Blogging came easily when I was living abroad last year. Seeking inspiration, I spent some time looking at my old posts this week. They’re interesting if I do say so myself. I had a lot to say. I learned a lot from living in Sri Lanka and I knew how to share it with other people. It’s not so easy now.
A year ago, I was learning about my own capabilities and strengths and how to be alone and learn a new culture and figure out work dynamics and every lesson I learned was worth sharing. They were the personal growth lessons. The things I’m learning lately are more along the lines of “don’t do homework in bed because you’re going to fall asleep on your glasses” and “if you don’t tell your boss that you’re too overwhelmed with school and work, he won’t notice”. These are certainly good things to know, but not necessarily things that other people need to hear.
After a year of earth-moving personal revelations, it’s really challenging to feel like I’m not learning anymore. I feel like I’m standing still. My rational self knows this isn’t true; with the exception of 5 very slow weeks recently, I’m busy all the time. I am in school, which I like okay, I have a job I love and really good friends and family and a dog. I always have something to do, and I’m gaining new skills and experience almost daily. It just doesn’t feel as important as it used to, and therefore it doesn’t feel like enough.
When you have had the opportunity to do something extraordinary, and when you see people who are doing extraordinary things, it can be really hard to be satisfied with your ordinary. I have started and stopped writing so many posts in the past couple of weeks because I don’t know what to say anymore. I’m still waiting for something extraordinary to happen to me, even though I know it’s probably not in my best interests at the moment (extraordinary can be exhausting and I’ve had a long year).
But, as restless as I might feel some days, it’s also nice that after a year of earth-moving personal revelations I more or less have a routine. Maybe I’m not learning the culturally appropriate way to pay for something or how to negotiate with a tuktuk driver who doesn’t speak English, but I learned some basics of graphic design this week and got some wine recommendations from a new friend. The highlight of my week sometimes is that my favourite podcast updates and my drive to work gets a little bit more interesting. I get along with people at work and I have customers who like me and friends to do things with and I feel like I belong. I’m happy.
Ultimately I’m grateful for my ordinary life, even when I’m not, and I’m getting better at identifying the little things that make every day extraordinary. Here’s to making the most of it.