For most of my life, I’ve had this nagging feeling of being uncomfortable, of being out of place. It’s like being a puzzle piece that’s been put in the wrong box on more than one occasion. I may have all the right edges and curves, but my design doesn’t quite fit with the picture. I think this feeling is part of why I can never seem to sit still, both metaphorically and physically. I’m always wanting to go somewhere new and try new things. I don’t like to sit for long periods without movement, it makes me anxious. My mind is constantly running at an exceptional speed. You get it. Some might say this isn’t a great way to live, but I’d have to disagree. I think it’s a blessing, even if it comes with its own set of issues here and there.
This need for movement, this desire to wander, has led me down so many unexpected paths that I’ve welcomed with open arms. I’ve visited and lived in multiple countries, which has opened my eyes to the world beyond my doorstep. I’ve held an interesting list of jobs that have, and continue to, refine my editorial and writing skills while developing others. I’ve met people from all walks of life, many of them becoming important fixtures within my own. I’ve learned multiple life lessons, some much harder than others, but heeded all the same. If this is what wandering leads me to, then I hope to wander all my life.
Looking at my discomfort through this lens has also become a great teacher, even if I’m not always the best pupil. The older I get, I make more time to stop and evaluate where I am currently and how it is serving me. If I am comfortable, then I am where I need to be for the time being. If I am feeling an urge to get up and get going, then maybe its time to move on. Either way, I’ve come to the realization that, perhaps, I’m not out of place at all, but merely collecting pieces of my own puzzle to create something unique. We are not required to fit the molds surrounding us, despite what others might say. The day we latch on to that truth, I think, is the day we give ourselves long-awaited permission to live more authentically.
As I finish writing this, I’ve also come to determine that my — our — destination isn’t a singular point on a map or place in time. In fact, I think we are given multiple destinations to wander toward as we travel through life. With every season we reach, it will require a different version of ourselves to make it through. There will be new anxieties and uncertainties latched on to these roads, but don’t let that deter you from moving forward. Greet the oncoming discomfort with a nod and a smile, then lace up your traveling shoes. It might be the best thing you’ll ever do.