There’s something about the end of a vacation… There’s a sense of emptiness. Most likely it’s simply a come down off the euphoria of being able to relax and have fun for a few days, coupled with the realization that normal life begins again soon. It always causes me to get real introspective.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but time has been flying by recently. We’re almost half way through 2018. (And somehow the plant that I got for Christmas hasn’t died yet!) I’m 30 years old now, I’ll be 31 in a month, not that it makes a difference. As I told someone recently, age is just a number. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve survived a trip around the sun, what matters is what you’ve done with the time that you’ve had and what lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes as well as your triumphs.
What that means is that time isn’t the opponent, complacency is. It’s a compelling trap, day to day life, earning a pay check in a job you don’t particularly care for, living for the weekend or your next vacation, and commiserating over the current state of our society, no matter what your opinions on it may be (everyone loves to complain). But don’t be fooled, it is still a trap, no matter how compelling it may be.
It’s easy to drift into the habits of day to day life or a career that you’ve never felt an ounce of passion for. It’s comforting to have a routine and to be able to fall into it every day. It’s easy to let those habits form and to turn a blind eye as time slips past, stealing your opportunities for something more.
That’s the trap that I’ve fallen into over the last decade. Sure, I’ve still had a damn good life during that time. I’ve built amazing friendships, I’ve gone to wonderful places and done incredible things. I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve lost people I cared about, and yet through it all I’ve obtained memories that will last me the rest of my life.
But at the same time, I’ve been floating from day to day… Pursuing a career that I’m not passionate about. Watching FAR too much TV. Procrastinating on my dreams and my passions, telling myself, “tomorrow I’ll write” or “next week I’ll plan that trip”.
I’m not saying that life needs to be full of daily epiphanies and constant accomplishments. Relaxation is good, it’s necessary, but like with anything in life, moderation is key. I haven’t been living with moderation though, instead it’s been nearly every day for years, procrastinating and promising myself that I’ll get around to “it” eventually.
I think that’s part of what causes that empty feeling after a vacation. It isn’t the knowledge that the vacation is over that bothers me so much as the thought that I now must go back to a life of daily repetition. Doing the same things over and over while I procrastinate doing the things that really matter to me.
This isn’t what I want. I want more from myself than this. I don’t know if I’ll be able to dig out of this quicksand, but I’m certainly going to try. I need to write more, I need to travel more, and I need to take a more active role in society.
In the past I’ve written about the need for following your dreams and living your life with passion, and here I am not doing either of those things. So I’ll tell you what, I’ll continue to encourage each of you reading this to pursue the life you want for yourselves, and all I ask is that you encourage me to do the same.
I don’t like that emptiness feeling. I know it’ll happen again, it’s an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do something about it. It’s time to at least make an attempt to realize my potential. I’d be honored if you’d join me.