Today marks the sixth month that I've been out.
Out of my old loop, out of a regular job generating steady income, out of my previous routine.
I thought of writing this post to remember this day and to tell the story of how the past six months have been. To say that it is bittersweet is an understatement. To romanticize the experience would be to lie. The digital nomad, location-independent, strike anywhere life is not all unicorns and rainbows as one would like to imagine it to be. It's hard work, and I can honestly say that this is harder than when I had a corporate job with a regular stream of things to do and things to worry about. However, it is the path that I wish to keep and cling to as long as I could, if the universe permits.
For the past six months, I've been living off my meager savings and when it ran out, I relied on my earnings as a freelance writer to sustain me (and I still write for a living up to now). I started with the vision of living by the sea, going anywhere, anytime I want to, and I did exactly like that. I was someone with too much time on my hands, going anywhere aimlessly and for a moment, I may or may not have been a hedonist. A friend once told me that having too much time can sidetrack you from seeing and doing what's important. And that scared me for one bit because time, while I have plenty, is something that I can never take back.
|Photo taken last Dec 17, 2015 - after spending 3 weeks in Mindanao
Six months later, I have met a lot of people who are true to their passions, who are dead on sure about the path they want to take, and who selflessly share their time, talent, and resources with others; it humbles me to know them and I wish I could infuse each bit of them into myself. Each person and experience has made me feel that there is something more, something larger than myself and my selfish vision of going anywhere, anytime I want to.
"Happiness only real when shared"
That phrase from Into The Wild says it all. Purpose is important and I think mine lies in that phrase (I think.. because one can't be too sure). I am most happy when I get to share the joy of experiencing things with others, may it be friends or strangers. The 'Why' of things is important. I've been searching for that one 'Why' and as of this writing, I still couldn't say I am 100% sure but I am there, almost certain. If you've come this far in reading this and still haven't figured your 'Why', take the time to do so. Your motivation ends when your 'why' ceases to make sense.
|Sea turtle rescue at Dahican, Mati - I wished to see a turtle and there it was the next day
I've learned that:
- Some dreams you just have to give up (maybe just for now or maybe it will never happen) in exchange for what you feel strongly about.
- You get to decide what you can throw out the window and what you can't live without.. I don't need much.
- The things most important to you can move you to tears. The things that don't matter don't evoke that much emotion.
- There is much joy in having a genuine connection with people regardless of how fleeting the moment is.
- You should always choose to be kind but remember that being kind is different from being plain stupid.
- It's easy to get lost in new ideas and experiences. You need family and friends to help you stay grounded and connected.
- You can change your mind (consequently, your reaction) about a person, about places, about events. Meditation has taught me to watch my emotions as they unfold and from there choose how I want to handle things.
- I'm turning into a dog person - which is fine - read number 7.
I'm afraid I'll turn this post into a long winding post about self-realizations and start posting month's worth of notes but I'll keep it at this. The past 6 months were fun, revealing, rash, all a blur, enlightening, a rollercoaster of experiences, sudden breakdowns, fits of laughter.. anything and everything but a waste of time. Just like any good thing, I need to work harder this coming year for the life that I choose to live. I'm looking forward to spending the next months and years striving for the life that fills my big, fat heart with joy. <3
Thank you to family and friends who have all been very supportive. See you on the road!