On Taking The Scenic Route

Portrait of beautiful young woman in field

Sometime in the middle of last week, life got complicated. Well, more complicated than it usually is, I guess. I don’t know how or why it happened, but I realized the life I was staring at was no longer one that I could relate to. It was moving too fast and I was dragging my feet. I felt lost and hopeless, thinking this was all that life was. A whirlwind of moments that I’d forget if I didn’t work hard enough to connect myself to them.

Thinking that this may be all I had to offer in the grand scheme of things, I pulled back. I stopped blogging, left emails unanswered, let phone calls go to voice-mail and made a date with our couch. I figured “why not?”

I was positive I would just jump back into this thing called life at the start of the new week. Certain that those few days would change nothing. I now wonder why I took the time off if I was certain that it wouldn’t change anything. Maybe I was just too tired to keep going, I don’t know. We’ll say that’s it for the sake of moving on to the good stuff.

Those pajama-filled few days provided more clarity than I’ve had in YEARS. I didn’t walk away convinced I had the answers to life’s greatest mysteries, but I did walk away feeling like I actually recognized the person in the mirror again. And I can’t even begin to tell you the last time that happened.

I wish I had something I could tie that clarity to. Some big, inspiring light bulb moment that I could share so you could reap the rewards of my struggle as well. But the truth is that I don’t.

I sat on our couch for most of those days. I ate like crap, read easy quick books, and watched movies on Netflix just because they got at least a 4 star rating. I stayed in my pajamas and watched dishes and laundry pile up. I essentially did nothing productive and had nothing physical to show you from those days. So unless becoming a bum forced me to have that AHA! moment, I’ve got nothing to offer.

Well, except for what I learned.

I learned how badly that I need to slow down. Way, way down. I learned that the things I want in life can’t only be achieved by fast-forwarding through everything else. That really, they can be achieved by pressing pause sometimes and even sometimes going in slow motion.

I have so many goals that I push myself to accomplish. I want our business, and this blog, to grow. I want our house to be fixed up. I want to be healthy and fit. I want to have kids. I want to learn to be a better photographer. I want to be a better cook and baker. And I want all of these things now because I believe in chasing your dreams.

But if I chase all of these things at once … if I look at them with my usual “go big or go home” mentality … if I push myself to do things that are against my nature to get there – that’s when I lose my grip on my life

I don’t need to lose sleep over the goals I haven’t accomplished yet or ones that aren’t moving as quickly as I’d like. I don’t need to miss out on life by only doing things that are related to my goals. And I especially don’t need to get so caught up in my goals that I forget what and who matters in my life.

The finish lines will still be there, no matter how long I take to get to them. They may change or evolve, but the end goals don’t just disappear. They’ll always be right there, waiting for me when I’m meant to cross them. Even if I take the scenic route.

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