Sinking into a bathtub at a six star hotel (I didn’t even know such things existed before that trip), on the gold coast of Australia, I sighed, and started to think about my life rather than…well, anything and everything else.
I was having one of those “how did I get here?” moments. Quite a few of my friends and family often mentioned that I’m “living the life.” I’m not married. I live with my best friend on Maui. I have a great job that allows me to travel all over the world. No kids, no mortgage…on paper, I look as young and fancy free as they come. I bike or walk to work along a picturesque path—ocean to my left, the majestic West Maui mountains to my right; more than once a week, the beauty of it all takes my breath away. But a nagging thought occurred to me, “Is any of it really “me?”
Truth be told, this isn’t the life I signed up for. As a little girl, I didn’t dream of being single or traveling or living in Hawai’i. It never crossed my mind to wish for any of that. There are days I think I want what all of my friends on the mainland have, if only because I spent years wanting the same thing: to get married young, have the mortgage with the yard and kids and the dog, and even the stinky boy husband. But right now, my lifestyle lets me take off at a moment’s notice—I can explore entire cities and meet a dozen new people at breakneck speed, but still have the space and lack of attachments to enjoy it at whatever pace I choose. (I just always choose the fast lane). But how much of that exploring has been intrinsic? How much of my life involves getting to know the ‘real’ me as I change? How much of it includes my goals, present and future? It had been a long time since I had asked myself anything like that. The blankness I felt in response was enough of an answer.
My life felt like it was on hold. The idea of “living the life” bothered me, because some days it felt like someone else’s life. Did my life really belong to someone else? Had I allowed my job and other people’s concerns to completely block out my hopes? I knew my job and Maui could work as long as I remained unattached and available for travel. (I won’t tell you what my job is, because it honestly doesn’t matter. And in an effort to make myself feel better, I’d like to point out that I am not the only person who has ever used their job as a scapegoat for the lacking in their own lives…). I was allowing myself to be held back.
Maybe that’s why I wanted to keep the new puppy so much, (sooooo much). It felt like a portion of my ‘old’ dreams was presenting itself, reminding me to work for things that I really wanted in my own life. I made up my mind, while still in the bathtub, that this is what I really wanted. Now to convince everyone else that adopting the puppy was a good idea…