out like I’m having such an awesome time when in reality I’m spending more time plugging into my phone than I am actually connecting and interacting with the people I’m with…”
So strange us human beings!?
Telly is another medium that we obsess over and ultimately judge our lives against what we see on the screen. Characters who are constantly engaging in ridiculously exciting things we only dream about and make us feel dull and very boring. We might not compare our lives to theirs as such; after all, we know they are fictional characters! But we become obsessive, almost living through them. Their lives become the main topic of our conversations instead of our own. Ever found yourself bonding with your friends over so and so’s life from such and such show, and the conversation going stale once you discussed and replayed the entire latest episode in great detail? Scary to think that sometimes we value these tv moments more than our own moments in everyday life.
I’m completely guilty of this! I mean, I just binge watched the entire series of Lost in as little as two weeks. People stuck on a crazy arse island are WAY more interesting than my sad unemployed life at the moment!
But one day, while still sitting in my pj’s at 3pm, clutching a bowl of cereal and staring wide eyed at the screen as another messed up unanswered question emerged from the Island, I realized that instead of making a conscious effort to be present and engaged in my own life, I was more interested in the fictional characters lives from Lost.
Instead of making my own memorable story, I was spending my days staring at a screen and living through people that were not even real… It was werid. And although I LOOooOOOOooOOve binge watching telly, I am trying to make a conscious effort to not only cut back on my tv time, but make my own meaningful stories as well!
You only get one life. I would rather make my own meaningful adventures and memories. I would hate to look back and realized I wasted the best years of my life living through others- whether they be people I know, or tv characters!
Make a life and memories for yourself. Don’t merely exist! :)
I feel like things are coming to an end. It’s not sad, its not scary, its just nearing its final stages. It is in these final stages that I’m floundering around, not really able to make much of anything. Its almost like I am stuck in the situation. Not really able to progress, just waiting for its imminent end.
I want to make a start. I want to keep moving forward, I’m trying really hard to. My goal- to save up as much money as I can, buy a camera and a campervan and travel Australia- embarking on the ‘what’ project!
When I tell this to people, some are supportive- “Do it Bridget!” and some are more.. reluctant *insert parents here*. I wonder if deep down they feel like I will actually do it, or if its one of those things people dream about and mention, but then never do. My life so far has been full to the brim with moments and dreams like that- and I’m determined not to let this be one of them. I’m determined that from now on- I’ll strive to make my dreams a reality!
It is almost as if I have the opportunity to go sooner than I expect. Yet… I’m very doubtful and terrified. It’s not what I had envisioned or planned. If I left next month.. I would have very little funds, no van, no camera…. I wouldn’t be ready!
I know that deep down, if I had to I could make it work, but the more I think about it- the more I want to do it right.
But that has raised the question in me- am I just making excuses? It seems like we as humans seem to make up these excused to self sabotage our dreams. We are always putting things off until the right moment, until we have all the fancy things to help us make it, until we have more money. All these reason.. and when you think about it- really think about it- none of these things ultimately can stop you from achieving what you want to. But we let them- and it’s devastating.
I rewatched Alistair Humpherys ‘Why not’ again yesterday. And It did really inspire me to think that maybe I could achieve it. It wouldn’t be ideal, I would be missing some of the fundamental foundations that I wanted to have. I like that idea of ‘why not- start something today’ approach to life. But I’m going to explore it in a different way instead of flinging myself off a cliff.
I know deep down that I do have excuses- and the thought of embarking on an amazing journey within a month is scary- ultimately because I would be going without my comforts. Almost naked!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot… and its driving me bonkers!
My conclusion though, is ultimately I feel like my excuses and fear is justified.
I do want to make this trip a priority. It’s so important to me at the moment. I want to achieve it in the loose parameters I set myself- eg, van, camera, more travel money. I would allow for spontaneity and not be so fixated on having everything perfect- because lets face it, life always has its own plans! But I’m going to stick to my guns and initial plan. I can start today though!! I can make a travel plan, get a second job, work weekends, find out as much as I can about where I’m going. Get the ‘what’ project up and out there so it’s easier to materialize and showcase while I’m on the road. I can make small steps in the right direction, and I can start today. Excuses or not, sometimes you do need to take your gut feeling into consideration. It’s not failing. It’s not giving up. If you don’t loose sight of what you want to achieve and work towards it- it’s the most rewarding and wonderful thing you can do!
It’s been a while since I last posted- and a lot has happened!
Probably the most significant thing was my trip to Broome to tag Turtles. I can honestly say it is the best thing I have done to date. It has opened up a whole new mental spectrum and sense of place in the world.
I experienced my first adult flight! And it was one of the most fantastic things I have ever done! To be suspended in air and be immersed in such a miracle of modern technology. Flight is something to be marveled in. The lift off, watching the sun spread across the surface of the clouds- and the clouds themselves! Seeing them in a whole new way from above!
