Decisions, Decisions

My husband and I have always done the “right” thing. We’ve always been incredibly responsible, and followed a typical “ideal” American path. We both graduated from college, started careers immediately following college, got married, saved money, bought a house, and set up saving plans for retirement. We’ve always done everything by the book until now…

Recently, we sold our house, reduced our expenses, quit our jobs, and bought tickets to New Zealand/Australia to travel for 6 weeks.

Now, now, before you pass judgment, let me clarify. T actually has another job lined up to start in January in a new city, so we didn’t just quit our jobs with reckless abandon (just I did…just kidding that’s a longer story than I want to tell here). We simply decided to seize the day and take advantage of an opportunity to travel for a substantial amount of time before we move and T starts his new job in January. So, we are still being our relatively typical, responsible selves, and not just throwing caution to the wind. However, this is a big deal for us as we’ve never had a time in our adult lives when we haven’t had major responsibilities or expenses (i.e. a mortgage) to stop us from pursuing this dream.

This decision to uproot our lives, to move to a new city, to take some time for ourselves to enjoy our lives, and to travel as much as possible did not happen overnight. In fact, we have been debating over these decisions for more than a year. Should we do it? How can we make it happen? What are the consequences? How will it affect us? Should we put ourselves in front of our careers? etc…

Unexpectedly, this decision making process has impacted us far more than we ever imagined. It has influenced a change in our priorities, our outlook on life, and our future goals. It has shed light on what is most important to us, both as individuals and as a couple. We finally understand what we want out of life, not what is expected of us or what others think we should want out of life. We have decided to forge our own path based on what matters to us, what type of life we want to live, and what we love to do even though it may be different from how others think we should live.

I can’t adequately express in words how good it feels to have a clear understanding of what we want out of life. This understanding makes those life-changing, tough decisions a little easier. Not easy, but at the very least, they are informed and aimed to be in line with our priorities and what is important to us. We have truly never been happier or more excited about our lives than we are now. Not only are we excited for the amazing adventure we are about to embark on, but we are excited for our new lives when we return.

The most significant thing we have taken away from this is how important it is to pursue our passions and dreams, to take advantage of opportunities when they arise, and to create a life for ourselves that we enjoy. We never know if the same opportunities will come around again or if life circumstances could drastically change in an instant. It’s easy to give the advice “live life to the fullest,” but it takes courage to figure out what living a full life means to you, and it takes perseverance to actually live by that philosophy.

Take a moment to think about what living life to the fullest means to you, and start making changes in your life, however small, to lead you toward living your own fulfilling and rewarding life.

 

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