I have not been motivated to write on my blog for awhile. Well, basically since I returned to the US after coming back to Florida after returning from Spain.
I have started a new job, crashed with friends, bought a new car (such an adult now!), and spent time with people I haven’t in months or even years. But still I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have struggled a lot since returning home and I am still trying to pinpoint why I feel so lost and ungrounded.
In theory, I should feel grounded. The key word here is should.
I started a new job; check! I got a new car: check!
I have had adequate family and friend time; check!
Got that big person salary with health benefits; check!
All the boxes are checked and yet I feel lost. I feel like I have not experienced ‘blog-worthy’ experiences since coming back to the States like I had felt when I was in Europe.
What is there to post about? I am back where I always said I would never be again. I am back where I said I did not want to live or work. What could be worth writing about? Am I the only person who feels this way after coming home from abroad or starting a new job in a new place?
I am definitely a ‘glass half full’ person but I really had to take time to examine the positive sides of things because these positives were camouflaged behind the negatives. After some Google searches, I found other travelers have felt the same way. Like this one here or here. Or even how starting over in a place where you want to be can be tough, like Erin Outdoors mentions here. (Erin Outdoors has an awesome blog by the way; check it out!)
So what I thought was ‘un-bloggable’ is very bloggable and maybe I should write about it to help someone else out, if not at least write out my thoughts so I can help myself. So here we go.
Things in the States are just different. The architecture, culture, food, people, transportation system, etc. The list could go on and on.
I feel like I cannot give travel suggestions in the same way or even showcase the food I eat on a daily basis because well everything has been boring to me. Even going to the supermarket or grabbing a coffee with friends is not as exciting as in Spain.
But before anyone can call me a ‘spoiled millennial’ or ungrateful for my current living situation, I’d say hear me out first.
I am absolutely grateful for my current situation and well aware how lucky I am to have gotten a solid job after taking two years to travel after graduate school. I know this doesn’t happen to everyone.
But I don’t feel the need to defend my current feelings because they are what they are and I am firm believer that it depends on what I do with these feelings that is defining; not the fact that I have these feelings in the first place.
The things that I have been expected to have as a 27-year-old young professional did not make me completely happy (I could have told you that from the start but whatevs) so now I need to figure out what to do.
So the ultimate question becomes: how do I feel fulfilled so that will ultimately lead to happiness again?
This question leads to a slew of other questions though.
Should I be sad and depressed that I am where I am? Maybe, on some days, sure why not. I think it is important to emote whatever you are feeling so you can pinpoint the cause and move toward finding a solution that makes you happy.
How can I keep traveling? Travel makes me happy. It is simple. I live in Florida and many people travel here to get away from cold winters and there are beautiful places to see here, but I was having a hard time finding these places because I have taken them for granted for so long. I thought I wouldn’t be able to travel so often while being back but planning weekend trips or short day trips are actually pretty doable. The trick is that I have to make time to do them.
What is in my control to lessen my sadness? I found I could do more crafts, paint, be more active (because endorphins and stuff), listen to new music, dance more, write more, take day trips, and really do anything that I have been always wanting to do but haven’t done. I tried to focus on things I can control outside of work to recharge and find my new escapes. This is hard but doable as long as I put effort into it, which can be challenging at times.
What makes me happy? There are a lot of things that make me happy and that list keeps growing. However, I feel like I have a better idea of what makes me unhappy than what makes me happy. I am trying to shift my focus on what the pros are for my current situation than the negatives.
Not going to lie, I have had a mini existential crisis. I stayed in my home state for money?! What kind of monster have I become?! I felt like staying in Florida was changing my core beliefs, which is definitely not the case.
Just like I chose to take a job in Florida, I can choose to take a job and live somewhere else in the future but with more professional experience on my resume. It is all about those choices and balancing those pros and cons.