During a family road trip from Florida to New York, back in the early 90's, as we passed through Virginia – I fell in love. We stopped in Williamsburg, to visit the Busch Gardens Theme Park, and stayed at a quaint hotel with loads of blooming Azaleas. I remember wandering around outside alone with my little Minolta camera in tow, gifted to me by my grandfather.
I took pictures of all the beautiful things around me, I sat under trees surrounded by blooming flowers, I cupped the fallen petals in my hand, smelled them, and made a wish:
"I wish to find my way back to Virginia. I wish for my life to lead me back here again."
Then with a big smile upon my face, I threw the petals in the air.
I couldn't wait to get back home to have that roll of film developed. Unfortunately, it was lost on the trip – still till this day, I wonder about the treasures that were misplaced and I regret not taking better care of them. I regret not ever knowing.
Fast forward to 2015 and here I am. I made it! There is a whole lot of journey in-between now and then – the painful, along with the magical – that I will reserve for another day, but I just wanted to say:
I made it!
Lately though, I have felt life is quite fantastic, but, (there is always a but isn't there?), it could be progressing in a "better" and "quicker" way. I have everything I could have ever dreamed of and more – I am here in Virginia, I have a loving partner, 2 kitties that feel like my babies, caring friends and family, 2 great jobs that allow me the freedom to travel quite often, food on the table, transportation, my health, and a home sweet home we adore, in a neighborhood we love.
What more could I want, eh?
That's a tough question to sum up an answer, but in short, I want to feel like I am living my life fulfilling a purpose.
I don't know what it is about human nature, but we are always out to steal our own joy. We always want more than we already have, when somebody else would be complete happy with less.
So as I was drifting off to sleep the other night, my mind was going through the day, and just as I was about to nod off, loud and clear I heard my inner voice say:
Helllooo! What is it you think you are doing?!
You are exactly where you have always wanted to be.
You are here doing exactly what you always wanted to do.
You are back in Virginia wandering around with your camera.
The decisions in life you have made that have led you here would make the, "little girl making wishes under trees throwing petals", proud!
What more purpose do you need?
You make your own happiness and purpose, so don't go robbing yourself of your own joy.
Stop whatever it is you have been doing and live the life you have with gratitude. Be happy in whatever moment you are in! Life is never what you think it should be.
And with that, my body was jolted awake. How could I fall asleep after coming to this realization? It felt as if everything in life was exactly the way it was meant to be. I was exactly where I was meant to be. I thought:
This feels like purpose to me!
How could I do anything but find complete happiness in that?
Developed Film or not, this thought was based on a memory captured long ago that I am going to care for. I am going to hold onto. I am going to treasure, and fight to not let become another regret.
I know we all live different lives, and our lives have the ability of feeling unbearable depending on where we are along our journey. I know it is easier said then done, but fight to find joy in the difficulty. My best recommendation to you is to write a journal. Write about whatever it is you are going through at this time, so you will have it to look back on. The words on those pages are the treasures of your life.
Where are you right now?
Where are you hoping to be?
Are you happy in the current moment?
Side Note: It was rereading this older post that prompted me to share a more personal story with you: Reason Enough to Celebrate Being Me – if you do read this post, know that 4 months after it was written we were making our way to Virginia.
Until next time!