Monday, January 27, 2014

A Year in Motion

It's a little hard to believe, but one year ago, I was preparing to go to South Africa for three months of work as a volunteer photographer. At the time, I assumed I'd be working--either in Africa or America--by the end of the year.

That's not exactly how things worked out, and now I'm moving again in a different direction, and it seems like a good time to think about what has changed and what is the same.

This has been a year in motion. After those three months in Africa, I drove across the country by myself to help my parents get settled on the west coast. Then I drove all the way up the east coast from Florida. I've probably been in at least 45 of the fifty states.

What ties all this together is people. I came together with family after my grandmother died, and I got to be part of a memorial for a beloved coach. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. And I shared in the joy when one of my great friends got married.

After I graduated from college, I think that I expected to find a place where I would get a job and settle down and have a circle of friends I saw all the time. Maybe that will still happen, but I've learned a lot from my year on the move.
  1. It is not a bad thing to end up somewhere other than where you thought you were going. Life is unpredictable. Get used to it. Appreciate the detours. 
  2. Dreams change. When I was in high school, my dream was to go to Hollywood and make movies. None of that matters to me anymore, and that's OK.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone. Talk to strangers. They know things you never knew you wanted to know. Try new experiences. Even if they don't turn out the way you hoped, they will teach you things you never knew about yourself.
  4. Make the most of every moment. That doesn't mean you have to change everything about your life, but you do want to be aware of every moment. And, if there's something that calls to you--and keeps calling, do it.
A year ago, I could not have predicted all the things that happened the past twelve months. And I honestly do not know where I will be a year from now. Will this be another year on the move? Or will it be the year that I find the job and the people that make me want to settle in one place? The only way to find the answer is to set off on the journey. Here I go!