Wake up, shower, dress up, commute, work, commute, relax, sleep. Rinse and repeat. By September of 2016, I was sick and tired of Chicago's buildings, trains, erratic weather, and often frigid people. It was the kind of toxic repetitiveness that blended days together and left me exhausted. I was terribly homesick and it was beginning to weigh me down. So with my fiancé's encouragement and assistance, I booked my ticket to the Philippines. Thank goodness I did.
My friend once told me that when I'm in doubt, I should go back to being thankful. It's so easy for me to rant and whine about work, the bitter cold of Chicago, my daily commute, and how life just isn't going exactly as I want but this trip reminded me that I am incredibly fortunate and blessed. It also reminded me that while I am fortunate to have the life I do, I am allowed to want more. Listening to the stories, successes, failures, and adventures of my friends made me realize me how different we, our journeys, and our goals are. It was a lovely reminder that I cannot compare where I am in my life to where they are in theirs.
My trip recharged me. As hard as it was to board the plane flying back to Chicago, I feel more determined, more prepared to keep going. This is going to be my year.