Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Excerpt From My Journal: June 15, 2009, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

An excerpt from my journal, and a little peek into what I reflected upon during my travels:

I am experiencing an interesting feeling. The only word I can think of to describe it is contentment. I have always been a planner, a goal setter, and then an accomplisher. I decide I want to do something, usually write out a plan of how I am going to accomplish it, and then I work toward it. Writing out plans and budgets is how I graduated from college in three and a half years, saved money for our honeymoon and travels since, trained for a half marathon, taught high school for three years, saved money to co-own a property, saved money to partially pay for my master's degree, etc. My whole life has been spent doing what I set out to accomplish. It may sound like I have no spontaneity, but this goal setting addiction I have has enabled me to have pretty great moments in life from crossing the finish line after running without stopping for 13.1 miles to standing next to flowing lava in Guatemala to hearing about miracles from rural people in Nepal to road tripping in a mini van with my family around New Zealand to reading thank you letters written by high school students to their public high school teacher to doing research in Bosnia-Herzegovina for my master's degree.

But despite all of this, I have never really felt content. I have always wanted more, not in the sense of material possessions, but I have always thought about what I am going to do next in life. When I graduated from college, I planned when I would go back. When I finally started my career as a high school teacher, after three years I decided to get my master's. Half way through my master's, I thought about getting my Ph.D.

I know I sound like a neurotic fool, and I guess I am. But there is a point here.

I think I have done almost everything I have wanted to accomplish in life (besides having babies, which will come later). For once, there is not a next step for me. I want to go home to San Diego, continue to live in community, hopefully have a job, and be content.

Am I relinquishing the idealistic counterculture in me or am I finally really living into it? It's not that I want to become a boring self-centered person (although this entry screams of self-centeredness). It's not that I hope to relish in mediocrity. It's just that I want to live in contentment- being present, and not always thinking about what is next.

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