Into the Unknown
From our first day on this earth, we all set forth on a unique path; one that can only be acted on by the person whose life it is to live. It is a journey that requires mindfulness, love, and gratitude.
This journey provides us with periods of massive action and the stress that accompanies that action; along with moments of calm inaction; what we perceive as peace. It is these stark contrasts that allow us to appreciate moments for what they are: incredible, extraordinary, miraculous (insert any word that you feel applies). To be alive, in the moment, and sharing this world with others is something to embrace and give your best effort towards.
Strive to make a contribution, to connect with others, and to take risks; we all have an important role to play.
Embrace discomfort, failure, and rejection; you are growing stronger through these experiences.
Be yourself, follow your heart, and live with intention; the universe has a way of speaking to those who are willing to listen.
Where I’ve Been:
A graduate of the University of Louisville with a Bachelors in Middle/Secondary Education. I’m a certified English/Language Arts Teacher and served in the profession for 2 years.
They say that your first year of teaching is your hardest… they’re not wrong, but what they forget to tell you is that the second year provides its own set of challenges. And if I were to continue in this profession, it would be a safe bet to say that each year would challenge me in different ways.
As we grow stronger, our confidence abilities build, yet the problems that present themselves are increasingly complex. Everything in life is relative to the individual’s level of development, and because of this we all have the ability to face our challenges head-on, working through seemingly unconquerable challenges, and furthering our growth over time.
While I am deciding to leave the profession for the time being, I take with me valuable experiences, memories, and connections made with amazing people. I will always know the selflessness and strong-will that is needed to work in a career of service, such as teaching. I had the opportunity to see first-hand what putting others first looks like; caring for others through action, and committing to progress over perfection, within an ever changing landscape.
Working in education requires courage, teamwork, and innovation. It forces you to take ownership over the struggles of your students, to problem-solve towards a solution, and to individualize a process for each individual. All of this to allow each child the opportunity to feel success, embrace their story, and to celebrate a job well done.
I didn’t leave this profession for something better; and I certainly didn’t leave because I feel that I was above the challenge. Rather, I left for the unknown. I left because there is a world out there that I feel drawn towards. There is self-discovery to be had, and experiences to be made. There are self-imposed challenges to conquer, and a journey into the unknown to embark on.
With me, I bring experiences of the past, lessons learned, and connections made. These memories will last. I am better for them.
Where I’m Going:
Into the great unknown! Currently, Abby and I are living just outside of Boulder, Colorado. We moved-in almost two weeks ago, and we are loving the area. This opportunity came to be when Abby mentioned travel nursing as a potential career opportunity for her! This was a year ago, when I was beginning my second year in education, and she was working as a Nurse in Louisville, Kentucky.
For months, we dreamt of what this opportunity may provide us, both as a couple, and as individuals. We became determined to turn this idea into a reality. Abby, as she does so well, took massive action, and wouldn’t let anything get in her way. She signed a contract with a travel nursing company, and began her search for a job somewhere in Colorado.
Why Colorado? Who knows! In the ‘dreaming’ phase of this process, we discussed many locations that we would consider, and Colorado was always near the top of the list. Dreams of the mountain air and exploration Westward filled our minds, and we decided to make the Centennial State our top destination!
Since moving here, it has exceeded our expectations! We live just outside of Boulder, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The area in which we live fits our personalities perfectly. As Abby so eloquently puts it, “I feel like Squidward in the episode where there are only other Squidwards!”. We live amongst beautiful outdoor scenery that beckons to be explored, people who share a common love of health and wellness, and a positive energy that resonates through the Rockies.
For both Abby and myself, this is our first time living outside of our hometown of Shelbyville. We leave behind our families, friends, and all of the familiarities of small-town living. For us, the town of Shelbyville has shaped us from childhood to adulthood. It was the place where we fell in love, and built our relationship from the ground up. This town is and always will be a large part of who we are. And no matter where we go, it will be the values of this town, and Abby’s southern twang that we carry with us on our travels.
Personally, this is a time of self-growth, discovery, and exploration into my passions. I will have a lot of free time, and a much lower level of day-to-day stress. I’ve already begun feeling the benefits of enhanced sleep quality, and the positive energy that accompanies a more quiet lifestyle.
I am viewing my life through three areas of potential growth: physical, mental, and emotional.
Physically, I am training for my first Marathon, continuing to build strength in the gym, and placing a much greater emphasis on my ability to rest and recover around my training. Physical goals have always been the easiest for me to pursue. They’re quantifiable and give you direct feedback, based on how you are feeling. At this time in my life, I no longer view my physical pursuits in isolation. My ability to achieve a goal physically is directly related to my ability to succeed mentally and emotionally. Through my physical pursuits, I am going to purposefully reflect on my process, and allow any successes or growth opportunities to positively influence other areas of my life!
Mentally, I am able to focus my efforts on reading and writing, with little external distractions. My goal is to always be learning; whether that be through hard-copy books, audiobooks, insightful podcasts, or interactions with others. More than ever, I am in control of the inputs that I allow into my mind. My aim is to gear these inputs towards a greater understanding of my life, knowledge gains, and an enhanced perspective on the interconnectedness of my life to the world around me.
Emotionally, I am trying to be better at listening to my thoughts. All of us live our lives with subconscious thoughts that fill our minds. Because of the busy lifestyles that we become accustomed to, we don’t listen to the narratives that we are writing for ourselves. Our subconscious alters our mood, actions, and relationships with others. While we can never entirely eliminate this natural part of our brain, my intention is to listen more closely to the narrative that I’m creating for myself. This is perhaps the most quiet my life will ever be; and now is the time to listen and engage with my true self, preparing for whatever lies ahead.
There is opportunity in all of life’s situations, so long as we are willing to find and embrace it. This is an extremely important time in my developmental process, and I believe that there are opportunities and life changing moves to be made in the near future. I will stay ready for whatever lies ahead; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I will become stronger for this chapter of my life. I will grow as a man, unapologetically pursue my passions, and unlock my life’s purpose.
The past few weeks have led me to feel overwhelming emotions of gratitude. I am thankful for the people who support mine and Abby’s journey into the unknown. We are grateful for our parents for being strong enough to let us go, even if only for a few months. Know that we carry you in our hearts everyday, and need your love and support more than you will ever know.
Our friends, for hyping us up and believing in our pursuit; you are proof that great friends are irreplaceable.
Lastly, we are grateful for God’s guidance over our decisions and the safety of our travels. Personally, the past year has not been filled with immense spirituality or connectedness to God in a traditional setting. With this being said, I feel God everyday in the world that I am so fortunate to experience. The morning sunrise over the Rocky Mountains; the deep love and service that Abby shows me each day; the moments of silent clarity that fill my mind and heart as I consider my place in this world. God is with me every step of the way, and for that I am filled with great comfort.
If you’ve read this far, I am grateful for you. Thank you for investing your time in my journey. I sincerely hope that I’ve written something that has made you think more deeply, and will allow you to live a life full of passion, purpose, and happiness. Until next time.