Sometimes, I say/write things that aren’t true. Not because I’m a compulsive liar or enjoy throwing people for a loop. Not because I enjoy tripping myself up (because I really don’t).
Sometimes, I say things aren’t true because my whole life is organized around my internal processing skills (both a joy and a pain of being an INFJ personality type). Sometimes, what I actually want/think/believe takes some time to catch up to what I think I want/think/believe.
Truthfully, it’s all a bit of a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s the way I roll.
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At the beginning of 2016, I wrote about my lofty goals for the year.
They were very much internal goals and, correspondingly, I spent much more time in 2016 trying to figure myself out and grow as a person than I have in the previous 22 years of my life combined. All the outward changes in my life were based on these internal goals–my decision to leave Thailand and move back to the United States was very much based off of an internal understanding that the growth I needed to accomplish at that time couldn’t be done in a country and culture that were so far away from my comfort zone. My decision to travel to Europe for two weeks was based on a desire to find comfort with an old friend after a jarring few months in Asia, and my decision to move to Washington, DC, was based on an intuitive feeling that it’s where I needed to be to find a bit more of myself.
Even before I decided to leave Thailand, I knew 2016 needed to be a year of internal change–and it proved to be exactly that.
At the beginning of 2016, I had an intuitive feeling that it was going to be memorable and life changing…and it was.
Now, at the beginning of 2017, I have this very intuitive feeling that it’s going to be a good year. What does good mean exactly? I guess I’ll find out, but I’ve also learned in the past few months that more often than not, I can’t simply trust my intuition–I must act on it.
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I recently texted a friend that I’ve been feeling a bit directionless lately–which was, in the moment, a true statement. That said, in the aftermath of pressing the send button, I found myself feeling very negatively that I had expressed that statement at all. I had a moment a few hours after sending that message where I thought, I think I’m feeling directionless right now…but am I really? It was a classic INFJ moment of clarity that got the wheels actively turning in my head towards a changed mindset.
It’s true that I have been feeling directionless lately but, contrary to that feeling, in the past month I’ve actually started the process of setting out a very clear direction in front of me. I realized in my moment of clarity that the feeling I had of directionless wasn’t a lack of direction in itself–it was a fear of following the direction I’m realizing I want for myself now. It was realizing that I’ve been living in my head so consistently for the past few months that I’ve kind of forgotten that taking action is necessary to accomplish anything. It was also realizing that what I want for myself now is something I really, really want more than anything I’m pretty sure I’ve ever wanted…and how unbelievably scary that is.
It’s 100,000 times easier to live the life you don’t want for yourself than to shoot for the life you desire. I know that sounds cliché, but I also believe a lot of clichés exist because they are built on truth.
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While undergoing a lot of the emotional distress I was experiencing in Thailand, I had convinced myself that I was a bad teacher and, therefore, that I didn’t want to teach. However, I recently discovered that none of that is true. I actually do want to teach–I would very much love to teach mid-upper elementary school someday.
I’ve also recently realized that I want to teach abroad again. Not next year. Not in five years. But in 2017.
I came to DC with a misplaced belief that I wanted a 9-5 job and a settled lifestyle. I now understand that, while I love this city with all my heart and see myself continuously coming back here throughout my life, the real reason I moved to DC last June was to figure out what I don’t want. I hate working in an office. I feel constricted and uninspired and I also work in short spurts rather than long strides–a work ethic that I don’t feel is conducive to an office atmosphere. I’m also not ready to settle down. I aspire to live in more places and travel a bit more before confining myself to one place.
While the thought of leaving DC scares me–genuinely because I love it so much and because I feel so damn comfortable here–leaving is, in fact, what I want for myself in the new year. It’s also what I feel like I need right now. I need to get out of my comfort zone for me.
2016 was memorable and life changing because I worked through so many fears and pushed myself in so many ways. I still have a lot of fears to work through and I am never going to stop pushing myself, but I’ve spent so much time in my head in the last year. I know what I want and it’s time for me to go for that.
I’m not sure where 2017 will take me in the world, but I know it’s going to take me somewhere. I don’t have a plan for getting there yet, but I’m also confident it will come in time. I’m excited to again foster my nearly year-long repressed love for teaching and I’m excited to explore more of the world and immerse myself in new cultures.
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We often place so much emphasis on the destination that we forget about the journey (another cliché, I know). I have a direction. I’m not sure how I’m going to get there yet, but I’ll figure it out.
2017 will be good.
I am going to make sure of that.