Talking to a lot of people, flying is something they find quite annoying and tedious, but I can’t wait to go on another one!
Western Australia is such an amazing place. I feel such a strong connection to that part of Australia. Perhaps because I was born there, but we moved back to NSW when I was quite young, about 3, so I feel like I’m meant to be there, but also almost like a stranger. The earth is this fantastic red, the heat is insanely deep and thick and you find yourself in a constant state of sweat.
Despite its scarcity and desolate appearance, I find it fascinatingly beautiful. A very profound and spiritual place.
Everything in Broome is very mismatched. The buildings are in tin sheds. I nearly lost in when I saw Domino’s in a little tin like structure. It was just really odd and completely different from what I’m use to. It has a very oriental influence from its history in pearl diving, so all of the buildings have beautiful little swirly red corners!
Eco beach resort was brilliant! Sustainable, away from the hussle and bustle of everything, reconnected to nature- and they had compost bins!! (which I regretfully forgot to take a snap of, devo! :( )
Most importantly, the Turtles!! Oh my goodness gracious! What fantastic creatures! We patrolled the beaches at night, hoping to stumble across one coming up from the water to nest. If you found one, after she had nested, someone would wrangle her, this involved pushing back on her shell so the others could check her tags, measure her and fill in the data sheet. Boy were they strong!! I put in my whole weight and she still managed to push me back! So much so that She pushed me into a rock and I cut my leg. I have a neat scar and story now though! (*Joker voice* You wanna know how I got this scaaar?)
We were told that only 1 in every 1000 hatchlings will make it to adulthood! Which was just shocking and heartbreaking! It made it even more special to come into contact with the adults who made it!
Not only was the environment spectacular, but the people made it so special. Traveling really is about the people you meet along the way. Everyone was so friendly and the more you accept and just immerse yourself with the present, the more opportunities and experiences open up for you.
Of course I found traveling alone a tiny bit lonely at times. There were a few moments that I wished I could turn to someone and share the experience. But at the same time, I was able to just accept everything and go wherever I wanted to! Which was great!
I was able to embrace the ‘what’ idea and it has only increased my thirst for adventure and just experiencing all I can in this life!!
I’m currently going through a very interesting emotional and spiritual transition. I am constantly putting the idea of the ‘what’ question into my daily life, yet always seem to be falling short. It’s confusing and it’s a bit of an emotional roller coaster.
But I’m positive that this is all part of the process. It’s a way of sorting and consolidating my values and what I consider most important in my life. And I suppose, most important, what I don’t.
The bad times will pass.
Today I needed to get out of the house. I had been cooped up all day, feeling a little lost. I often don’t know how to structure my time. Something I will need to get better at.
It had been raining all day, but had eased off. I quite like the rain so it didn’t bother me. It was so nice to get outside and just think. It was nice and cool and the rain was lovely and fresh.
On the way back it started to get heavier as I got to the oval. For some reason I stopped and had a intense desire to dance in the rain. I put my umbrella down and raised my arms, jumping up and down. It was nice- even though I felt super silly.
In the middle of the oval was a huge puddle. I wanted to jump in it.
Grown up Bridget’s thoughts were “What? You can’t do that. You will get wet. Catch a cold. That’s stupid.”
At what point do we start taking the sensible route and stop being childlike and care free? Why do we decide to suppress that fun desire to be silly?
So, in an act of defiance I took a giant run up, and then jumped in the puddle! It was glorious! My feet were saturated, I was wet and muddy, but it was so much fun!
I didn’t put my umbrella up for the remainder of the trip home. I was such a wonderful remainder that I was alive.
I stopped off at the park and swung on the swing. The park is sheltered by these two magnificent tree’s. On closer inspection I saw how many little bugs and creatures called its branches home. It sheltered them and offered protection.
I gave it a nice big hug. It was very sweet. The rain pouring down, the hard grainy texture of the bark. I felt a strong connection to everything. It was very surreal.
It’s the little things, and the little moments that remind you that you are alive and that it is very valuable.
Wow… This week has been super strange! The first half was immensely concerning. I was very unhappy and feeling very stuck and out of tune with every aspect of my life.
So I devised a plan to take a mini holiday to Broome Western Australia to help Tag Turtles at the end of the year.
Impulsive? Yes. A little unrealistic? Yes… Maybe even a lot unrealistic.. I didn’t have the money at all, but had come up with some pretty insane ways to save up for it! These included living off chickpeas and lentils and not buying train tickets and getting off 3 stops earlier at a stop that doesn’t have a ticket booth.
Could be naivety, or blind optimism, or perhaps I had finally lost the plot, but I was pretty determined to make it work!
