Sunday, September 28, 2014

Two Years and Counting

So much can happen in two years.

You can quit your job, blow up your life, pick up a couple of new professions, accidentally take a trip around the world…Boom. Just like that.

Two years ago today I walked away from my job as a nursing home psychologist. Since then, I’ve been an English teacher, a research consultant, a freelance editor of independently published fiction, a shepherd, a cheese merchant, a farmhand, and now I’m a housekeeper in a Turkish guesthouse. And I contend: Anything is possible.

You need a beekeeper? On it!

Even though I’m in my 15th (15th!!) country for this year, I’d say the journey I’m on is as much internal as external. I regularly sit shaking my head as I contemplate the leaps and bounds my heart and mind have made since I first boarded that plane to Tokyo. To watch insecurities and doubts fade, replaced by confidence and happily shed that sense of panic in confusing and unknown situations, feeling instead ready to tackle anything at any time…to see a broken heart mended and restored by the return of love…to laugh at the correct assessment of a new friend who grips my calf and pronounces me “strong”…I can’t even begin to plumb the depth of the delight it’s all brought me. 

And some literal leaps and bounds.

And yes, when I called this an “accidental” trip around the world, I was dead serious. When I left Japan, I figured I’d take advantage of being on that side of the world to see a little more of it, maybe have a beachy winter. But that was as far as my plan went. Until I took the next step. And the next. And the next. I’ve totally been making this up as I go, letting each step come to me in its own way, often with zero clue of where I’m going or what I’ll do there, with only the vaguest reasons. And it’s been MAGNIFICENT.

Never would've ended up in this stunning place if I hadn't been opening to conversing with a friendly fellow traveler.

I’ve met so many wonderful people, seen so many amazing things, learned so much about different ways of life around the world…each little bit causing more of those internal shiftings, changing who I am, how I think, what I want for my life. This, of course, is not limited to time spent traveling…we are all changing all the time. As I’ve said before, change is the one constant we can count on, and we are all different people when we go to bed each night than we were when we woke up that morning. Being in such unfamiliar surroundings in my travels has just made some of these changes and differences easier to see, but they were always there.

Thankfully, some things don't change.

So today, I’m spending a little more time thinking about these last two years, taking stock, and how what I do for work affects my identity. Or doesn’t. And what kinds of things do play into my definition of who I am. And who I want to be. Anyway, I’m gonna sit here and pontificate away…but I thought I’d at least share these few musings with you.

And this quote that I recently ran across and find a lot of truth in:

Maybe I’ll take up consistent blogging again, maybe I won’t, but in any case, I’d love to continue this conversation with anyone interested!


  1. Horray! A post!! I am casting my vote for your return to consistent blogging. A small (very small because I really like the iPhone -- and my kids!) part of me wishes I could go back to UM and get to know you better because you're awesome! But, I'm thankful for the internet. Very seriously, you and Humans of New York are the two reasons I won't quit Facebook. I'm so happy for you to have had these two unbelievably amazing years of adventure, growth, and restoration. What in the world is next?!


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