The theme of storytelling has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m finding it an especially interesting idea as I start to plan the next chapter in my life’s adventure. The phrase that keeps appearing in my mind, over and over as I think about the future, is:
Your life is a book. What do you want it to say? What do you want your story to be?
Since moving abroad, it’s become clear to me that it’s important to be intentional with my one wild and precious life. I’ve met people here from all over the world and their stories have inspired me to think differently. When I left Canada, I only intended to be away for one year: Korea was meant to be my one crazy adventure before settling down and starting my “real life”. But the longer I’m away, and the more people I talk to, I have realized that this is my real life, I am lucky to be living it this way, and I can do whatever I want with it in the future.
My word for the year was abundance, and one of the many important things it has taught me this year is that we have so many options. We all have more time and possibilities available to us than we’re led to believe when we graduate from university.
Contrary to what I thought before I left, since being here I’ve actually encountered more opportunities to grow my career, build my skills and make plans for the future. I’ve transitioned from an unpaid internship to a paid position, I’ve had time to work on my freelance writing, I’ve improved my photography, and I’ve begun to shift my blog in a direction I’m proud of. Through listening to my intuition and believing in abundance, I’ve encountered far more opportunity than I believe I would have, had I stayed at home.
Maybe your intuition isn’t telling you to leave your job and move to a foreign country: I don’t think that is the answer for everyone. What I do believe is that there’s always a third alternative. Life is not black-and-white. If you’re willing to explore new opportunities and possibilities, even those that don’t seem quite right at first, you may be led to things you never could have imagined. I truly believe if you do, you will encounter things you never expected to, better things than you ever could have predicted.
Life should be led with intention. If there’s one thing these nine months away have taught me so far, it’s that I’m going to need to choose. If I want to go on adventures, it’s up to me to make them happen. I recognize now that I am the writer, my life is my story and I get to decide what ends up in the book. At the end of my life, all I’ll have is whatever I chose to write on the pages. To me this means I can’t coast. I can’t expect anything to happen for me, an idea which is at once terrifying and empowering.
Perhaps that’s part of why I’m so excited to have my mom visit me here: I realize that Korea is a short but meaningful chapter in my hopefully long life. I’m so grateful that she will get to see what this part of my story was like.
So, as 2014 winds down, and you start to make plans for the new year, ask yourself:
What do you want your story to say?