Coming home after Europe felt great. I was more than excited to see Scott again and sleep in my own bed. But something happened when I got home. I started to feel agitated and unsettled — like something was off within myself, but I just couldn’t figure out what.
In a previous post, I mentioned how solo trips are always life changing for me — and this trip was no exception.
I proved to myself (again) that I’m very capable of doing things on my own, even when things get tough. That’s all well and good when it comes to traveling, but how do I incorporate this new self confidence into my daily life?
The other day, I finally admitted to myself that ever since my stingray incident, I’m constantly finding excuses and reasons why I don’t need to go surfing. Even when I motivate myself to actually get in the water, I just don’t feel confident anymore. I think back and marvel at the days when I was fearless in the water — which wasn’t even that long ago. I was always the motivator for friends who felt uneasy about weird ocean creatures, undertows or big, scary waves.
Now that I need to be my own motivator, I am realizing it’s not that easy.
It’s not just surfing. I feel stuck in other aspects of my life. I’m putting off things that I used to love doing — like editing photos from my trip — because I’m finding reasons why I’m not good enough.
I know this recent trip changed me and I guess I just wanted to be this new person as soon as I got home — but all of the confidence I gained while I was traveling, seemed to disappear once I got back. So today — after a week of not knowing which way is up — I began thinking of this time as a transition period and a necessary step to prepare myself for a big change.
You have to endure the dark before you can see the light.
If I hadn’t forced myself to notice these things I’ve been ignoring, then I would probably stay stuck in these patterns and eventually feel extremely unhappy.
I’m ready for a change.
I’m still not exactly clear on what has been missing from my life, but I do know that I want to take steps to find out what will make me happy.
I thought travel blogging would make me happy, but after three years of it consuming my life, I’ve noticed it becoming a chore. I know I don’t want to give it up completely, but it’s time to rethink how much of my time I want to give to it. Sometimes it feels like I’m on a hamster wheel, just barely making enough money to support this lifestyle.
I love my freedom, but I can have this freedom with freelance bookkeeping jobs and make more money than I do blogging — while taking trips for me instead of feeling obligated to write or post updates.
I’m not giving up on the blog, by any means, but I want to enjoy travel again. I want to focus more on photography and possibly even start branching out from architectural to portrait photography. Before I left for Europe, I was working hard towards building a new photography website with a store to purchase prints and other items. After I got home, I lost the desire to finish the site.
Last night, I received an email from someone asking to purchase two prints from our photography page. This email couldn’t have come at a better time. Sometimes the universe provides exactly what you need.
I’m not sure what the future holds, but I felt compelled to write this post because I know I’m not the only person who has ever felt stuck.
Maybe if you are feeling stuck right now, it will give you a little comfort to know that you are not alone.
Try to use this time to figure out what you want and start taking steps to make that happen. I’m not saying I have all of the answers, but realizing this transition period is necessary has made me excited for the future again — instead of feeling uninspired about the things that once made me happy.
So what is my new mantra for the next few months? Take photos, surf, enjoy life and…. repeat!
How do you approach periods in your life where you feel stuck or when you’re just not sure what you want? Tell us in the comments.