In America, the country I often write about how it does not encourage people to explore themselves. It is a majority of people who live their life "The American way," which leads to comfort rather than embracing change. Foreign travel is dangerous, the same friends for years are standard, starting a new job is not preferred over staying in the same career for twenty years, and being multi-talented serves as a bit of confusion.
It is my lifestyle that may intimidate people, produces fear, anxiety, confusion, and concern about safety. When we don't recognize something or fully experience it, it comes up in the self as fear, which makes a person react in this manner. Fortunately, I study human behavior and make cultural comparisons frequently. It's all a part of my human understanding and awareness is produced. I understand why people behave this way, but what if someone else who is trying to explore themselves, experience, and live in a way different than societal norm? They can feel discouraged to explore in a different way.
When it comes to my life, it is kept quite private in terms of in person conversations with family and friends. It's just not understood and comes off as unsafe and one word "Why" Why extend yourself to people in such a consistent and caring way. It's part of "Practicing what I Preach." Live in your purpose and don't let opposition discourage you.
Perhaps my travel experiences are shared through writing, but that is the extent of it. I rarely come home and share how great my trip was with people-eighty percent don't want to hear it. It's best to keep it brief and simple, tell people the socially constructed statements they can recognize and are comfortable with and want to hear "Oh it was beautiful weather I was helping an organization following everything they told me to do, I missed the US so much and I just couldn't wait to come back."
If I mention street missions with the poor instead of building a house with ten other kids who know nothing about people and culture-it just doesn't make sense. Why am I traveling alone rather than with a group and formally. Some organizations such as United Nations, Amnesty International, and Doctors without Borders may be exceptions, but the connection I have with people gives me an abundance of work. The starting of my own programs, individual missions with those who need my spirit, guidance, ad professional expertise as well as realistic goal setting.
While I do make attempts to fully explain this and I do with passion and excitement. It's often shut down with a list of questions that just make me forget a next time. The reactions discourage me from sharing it again unless it is a person engaged in full ministry and a social work career. Those brave, amazing souls out in the world working for a cause with passion and who haven't returned to the US in years and have my same theories. There are a large amount of travelers that I have met, amazing minds who start small businesses, and those individuals who take RISKS and they leap into something foreign to them. They jump out of the box or safety zone to truly LIVE. These people I admire and I look up to them. They get it!!!!
It's simple to measure the difference between the response. "Telling them what they want to hear" and telling them about a foreign experience or a religious moment that was exciting. Most people want to hear what they know and what they can relate to rather than something new and great you are exploring.
They wonder, "Why can't I do that?"
Look at her just traveling all over by herself.
Does she ever settle in one place?
While I do appreciate their feedback and agree with the elements of short term and not always committing to one place- I just follow my heart and mind. People just respond based of caring, confusion, love, and also resentment and insecurities. When a person has three kids and they can't do what you are doing and they missed the boat-not happy. Perhaps they feel "stuck" in their current life and they would love to be doing the same thing. And with these opportunities I always, always encourage people to go out there and be brave.
Over the years, I'm aware of it all and I have felt a lack of support and true understanding of what I am doing. People think all I do is travel and I waste my time on Missions helping others "for free." When God hears those statements he is up there shaking his head because if I stay on my path, do my best, and weave all my gifts into one-all those comments, the negativity, and the disrespect will disappear. I will be and am in a place where absolutely none of it matters.
This is the beauty of my personal and loving relationship with my higher power-all I need is his approval and the approval/opposition of others should be pushed to the side. It should not block my vision as I am strong, determined, intelligent, gifted, and passionate. With the confirmations from clients, students, churches, businesses, religious leaders-I am successful in what I do and I will reach my full potential of success. It's not a thought, being a dreamer-it is reality that will come when the time is right. There is a plan for me to follow and not be forced by society and people surrounding me to rush it.
These "ordinary" people living in the safe zone that society has created-Absolutely No disrespect- I adore them and feel bad they can't live a more full life. And many times they are just content and happy with their life and that is great! I will always encourage them to live in purpose, off their gifts, try new things, face fears etc. But just because my life is different I shouldn't be judged and labeled as a "traveler with no direction." I am Christian and 100 percent on that path with no derailments.
Overtime, I have learned to just act ordinary when back in the US and not emphasize or discuss many of the things that I do. It is just unnecessary because I have one audience to impress. Bits and pieces are explored and built upon in ministry, but I take a vow to not get excited and share to be let down.
There is always going to be someone to say something or react the wrong way and upset me. But what is important for me is to avoid the negativity and stay with positive people who support me and what I do. Those who are believers have a good understanding, but surrounding me is a society that I know needs a lot of education, real experience, change, new environment, new people etc.
People may just "not get it" and you know what that is perfectly okay because these people mean well and are just trying to understand. I wish I had a better explanation for it all, but it's just times that I truly, truly cannot even try to describe or expect someone to understand.
Hope this blog sheds some light on my life and helps people understand bits and pieces of this Crazy/ Beautiful Life!!!
Regardless, I know when people are respectful and people are not and even though "People may not get it." It's my choice to be around those people or stay around those who are open minded, caring, and positive people. Stay in my lane, drive with caution, and drive with passion.