Today is officially my last Monday ever at my current job.
Al and I are leaving our jobs, our home, and the life we have built for the past six years in Chicago.
I have to be honest and say I always knew it would come to this. When I started this blog, I knew that one day, I would be writing about leaving my job and doing something that I have always dreamed of and worked towards doing. As much as it helped to focus on the day-to-day happiness, I knew that I would only feel restless and regretful until I did this thing that I have always felt a pull to do.
I haven’t written in months, because my life and my thoughts have centered around this one thing, this major life change, and I haven’t been able to write about it or talk about it openly, until I knew that it was really happening.
So, here it is.
Al and I are leaving to explore the world together. Is that just the most millennial statement you have ever read? Maybe it is, but I don’t care, because this is something we really want to do, and it is also something I was never sure (for various reasons) that we would ever be able to make a reality. I mentioned in my very first post, that it has been a long time dream of ours to travel together since we met over ten years ago.
In a way, I feel like the wheels were set in motion for this blog almost twenty years ago, when I was eleven years old, back in 1997. Obviously I didn’t know I was starting a blog then, mostly because I was just learning how to use the internet, and my basic understanding of it at the time was strictly related to trolling AOL chat rooms with my other eleven year old friends.
But, I’m getting off track.
From ages 0-10, I was living the dream in Indianapolis, Indiana. I woke up every morning and did some version of the following: pulled up my purple Umbro shorts with side reflectors, zipped up my champion windbreaker, threw my frizzy hair in a multi-colored scrunchy, and headed out to greet the day.
I didn’t wonder what awaited me, I knew. I lived out each day comfortable with my place in the world, because clearly, I was the center of it.
Then, the summer of 1997 struck, and everything changed. My parents were awarded a grant to take our entire family on a three week trip through various cities in Europe. The grant sent us to these cities to learn about and discover the origins of Deaf culture, language, and education, beginning with the first Deaf school in France. Even now, I cannot believe how lucky we were to have that experience. I was not aware of the full impact of this trip at the time, but it completely changed the rest of my life. For the first time, I saw that there was a world and a life that I had no idea existed, which was completely different from mine.
Twenty years have passed since then, and I have never stopped dreaming of and chasing travel, of staring at pictures of various destinations and mentally inserting myself in the images of places I wanted to see and experience first-hand. I never imagined as that eleven year old how hard I would have to work to make this happen, how difficult it would feel to leave people (and pets) you love, even though you are doing something that you have always wanted to do.
I also never could have imagined that I would marry someone who would share these dreams with me, and who would not only be my best friend, but my partner in this great adventure. I never forget for a minute how lucky I am to have been born in a country where I have the ability to work towards and realize this type of a dream. Although I have worked and saved for years to make this happen, I understand that most people do not have the type of opportunity that I have to see the world. This makes me feel even stronger that I must do it. Because I want to. Because I can.
So, there you have it. The long-winded story about how I have (for the time being) said goodbye to spending my Monday (not to mention Tuesday through Friday) mornings behind a desk. For years, I have been paid to worry about and solve a very specific set of problems. Nobody is paying me to worry about these things any longer, and my days are my own to design now.
My intent is not to sit here and write about how you should escape your 9-5 job, your desk life, and run away to travel, because that is not what I believe, or what I mean when I talk about living a life where you are trying to build better Mondays (although if that is what you actually want to do, then do it!)
For me, it is about living my life in the best way I know how, making changes when I am not where I want to be, and working towards those things I have always dreamed of doing. My guess is that it means something different for each person. This blog is simply my story, and what it means to me.
Al and I officially leave the US on August 4th, and I will do my best to update this blog along the way.
Wish us luck!