Saturday, August 30, 2014

Searching for contentment

This weekend, I'm turtle-sitting for my neighbors while they're in Oklahoma. I'm not much of a reptile fan myself (if they're even reptiles-I don't know), but lately I've been forced to deal with them. I'm constantly finding baby lizards in my house (how the dog doesn't find them, I have no idea), and every night when I take him out before bed, there are frogs hopping around the backyard (I know frogs aren't reptiles, but you get my point-critters everywhere!). I even found one in Scout's water bucket and made a pact with him that as long as he didn't jump at me, I wouldn't mess with him.

Apparently I deleted the picture of a frog in the water bucket. Here's one in my basil plant instead. 

Anyways, back to Mr. Turtle. 

Right now he's chilling in his bowl on my kitchen counter. Every now and then I can hear him from across the house, always the same sound - his shell banging against the glass. 

He's been trying to get out of that bowl all weekend and can't figure out how to do it.

Which brings me to my observation:

How many times do we as people feel trapped? Like no matter what we do, our lives don't have real meaning or that we're not where we thought we'd be when we imagined what grown-up life would be like?

I don't know about you, but that happens to me a lot. All. the. time. I dwell on past decisions that weren't necessarily dire mistakes, but also weren't the most beneficial (don't get me started on my first degree and how useful it hasn't been so far). I think about "what might have been" scenarios and imagine how much better my life would be if I could just go back and do it over again. 

Case in point: I'm trying to get into nursing school. If I'd just gone when I was 18, I could be a nurse practitioner by now and making incredible money. Instead, I have a bachelors degree I've given up on and am working as a CNA. 

But then I have to remind myself that if I hadn't gone the route I did, I wouldn't have traveled nearly as much and might never have gone overseas. Oh, and I doubt I would have met my husband. So there's that huge advantage to the route I did choose. 

But sometimes I still feel trapped, like the turtle. I get hit with a wave of wanderlust multiple times a year, making it hard to be content with where I am. I want out of my glass bowl to see the world. In the midst of it all though, I have to remind myself to be present in the moment. I have a fantastic life and an amazing husband. My dog loves me more than I know how to handle sometimes, and my needs are met. I'm planning for the future, but it's okay to live while waiting. 

That's what I'm learning. To live in the waiting. In the uncertainty. To not keep trying to get out of my bowl but to find a rock to sit on and enjoy the view. 

<3 Jenni 

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