It’s 8:25pm on a Saturday in Singapore.
I’m typing away at The Port by Quarters, a hostel on the river in Boat Quay.
So, I’ve been thinking..
This is the 6th or 7th time that I’ve been to Singapore. To be honest, on the flight here, I found myself wondering why I’m off traveling again when there’s so much that I want to accomplish in Seattle with Music. I’ve been questioning myself. Rightfully so. I have the poor habit of thinking about all of the things that I want to be doing/achieving/working toward that I often neglect the moment at hand..
Today, I slept in. 10am. This is a big deal when you’re traveling. Usually, you’re up early to go site seeing or head to the next city.
Today, I went to the gym. This is a big deal when you’re traveling. Usually, there’s so much to go do and people inviting you on a day trip or urging you to come grab lunch.
Today, I went for a run, ate dinner by myself, played ukelele in a music shop, and just watched a terrible romcom on my laptop. And I feel really great about it all.
(the little things in Life.. like knowing your mom’s dog loves you)
You know that “high” that runners always talk about? Yeah.. I never get those. Still don’t. However, I did have a moment today about 10 minutes in where I felt myself really missing my friends and family and Life back in the United States. I started questioning what I was doing and worrying about all that I still want to accomplish.. and then something incredible happened:
I decided to stop feeling that way.
And I did. And I felt really happy.
And it was as surprising as it was relieving.
(after a day of paddle boarding at Sai Kung Beach in Hong Kong)
It reminded me of an important lesson that I have the tendency to forget: It’s okay to be Happy. I gave myself permission to be Happy. Shifting the focus from what I wasn’t doing allowed me to appreciate what I was doing. I was proud of myself! While traveling, I took the time to just do normal things like fitness and rest. Not every day has to be a Life Changing adventure.. In fact, it can’t. It is unfair to place such high expectations on myself and whatever skewed belief I have about what Travel should look like.
There’s such a difference between anticipating the outcome of what I’ve been working on and expecting certain outcomes for what I’ve been working on. It’s like that movie in theaters that everybodyyy tells you you’re supposed to love, and then you’re let down when you finally see it. Too high of expectations. The same is true of ourselves. Expectations are unfair to our Appreciation. (Not that you shouldn’t have standards and love yourself: like this Letter I wrote to myself)
I guess my point to all of this…
It’s okay to be Happy. Give yourself permission to be Happy.
(like being invited to a fake tea party by your niece)
I don’t think that I’m alone when it comes to carrying guilt. Sometimes I feel guilty for not getting my workout in for the day. Other times I feel guilty for not practicing enough with Music. On more serious notes, I feel really guilty for not being able to be there for friends and family when I’m off on whatever adventures I may be pursuing.. I feel guilty for not making the most of the little moments and trying to do too much in the big moments. However, whatever guilt that I’m carrying does not need to define who I am as a person.
I am more than the things I’m not doing.
And just like that moment today on that run when I chose to let go of that feeling of guilt. Even if it’s only for that moment, I feel powerful knowing that I can do that. (And just as powerful getting back and being productive.)
As always, I’m a work in Progress. A Proud Work in Progress.
And I give myself permission to be Happy about it.
Be Happy, Friends.
You have permission.