It’s been a month since I moved to Spain, and let me say that it’s been one of the most overwhelming, incredible, and fast-paced months of my life.
When I sit down to write about my experiences here in Ibiza, I find myself staring at an empty page, unsure of what exactly to write about. I’ve seen so much in these past four weeks. Should I describe my neighborhood? My wonderful students and school? My talented, adventurous new friends? All of the above are important and worth sharing, but the only thing I’m inspired to write about today is the undeniable truth that you, too, can live the life you’ve always wanted to live.
Before moving abroad, I graduated college a semester early and then immediately started working in Congress as a congressional intern. I wanted to take that time to discover what I wanted in work and life, yet I learned so much more than that in the end. After several months in Washington, D.C., I saw people working 12 or 13-hour days with the weekend being their only beacon of hope. People my age are paid just enough to afford their rent, a night out on the weekends, and more clothes for work.
As college graduates, we’re expected to work at a job that doesn’t pay nearly enough until eventually we get promoted to a higher position with more responsibility (and a higher salary, more importantly), and this cycle continues until we’re at the age where we can retire and finally do what we want.
After a long day of work in the Capitol building, I went home to my apartment, had dinner and a couple of hours to do whatever I wanted until it was time for bed, so that I could get enough sleep to start work bright and early the following day.
I grabbed my journal because I needed to understand why I felt so restless. As my pen touched the blank page, I had no idea what I wanted to write. What resulted was me writing in simple cursive, “Are you ALIVE or are you just living?” I stopped, put the pen down and really thought about this.
I knew I could continue with this internship, find a good job, work my way up the corporate ladder, maybe even find a job that requires a lot of travel so I could get rid of this “travel bug” I seemed to have, but no. My entire existence was searching for something different, and I had to listen to it.
So, this is where you come in. I’m urging you to ask yourself the same thing I asked myself. Are you ALIVE or are you just living? Do you feel inspired by the life you’re living? If the answer is no, then you have the power to change that. Far too often people say, “I wish” instead of “I will.”
A week after I had this realization in my tiny bedroom in D.C., I decided by that time next year, I would be living in Europe. I didn’t have any idea how I would accomplish this, but I was sure it would be a reality for me.
Maybe traveling and seeing the world isn’t your end game. Maybe you have always wanted to open your own business. Maybe you are passionate about baking and want to open a bakery in your favorite city. Maybe you want to run a marathon or finish an Iron Man.
Whatever it is, do it. Make goals and meet them. Be inspired by your passions. Be ALIVE.
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