• Brought to you by John Reamer and Associates •
When I took off on my open-ended journey, I anticipated learning a lot about the world and other people, but as it turns out, I’ve uncovered so much about myself, too.
Leaving my support network, my sold possessions, everything I know, to travel alone, full-time, through places where basic comforts I’ve long took for granted are often absent — while trying to build a business from scratch — has tested me in major ways.
I’ve been hard on myself as I’ve struggled through the ups and downs, condemning my shortcomings, my moments of frustration and sadness and exhaustion. I’ve cracked the internal whip, always believing I could do more, always terrified I wasn’t enough.
Over the last six months, and perhaps especially the last several weeks, I’ve broken down enough to realize that track isn’t sustainable, and it’s not allowing me to be my best self or produce my best work.
So as I look ahead into 2019 and all the promise it holds, the resolutions I’m making aren’t ones of great achievement, of hard work, of doing more and being more. I am old enough now to realize I need no extra nudge in that direction, and I probably need a nudge the other way.
Instead, I am vowing to let go of some of the pressure and expectation and to be more gracious to a person who is constantly striving to do her best: me.
To 2019 Amelia, these are the pledges I make to you:
I will be patient with you.
I know you are working hard and caring so much, but that you’re just one person; you can’t do it all; roadblocks occur, so do mental struggles and that’s OK. Not everything happens on the ideal timeline. Not everything turns out like you wanted. You’ll get it all done; I know you will.
I will be supportive of you.
I will stop saying negative things to you (there’s enough of that on the outside without me joining in). I will stop thinking negative things about you. I will stop doubting you so much. You’re doing fine. I will stop clutching other’s expectations; I will stop bringing outside pressure to your doorstep. No, *I* will bring your energy, your enthusiasm — I will be your cheerleader because it’s really my job alone.
I will be gentle with you.
I will encourage you to stretch more, do more yoga and drink more water. I will help you breathe. Keep working on finding routine despite that your home and your days constantly change. Listen to your body, and your soul. I will allow you to work at a slower pace if you crave it. I will give you a day off when you need it. If you need to sleep in, binge on Netflix with hot tea all day and do nothing, I will support you and push away any guilt.
I will foster your passion.
I will let you be spontaneous again. I will let you seize the joy that travel has long brought to your soul, especially before it became so much work. That means pushing you away from the computer at times. That means making you slow down so you can find the stories you so badly seek. That means encouraging you to spend more time talking to people and less time in front of a screen. I want you to be impromptu again. To lean into your instincts. To occasionally let go of your schedule. To stop immediately telling people you meet that you have to work and instead take the day trip; get on the motorcycle; follow your new friends to the next bar.
Be more vulnerable and resilient, 2019 Amelia. Let the world come to you; bend and twist with its ebbs and flows; stay loose on your saddle over the hills and valleys; and appreciate that your own plans could never be this beautiful.