The In Between

Wow, I did not realize it has been so long! I actually have several articles waiting in the wings that I have not even put into draft format. I have mused about gender stereotypes and redefinition, the ways we travel and what it is like having aging and struggling parents. I may even have another article that I have forgotten about. All there, but none complete. 

It has been nearly 5 months since I landed in New Mexico. I was reminded of my journey tonight when one of my new coworkers found her way to my web site. I was looking over her shoulder and must admit I felt proud. It actually looks pretty good! I have let many of the sections go, with months and years since I posted or updated. Then I realized my most recent post was in the latter part of August, and here I am approaching the latter part of December. 

I felt nostalgic and happy and accomplished. It was fun to look back and see what was important to me, when and why. My, oh my, how things have changed! My, oh my, has my life changed! My, oh my, do I see the world differently. I am not sure if I am different or just my life is different, or how different. There is no doubt everything has definitely changed. 

I work with a lot of young people. Some are traveling around from job and location to job and location, some are between college pursuits, and some are just trying to find their way. I also work with older folks, more my age bracket, who have chosen this way of life and this industry and are a wealth of knowledge and insight and experiences.  I fall somewhere in-between.

Up to this point, I spent my life in pursuit… jobs, degrees, promotions, wages. I was working my way “up” both professionally and personally. I was raising a child and always wanted, needed, more. I did receive bigger titles and bigger pay checks, more college degrees, bigger houses and nicer cars. I had the boy friends and the husbands. I did all of that and I do have some things to show for it. I have money in the bank, friends for life, an amazing daughter and a stream of stellar experiences.

I was not happy. Now, I feel very done with all of that. Not just done, but a step or two back. Done with the chase and the building. Done with “more”. Now, I chose jobs with much lower qualifications (and paychecks). Jobs with little authority or decision making powers. Jobs that are “doing” and not planning or organizing or managing. I chose that path and, to a degree, I am still on it.

I am not in pursuit of a job that will consume my life. I am not wanting to buy another house or start another “career”, though I have changed industries. I do not want neighbors or cities. I am, in my opinion, not old enough to retire and not work, yet I am not feeling young enough to take on the world and climb that ladder of “success”. I am in-between and I am happy here. 

What has changed? I do not own much these days. My job is just what I want and stays put when I leave. I am not enslaved to a career or a house or another human being. As I told my young co-worker, “I am unencumbered.” She liked that. Heck, I like that. 

I still have challenges. I still have struggles. I still doubt and question my choices. I work to address those things that make my life hard, seeking solutions or resolutions. My housing situation will be changing and that makes me very happy. I have talked about living in the RV and that has been a huge challenge for me. I will be moving into a house with one of my friends here. We looked at it together and talked it over. While neither of us likes the idea of a roommate, neither of us likes living in an RV. The house offers lots of separate space and gives us both more of what we need to really be happy. That is a concession we are willing and eager to make. 

On this journey I am learning more about what truly makes me happy. Hiking and walking and being outside makes me happy. Absolute silence and wide open spaces make me happy. I have an unlimited supply of that. Long and leisurely mornings sipping my tea and watching the local news makes me happy. Not waking up to an alarm makes me happy. Creating my own food and drink makes me happy. I have been so limited in that regard that I have considered moving on from here. But, I asked for what I wanted to make me happy and I got it. Thanks Universe (and management)! Moving into this house will let me relax and continue my “pursuit of happiness”. I will have a bathtub, a real kitchen and some private spaces. I will have an open yard and more gorgeous views. I will have storage!

As a result of this change, I will stop and stay. I will rearrange my personal belongings, stop thinking about moving, and fully commit to my situation. I will relax and start to live, creating food and drink, doing more hiking and exploring. I am eyeballing a mead making kit as a new venture. I also bought a dutch oven and will explore how best to use that. The kitchen is a happy place for me. 

In the end, when I look back, I am WAY more in touch with what makes me happy. I am WAY less willing to live with what makes my life hard or difficult. My life just does not have to be that way. I have choices. I also realize that I do not have to know the future. I live in months, not years. I live with what feels right, not what I am supposed to do. I live much more in the present. I live for now. 

Thanks, patient reader, for being here and for listening. Thanks for taking the time to share in these moments. Thanks for always being here for me. I appreciate you!

In gratitude and with much respect,

Michelle 

PS – Thanks, Val, for stopping in and signing up. You Rock!

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