My life is currently in a constant transition to an unknown place….and it’s frustrating when I don’t even have faith that the choices I make will point me in a clear direction. There’s a higher chance that I will continue to have frequent changes in my life, even when I find myself feeling comfy just where I am. Because at 23, this transition is forcing me to “travel” to an unknown place. I question whether or not I’ll ever find this mysterious location, seeing as so many people my age seem to have it all together already…but do they really though?
So currently, I am transitioning and “traveling”. I’m telling myself that I have to be packed up and ready to shift my life in a new direction at any given moment. In a perfect world, we don’t start packing our suitcases for a trip until we’ve created an itinerary of what we plan to do when we get there. Real life example: we don’t expect a college acceptance letter when we haven’t even submitted a well-written personal statement. You kinda catching my drift? Knowing more about where I’m going means I can prevent bad things from happening, like packing an umbrella in case it rains. Unfortunately, even when I bring all the things I need, I can’t always prepare myself for unexpected delays and other things that are out of my control. When this has happened to me in the past, I know I have the tendancy to respond too quickly by a. complaining b. panicking or c. sharing my stress with others — all of that instead of recognizing a message from God. He is telling me to wait and to put my trust in His timing…maybe because I have the wrong things in my suitcase.
So thinking about my baggage and my travel neccessities, I’ve compiled a short list of things I want to remember as I “travel”:
Appreciating good customer service when I get it. I read or heard somewhere that there is no such thing as bad customer service, just bad customers. I used to be the person who gave the employee a hard time because I thought that I was being treated poorly. We will receive customer service everywhere: drive-thrus, hotels, liquor stores, hospitals/clinics, and so on. This is a reminder (for myself too) to be nice and show empathy to the people who have to deal with bad customers all day — their main job description is to make their customers/clients happy. Allow yourself a moment to take a step back to look at the situation as a whole instead of feeling like an entitled little sh*t.
Not asking for the Wifi password. Let’s be straight – if we’re asking for the Wifi code when we visit our friends or when we’re at a party, it’s because we’re planning to spend some time alone with our electronics and have moments of silence to update our social media. Before we become glued to our phones, maybe we need to ask ourselves: Am I having a good time? Did I have at least one deep conversation with someone here? I am so guilty of this, so don’t think I’m mentioning this to be petty toward anyone – but I want to become more mindful and aware of not abusing my time in front of the screen while I’m around people.
Dancing badly. I can’t twerk and I don’t have an urge to learn – no shade toward people who have that much power controlling their lower half – but damn, it feels good to dance without having a care about whether or not that dance move is cool. Bring out some old school moves, lip sync to the song, dance fast to a slow song and vice versa because it’s a good feeling. And great cardio.
Deleting Facebook friends on their birthday. Simple as that. This may seem harsh to some of y’all, but let’s be honest: if you forgot that you were friends with them in the first place, it’s okay to unfriend them. I find that this is a good way to filter out people who don’t play an active role in my life anymore and give more attention to those who can help me build a strong network.
Not shopping for the sales. We don’t actually need anything off of the 70% off clearance racks at Target or the “buy 4, get a $5 gift card” offers. This is how they gitchu! It’s fun to browse and find the best deals but we have to remind ourselves to spend our money on more practical things like toilet paper and clothes that can be worn for multiple occasions. This is a minimalist thing I’ve been trying to discipline myself into doing. At some point, we’ll probably start to define “saving money” as investing a chunk of our hard-earned income in something that will last a long time. Like a car. Or life insurance.
Talking to babies and elders. I love toddlers, specifically between the age of crawling and 2nd grade. They are so curious and playful and innocent. When I’m with my nieces and cousins, I stop and observe them play with each other but then step in to mess with them a bit to hear that giggle (or cry). Similarly, it warms my heart to share a conversation with someone that is in their 60s and 70s, no matter who they are! But instead of doing all the talking, I just listen to them speak to me and trust the truth behind their wisdom, stories and advice.
There’s that cliché we all know: “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” and right now, my destination is still fuzzy which is the reason for this article. I haven’t found my dream job or applied for a graduate program and I don’t know the meaning of life. And I don’t think I’m supposed to know that yet. But right now, I’m taking time to reflect and show awareness that all of this is a transition – which means it will gradually get better and better. My suitcase is not all packed up and ready to go, but I’m placing things one by one into it and taking things out that aren’t needed for the journey. “Traveling” can get exhausting, so it’s acceptable to take a break to recharge.
Did I lose ya in all that metaphorical lingo? I dunno I’m still working on how to express what I’m thinking. Thanks for reading! -PCL