Sunday, April 1, 2012

What are you running from?

"When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find ways to do it."  --Dr. David Schwartz
At some point or another, the conversation among expats evolves into asking "So, what's your answer to the, what are you running from question?"  We've all been asked it from family, friends, acquaintances, and even each other.  And everyone's answers are totally different.  Generally at first, everyone says they aren't running from anything, they just want a new experience and to see a different part of the world.  Of course this is true for all of us.  As friendships form, you become more honest and say what's really going on in your life to push you into such a drastic change from your life.  And even during all that - you still question - am I really running from something or running towards the life I was meant to be living?  And really, whether you live in a town you've lived in for ages or you choose to move overseas, aren't we all running from something in our lives?  Or are we really just running towards what we want in our lives?

I had things I was running from - but they smacked me in the face even here - thousands of miles from what I know.  I somewhat foolishly thought that changing my environment would change me.  However, being alone in another country does not allow you to hide those things away - rather they become more and more evident as you wander about in your own little world.  For most of my life, I have lacked self-confidence.  I have done a pretty good job of covering that up and not allowing most to see it.  However, it has resulted in numerous struggles with depression and loneliness throughout my adult life.  This move to Prague reminded me more than ever of that famous quote "No matter where you go, there you are."  What I was trying to escape was something that only I could let go.

I used to think that I had to be perfect.  To only let people see me from a distance as this perfect "with-it" person.  But deep down, I wasn't happy.  I felt stuck in this life that I thought others wanted me to live.  When in truth, all anyone has ever wanted for me is to be happy.  Moving overseas has allowed me to finally see what makes me happy and what life I was meant to live.  I love traveling - experiencing new cultures, trying new things, and taking pictures of it all along the way.  I am grateful to have found a job that I'm good at that allows me to work in many interesting locations

While I started this journey in some ways "running from something", I really do feel I am running towards something as well.  While I've certainly had moments of self-doubt, I have never once regretted this choice and also feel that living here has helped me face some things I've struggled with for years.  And while sometimes I feel I "should" have more direction in where my life is going - especially as my 35th birthday creeps closer and closer.  However, when I really think about it - I am already doing what makes me happy.  Finally letting go and just living my life, being me and enjoying each day is what I want in my life.  And so, that's what I'm going to keep doing.  I'm not sure for how long or where this will all take me, but what I do know is that I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.
"Good enough is the new perfect."  -- Becky Beaupre Gillespie
And so, now I'm searching for jobs in Costa Rica.  I'm hoping to start in September and start enjoying the Costa Rican "pura vida" - pure life!  Costa Rican culture has a true love and appreciation for life and living in the moment.  It sounds like a perfect environment for me for my next step.  I'm looking forward to a warmer climate and the ability to be more active - mountain biking, hiking, ziplining, rafting, kayaking, surfing, you name it - I'm going to try it!

So, what am I running from?  Well, nothing anymore.  I am however running towards something - living my life to the fullest and enjoying each day.


  1. I love this post! I am so excited for your next step! You will love latin american culture! I sure do love it! I can't wait to visit you!

    1. Thanks Beth!! Always appreciate your comments. ;) Can't wait for you to visit!

  2. Oh, I LOVE Costa Rica! I've only been there once -- for a ten day Habitat trip -- but the people and the place (and the food) have a huge place in my heart. I completely imagined myself living there. Someday I'm going back.

    Keep running and running and running! I love your imagery of the running toward -- my favorite part of running (as in, the exercise) is being in the moment -- catching the sunset . . . or a tree in just the right place . . . the feel of my lungs and abs and breath . . . For me, that's also a favorite part of running forward in life -- being in the moment.

    I once read a fabulous quote: Do I run because I love life? Or do I love life because I run?

    I check both.