Uncharted

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“Compare where you are to where you want to be and you’ll get nowhere.”
-Sara Bareilles

A few months ago (nearly three to be exact), I was faced with a big life change. To spare you the back-story, what this big life change entailed was me going from a working mom to a stay-at-home mom. Coupled with this transition was a move to a new city and a new house. I literally went from working one day and living in one place to not working at all and living in an entirely different place the next day! At the same time, I had decided that this move/change would be the perfect time to say goodbye to all social media. As you can imagine, this is a lot of change happening at once (talk about uncharted territory)! I was not naïve about all of this change. I knew it would be both difficult and challenging, but I also knew that I would find both beauty and joy. I tried to have my mindset be positive instead of fearful—to not be afraid of the challenge and instead embrace it.

And we all lived happily ever after.

Don’t be ridiculous! Of course it has been hard, but anything that is worth anything is going to have some level of sacrifice! I chose this quote by Sara Bareilles because I think it is perfect for venturing into uncharted territory. Instead of thinking about where you are now and where you want to be, start being in that place right now. Another way of looking at it is to stop waiting to live and start living now. If we keep waiting until a specific time to make a change, we may never make it! So, with that said, here are a few things that I have found to help me live life to the fullest and venture into this uncharted territory in the last few months.

1. Put away technology in all of its forms.
This one is simple. I’m not saying don’t use technology at all, I’m saying put it away as much as you can. Change your mindset to think of it as something positive. Instead of thinking about not being able to use technology, think about how you are trying to be present and experience every moment to the full without distractions!

2. Be a friend of silence.
I think that for some, practicing silence is easy and for others, it is very difficult. When I say silence, I mean any and every distraction. I mean phones, laptops, music, siblings/kids, homework, to-do lists, podcasts, etc. Mother Teresa says, “We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.” For those of us who have minds that love to race from one thing to the next, this one is a challenge. But this is where God speaks. It is not the only place He speaks, but who really wants to argue with Mother Teresa? Practice being with God in the silence and I think you will be amazed by how you will be able to hear Him speak. I always am.

3. Practice contentment instead of seeking adventures.
For someone like me who spends her days dreaming of her next vacation, this proves to be quite the challenge. Why must exploration, adventure, and wanderlust always occur far away from our everyday lives? Of course there is something special about going away on a trip, but there is so much beauty to be found in the everyday. This is something that I need to practice more and more as my everyday life gets smaller and smaller. I need to find joy and beauty in my own backyard and on my own street (literally)! I need to find excitement in trying a new recipe or sipping a glass of wine! I need to stop looking at all of the amazing things other people are doing and start living my own adventure.

4. Read!
Before moving, I spent most of my free time talking or on my computer.  To put it simply, this is not the best for the imagination. Reading or even listening to an audio book is amazing not only for your imagination, but for your perception of the world around you and for your vocabulary. Getting lost in a book is very different than getting lost in a Netflix series. Don’t just read any book though. Find one that is about something you’re interested in. I am always on the hunt for romantic novels about Italy, so if you know of any, let me know! 

5. Do things that make you come alive (but avoid posting it to social media)!
Since moving and getting off social media, I have been very aware of the fact that no one knows what I am doing. I am not even sure how many people cared to see what I was doing everyday or realize that I haven’t posted anything in a while. A goal of mine has been to start making more things from scratch. Some things I’ve been working on are bread, granola bars and butter. I am so thankful to have the ability to make delicious things to eat and I have been able to fully enter into the process. I never once thought about what others would think about my bread. I am doing something that is helping me to feel more alive and to become more authentically myself, without the influence (consciously or subconsciously) of anyone else.  

If we just compare where we are to where we want to be, we will get nowhere. Start living where you want to be. Venture off into uncharted territory. What ways have you ventured off into the uncharted?