The Map of Life

I’ve never felt more optimistic about the future but this doesn’t mean I’m not terrified by all the possibilities.

I often talk about choosing paths because I visualize life as a giant map with all sorts of twists and turns along the way as we make choices.  I think sometimes we limit ourselves by choosing only to see the easiest or most obvious paths.  We ignore the trails off the paths because they don’t seem passable.

I’m starting to see more trails.  When I see one of these trails I’m always tempted to see where they might lead but they’re not well traveled and you can’t always see where they lead making them a less stable choice.  I’m worried one might lead me to a dead end or off a cliff but I’m also thinking a less traveled path could lead to happiness.

Right now I’m looking at career choices and weighing traditional vs. risky.  I have these fleeting moments where I want to ignore what I should be doing, throw caution to the wind, and find a way to pursue more creative, less traditional, higher risk career options.  I think I’m so scared of going back into a miserable work environment I’m beginning to question all my choices.  I see people living their lives without a 9-5 job so I know it’s possible.  I’m trying to delve deep into what I truly want for my life but It’s not easy because there’s a constant fear of making the wrong choice.

It always comes down to money, the root of all evil but necessary to live.  I feel like I constantly straddle the line between choosing money or passion hoping to find the beautiful area in between where you earn money doing what you love.  I’m not even looking to make tons of money just enough to live on without worry.  I’m living on less than 1/2 of what I was making and I wouldn’t mind making more but I’m pretty content.  Bills are paid and I have my fair share of creature comforts.

If you could always earn enough money to live and  do whatever you wanted for a career, what would you do?

I came up with the question but I’m struggling to come up with an answer.

I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was in junior high, prison psychologist (might not be for everyone but I’m fascinated by why people do what they do), but somewhere along the way that career path was derailed.  I picked it back up again a few years ago by completing my Associates in Psychology and moving on to a Bachelors’ in Criminal Justice.  When I was working on my degree I was excited by the topics I was learning and knew I was ready to take on a job that could make a difference.  The jobs I’m applying for right now are juvenile rehabilitation counselor assistant, social services specialist, human services specialist, and community corrections officer (parole officer).  All jobs that put me on the career path I’ve always wanted but now that I’m inching closer to actually finding my way into that career path I’m scared.

I’m scared of going back to the “40+ hours a week too exhausted & burnt out not wanting to do anything” existence, the place of least resistance.  I’m scared of going back into my rut.  That comfortable place where I’m not active or present but just there allowing life to pass me by without engaging in the world.  I don’t think I could allow myself to go back into my rut but I acknowledge the fear.

I realize being afraid doesn’t mean I’m going to stop it just means I’m trying to scope out all the different paths and trails. It sounds cheesy but I really am the only one holding me back from exploring all my options.  My family and friends might not always understand but they still support me in whatever I choose to do so the only limitations are the ones I set for myself.

For now I’m going to continue to pursue both options, the traditional and the risky.

I have to constantly remind myself that once I make a choice I’m not necessarily stuck on that path.  If I choose a job and find it’s not for me I can always move onto something else.  Change is scary but it can also be exciting because it’s a chance for a fresh start.  I never thought I could be so uncertain but so happy at the same time.  I’m learning to live with and in some way even appreciate the uncertainty in my life.  If I’m stepping back and looking at the map of my life I know that all the paths and trails are open to me.

I just need to take a deep breath, muster up my courage, and start walking.


I Like Myself and That’s Okay

I love this post! As I’ve started learning to accept my body I’m more positive, more motivated, and finally seeing changes. I’m focusing more on making my body the best it can be rather than trying to change it to fit someone else’s image of how my body should be and I’m happier than ever.

Back Home Again

Another fabulous weekend away has come to an end 😦  I hate to leave but a part of me does like being home; although, I’m falling in love with staying busy.  I sometimes hate all the driving but it gives me time to think about everything from careers to dating to job searches to what I want to wear tomorrow to eating to working out to why everyone insists on going 80mph when the speed limit is 60mph…..

I’m pleased to say the weekend away once again tested me with food choices and activity choices.  For the most part I did okay trying to stay active and not overeat.

I only had one night where I definitely ate too much….actually 2 nights.  I ate way too much popcorn at the movies on Thursday then I took my mom for a nice dinner on Saturday night because her birthday was on Thursday (Happy Birthday again!) and dinner was so delicious I overindulged.  They had fresh made bread with olive oil that I wanted to take home with me but I really wish I’d eaten one less piece of bread and saved room for some tiramisu 😉 .

Friday I woke up and took myself on a 3 mile walk through my hometown, snapping pictures like a tourist and had a blast.  Hometown visits are always interesting because you see what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and often realize why you have a weird love/hate relationship with the town.

I also went bowling with my Grandpa and his friends.  My Grandpa is an amazing bowler and even though he’s over 80 he still consistently bowls high scores.  I was worried I was going to be embarrassed because I am not a bowler but I held my own and bowled a 132 and 129, not too shabby for someone who bowls maybe once a year or less.  It was fun.  It gave me a chance to do something active and best of all gave me a chance to spend time with my Grandpa.

All my time thinking and driving had me putting together a to-do list in my mind that probably needs to find it’s way onto paper before I forget everything I wanted to get done this week.  I want to write at least once a day.  I have tons of photos to upload to my photo blog.  I found some more job openings I want to apply for this week.  I might try to plan a hike for the end of the week depending on the weather.  I need to finish someone’s birthday present and get it in the mail.  I need to work on my Red Cross volunteer training.  My apartment is a mess so cleaning will be needed this week.

On the getting healthy front….

Tomorrow I’m going to put together some meal plans for the week and a good grocery list.  You might see some of the meal plan because I think posting it would give me some accountability.  I keep saying I’m going to do it but then I don’t and my eating ends up being hit or miss as far as staying healthy and eating the right amount of food.

Tomorrow is also my last training session so I need to look over everything tonight and make sure I get all my questions answered.  Even though it was expensive and only for 4 days I’m so glad I could work with a trainer because it’s helped me feel more confident about being in the gym.  I’m in a place where I can start creating my own routines and I really look forward to working out because I’m not doing the same thing all the time (plus I’m finally starting to see some results! 🙂 ).

It’s gonna be another busy week but like I wrote on Thursday I think everything is starting to come together so each week is starting to feel like a new adventure where anything is possible.