After accepting the fact that my diet would consist of mostly cheap legumes and home brand cereal, I needed to get over the next biggest hurdle which was my holidays from work. My holidays where scheduled to start a week too late for the Turtle tracking.
For some reason I experienced a lot of fear sending my bosses the email asking to move my holidays forward. I questioned myself constantly. Why was I so afraid? I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the actual asking- it was people’s reactions and thoughts to my holiday idea in general. Over all the things that held me back was that people would think it was a stupid idea, impulsive, unrealistic, and ridiculous. And it wasn’t just my bosses. It was my parents, sisters, friends. That they would turn to me and say- “oh… Ok.. That’s a bit impulsive” or “that’s just stupid.”
It’s quite weird really. I knew that what people thought about it wasn’t a big deal at all. It was very interesting how prominent this fear was too.
It just goes to show how much our fear and insecurities hold us back from things in life and how we settle for our everyday lives- sticking to what we know because it’s socially acceptable.
Eventually I worked up the right amount of courage and hit the send button.
To cut a long story short, not only did my bosses say yes to me changing my holidays, but knowing that I have never been on a plane in my adult life, they actually offered to pay for the plane trip. They said that I really deserved it and although they don’t always show it, they really do appreciate all the work I do.
I burst into tears… Such a sook! It is possibly the kindest gesture anyone has ever given me. I have never felt so weird, happy, overwhelmed, bad and excited all in one moment.
I have gone through many mixed emotions regarding the subject. But in the end, I’ve accepted the gesture and have just been incredibly grateful for this amazing gift. All I can practice is gratitude.
I never would have believed it a month or so ago. That I would follow through with something really out of my comfort zone and take the first steps into making it happen. If I was to put a spiritual spin on things- the beautiful gift of my plane fares could be a sign to an amazing step in the right direction!
I’m going to go on my first real adventure!! And I can hardly contain my excitement!!!! :)
It would seem quite hypocritical if I didn’t wholeheartedly immerse myself within the little pocket of ideas and questions surrounding my personal project.
The initial question of “What would I change about my life if I was to survive a near death experience” really hit home with me.
For those who are curious- it was Ric Elias’s Ted talk “3 things I learned about myself while my plane crashed” that sparked this entire change of perception! Go watch it now!!!!
After watching this video, I sat and stared at my computer screen like a zombie (Probably not the best time considering I was at work and.. You know.. Was meant to be working..)
What would I change? How would I see and experience life? It just made me realize how little meaning I placed on my day to day activities. That I was on auto pilot, settling for a mediocre life instead of seizing each day as something beautiful and remembering that ultimately, we are all dying. We don’t know when, we don’t know how, but it’s inevitable. (Unless of course you discover the philosophers stone and become the next Voldemort!.. that’s plan B!)
I have always toyed with this concept for most of my life. I’m not sure why it took that one Ted talk to hit me so profoundly.
“My god!” I thought, “What have I been doing with my life!?”
Since coming up with this project- this idea of a meaningful life has popped up everywhere. Perhaps because I’m extra aware and curious about it now.
I want to know what others think about it all. That moment where the light globe glows a new fresh light, illuminating the possibilities and opportunities hidden from them. Bringing their attention to what really matters. But most importantly, what will they do about it? Will they make a significant effort to change the way they appreciate life?
What I have discovered over the last few months as I’ve been contemplating and struggling with making a start on the project- is that although you can have a sudden burst of inspiration and enlightenment, it really is something you have to make a conscience effort to work on every day. Nothing just… Happens. You really have to make it happen!
Seems like common sense I know. “Well Duh!” I hear you say. But truly! Human emotions and the mind is one complex spiraling entity all of its own! One week I’m super inspired and happy about all of the possibilities and new adventures I’m going to go on! This week though, I had a complete reversal!
I felt stuck, depressed and was suffering extreme anxiety attacks. It was as if I knew all of the things I needed to change, yet they were all so out of reach.
Fear, Comfort, and getting too use to where you are that idea of making the first step towards the ledge of change is too terrifying to comprehend!
It was actually really interesting, the complete contrast of reactions and my journey to change my life and appreciation of it.
(Which raises another distinct question. Does our pursuit of ‘experiencing life to the fullest’ ultimately make us unsatisfied? Always thinking we can do better and experience more, so much so that we lose sight of the whole notion of the small things???
Hmmm…Pop a post-it on that one and we’ll revisit it later!!)
Anyway, this is my I’ve started this blog! I figure, if I am making a conscience effort- that is documenting my dreams, goals – the little appreciations and journey along the way, I’ll be able to keep myself accountable into making an actual change. And also making a significant start on this project!!
I’ll leave you with this quote from Steve Jobs’ Commencement address.
Loves and hugs!
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”