Have you ever disappeared?
Approval, spoiler alert, you don't need it. Have you ever done something because of someone else's influence? Like gone to college because your parents told you that you had to? Or not dated someone because other people didn't approve? Or got married right away because society or your parents pressured you to do so? Or perhaps not gone on a trip because someone told you no? There's one thing all of these examples have in common, control. Seven years ago this month, I went to Hawaii and didn't tell anyone. Literally, no one except one of my roommates because she had to drop me off at the airport and my boss, but only because I had to ask off work for over a week. One of my closest friends lived there and I decided that I was young and why the heck not. I LOVE Hawaii, I mean LOVE it. There's just something about it. It's even hard to describe into words how it makes me feel inside. My parents told me that's where I was made...thanks for that TMI mom and dad, however I'm proud of that little nugget of info. I'd live there in a heartbeat if I didn't have to work so hard to survive. I've been quite a few places around the globe and not one of them equates to Hawaii...as of yet. I'll never, ever, forget that phone call from my mom. I was in college at the time and living in Greensboro, NC. She called my boss and found out that I had gotten on a plane to Hawaii. So much for please don't tell my mom. Haha! I remember being in the security line at the airport and her calling me non-stop, I didn't even answer. I thought I was such a dang rebel back then. So I got on the plane and I was gone for around 9 days. Let me tell you, it was undoubtably the time of my life. I do not in any way shape or form regret going on that trip. Even if I was a disappointment because I did so. Here's the thing, your life is in your hands. Your life is in your control. I can't even list how many things I've done in life because I thought I was supposed to or because that was what was asked of me. I went to college because that's what I was told to do. And guess what? I hated it. I didn't finish. It wasn't for me...and that's perfectly O K A Y. It took me years and years of doubts and programmed regrets to realize that it was my choice all along, not someone else's. Removing yourself from that controlled mindset is hard to do. I still struggle with it often. Honestly, you have to stop allowing the people in your life tell you what you should be doing or how you should be living. For over a week in my early 20's I got to get on a plane and disappear from the world around me. From what I was "supposed" to be doing. We rented a car and drove around the entire island. We went to the beach and rented surf boards, even though we knew we weren't good surfers. We went to lavish steak and lobster dinners, even though we knew we couldn't afford it. We laid on the beach all day long drinking fancy waters and kona beers. It was incredible. I wish I could go back to that moment right now. My only worry then was what if my mom found out (and she did, and I'm still alive). What a treat that would be today. Without the worries and the cares of everything around me. With so many things on my shoulders, that I no doubt put there myself on a daily basis. Friends, we should absolutely be doing anything that our little hearts desire. We are only here for a short amount of time and I think that reminder is necessary. If you want to travel the world, do it. If you want to quit your job because you hate it, do it. If you want to date someone no one approves of, do it. Who cares what people think! I'm so tired of society telling us how to live. God loves us just the same. Jesus fulfills us just the same. We don't have to follow the footsteps of others to please our heavenly father. In the end, that is all that matters. Not having 5 degrees, a giant house you bought, a mercedes SUV, or working for the same company for 40 years clocking in every single day even though you know you're miserable. What's the point? Not that those things aren't nice, there is just no reward in heaven for having all of that. No one says your life will be better if you do. I wish we could all live carefree fulfilled lives but I know life doesn't always work that way. If you want to get on a plane and disappear to an island for a while, do it. I've been on this quest in my 20's to learn how to live for myself and my little family, not anyone else. So as I continue on this journey, learning to embrace who I am and who I was made to be, I will be more carefree.
Let's see the divine in the ordinary, the big in the small, the meaningful in the mundane, the Holy in all things humble. -Holley Gerth