Kristen is our last guest post for awhile. You might remember I guest posted for her here, and we did a little swap. (Did anyone else notice that all three girls that I asked to guest post are blond and beautiful?) Kristen went to my high school too, and is a kindred spirit. She is funny and witty and the way she writes makes me think. You can tell she writes from experience. I appreciate that kind of honesty and know you will love her as much as I do.
recently i moved back into my parents house.
i know, right? how’s that for an opening statement. destroying my credibility with a brand new audience. and right off the bat too.
the truth of the matter is, i’m in one of those transitionary phases of life. i’m ‘in between’. done with college. began a career in one direction. and am now in pursuit of something new.
tried out one thing i love. and am now chasing another.
the american dream right? i’m young. able. and want to find that every happiness. the same happiness i’ve day-dreamt of since creating fairytale stories for my barbie dolls.
an anatomically correct life. in every way.
i never pictured anything different.
unfortunately. it isn’t always as simple as the barbie mansion we created out of cardboard boxes in the closet beneath the stairs. we can not just make believe and have it be.
choices can be overwhelming. decisions can kick your butt. decisions like moving to a new, unknown destination all by yourself. where to go? east. west. north. south. you question whether you have what it really takes. you tell yourself you do. your parents tell you that you do, but maybe you don’t. you question whether you are brave enough. you question if it is right. you question your future.
decisions involving relationships. marriage. dating. choices involving family and friends. career moves. decisions that will take you in drastically different directions.
and then their is the small stuff.
like diet coke or coke zero?
i mean, these choices get tough ladies and gentlemen. and that magic eight ball starts looking awful tempting.
then we have the dilemma of too many options. too many choices. overload.
i have talked about this on my own blog before, but our generation is the generation of the greener grass. and sadly, i am a perfect example for you.
we are built--programmed really--to strive for the very best and in the most timely of ways. like wanting the latest and most innovative new apple products. but only feeling satisfied with it until the newer version hits stores six weeks later.
that is the story of our world. our touch-of-a-screen, click-of-a-button, instant gratification kind of world. even when we have something good--really really good--sometimes we mess it up, thinking that a better and stronger whatever lies ahead. something greener and full of even more promise.
when in fact, we are missing out on the vibrant green grass we are already squeezing between our eager toes.
but no matter what our various ‘decision-making-hold-ups’ are, there is one place--a place i am guilty of finding myself in so many different times--that we should try our hardest to avoid.
a scary place.
the land of indecision. the land of just wondering. the land of forgetting to make something happen. the land of letting the days pass by with little-to-no meaning. the land of letting the world continue on, while we do not.
yes, we all know this place. granted--most of the time we don’t mean to wind up there.
it’s not exactly a ‘destination b’ we set out to find on our gps.
one of my favorite descriptions of this magical land is given by none other than the brilliant dr. seuss--in his book Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
he calls it ‘the waiting place’. and is--in his words--’a most useless place”.
a place where people are simply waiting. waiting, unable to make up their minds.
“Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.”
and like i said, usually we don’t end up there by choice. usually it is a combination of intense speed and slight disorientation that harshly drop us off there. they pat us on the head--just hard enough to be bothersome, tell us to figure it out, to play nice and eat our green veggies.
we’ll think of a million and one reasons to justify it, to not progress...and then we’ll wait.
but then. then the rocky theme song will start playing. and dr. seuss will continue on.
“No! That’s not for you,” he’ll say. “Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky.”
i like that. you?
i’m not here to preach. i’m not here to tell you that i’ve never been there. i’d be a shameless liar if i tried to tell you anything of the sort, but i do know that we can all relate to this. that we all have been here at some point in our lives. it is part of being human.
it is part the whole ‘learning from our mistakes’ thing.
but i also know that we’re perfectly capable of finding our way out of these ruts and states of confusion.
recently. i’ve learned that sometimes it’s just about making the decision.
deciding on the turn. whether it be right or left. then taking a deep, deep breath of faith, mixing up a protein shake of courage and packing up a fanny-pack full of passion. and just going for it (yes, with a fanny-pack on).
no guarantees it will be perfect. no guarantees it will be easy. you might fail. you might conquer.
either way, we’ll go for it. and we’ll keep moving forward, right?
plus, i really don’t think we should keep those boom bands waiting.
they sound like a lot of fun.
Mandy was actually one of the first "blog friends" I made years ago. Not long after, I was lucky enough to become real life friends with her over a lunch at Cafe Rio and cupcakes at the Sweet Tooth Fairy. What I can say from being lucky enough to know Mandy, is that she is an intelligent, ambitious, beautiful person inside and out, and that she truly did marry the doppleganger of Jim off The Office. Looks, personality, everything = Kevin. So thank you Mandy for letting me be a part of your darling and beautiful blog, and letting me guest post!
My parents like to tell me I have a small comfort zone; stubbornly I disagree, but I think most of the time I know they're right. I eat turkey, cheese, and bread for 90% of my meals. My friends are the same friends I've had since I was thirteen. And with one small 4-month exception, Utah has always been home.
When my dad first accepted a job that would take him 7,000 miles away, I remember one night asking him how he could be so brave? I think his response fell something along the lines of what Robert Frost once said, and that he was "taking the road less traveled" - but for whatever reason, that conversation has always remained with me.
When the chance came earlier this year to spend a part of my summer in New Zealand, although I knew it would be out of my comfort zone, I knew it would be an experience that could bless my life. So off I went!
Living six weeks in another country certainly doesn't make me an experienced world traveler, but those short six weeks gave me a taste of something different, and I think a little bit of courage. A few days after coming home, I saw a trailer for the movie "Life in a Day" (has anyone else seen it??) and watching it only confirmed what my experience abroad taught me in small a way.
I think the world has so much to offer; but it wasn't the beautiful landscape or the amazing countryside of New Zealand that inspired me so much, (and that's not to say that the country itself isn't completely gorgeous) - but it was understanding a different way of life through the people I met. Whether they were from South Africa, Pakistan, Australia, or New Zealand, these different ways of life made me appreciate the beauty life so much more.
And the best part of all of that? It was something that I didn't have to leave behind. As I boarded the plane and looked out the window, I realized that what I was taking home with me wasn't just the Tim Tam cookies in my carry on bag, it was a new perspective. It reminded me of something Henry Miller once said, "One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
Not everyone is going to travel the world, and I may never be able to visit another country again, (and unfortunately I still remain the worlds pickiest eater) - but my summer in New Zealand taught me that it's not going to be the postcards or stamps in my passport that broaden my horizons, but the people and lives that I really take the time to really get to know.
And best of all? That can happen to anyone, anywhere the world will take you.
Thanks again so much Mandy for letting me share my thoughts!
And thanks to all of you for reading them!