It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written anything and if you’re unfortunate enough to follow me on any social media, you’re probably aware why (apologies for all the photos). I was lucky enough to check off a couple bucket list travel destinations and spent the past couple weeks on the other side of the world in Australia and New Zealand. It was easily the most incredible trip of my life and I’ve never felt more in awe of the world.
As we started to wrap up our trip, I️ knew I️ wanted to write something about it but I️ was struggling with what exactly. Over the course of the past 3 and a half months, I’ve taken a closer look at my life. Some has been difficult but most has been incredibly healing. The whole idea behind this Project No Zero Days was to shift the way I think and find the small victories that would hopefully lead someday to the bigger ones. But admittedly for a while I had felt a little stuck.
I wanted to feel this major shift in myself as a result of this new life philosophy but as I patiently waited for this divine intervention, I couldn’t help but start to feel defeated. I knew I was making these small changes in my life and I could start to feel the weight of my past mistakes lift off me, but it still felt as if something was holding me back. It sounds strange to say but something about this trip feels like it shook loose a piece of me that I had been missing.
In our travels, we spent 4 days traveling around the Southern Island of New Zealand. If you ever get a chance to visit New Zealand, I️ can’t recommend it enough. We drove 700 miles in 4 days across the entire length and width of the Island and it was like driving through a fantasy land. It’s the kind of place you see photos of and think, “that can’t be real”. And then you go there and take photos and think “this doesn’t even come close the doing it justice”.
Each day, we spent a portion of our time driving through the countryside from place to place. Ordinarily spending 6-7 hours of a day driving (on the left) wouldn’t exactly be my jam but this was different. Every road wasn’t just a interruption to another breathtaking experience. It was the experience itself.
On our last day, we drove along a road that followed one of the biggest lakes I’ve ever seen. We were finally done with our carefully calculated schedule designed to see as much as we could and I️ could feel any stress melt away. The winding roads cut back and forth through beautiful green pastures on the right and to left, a cliff cascaded down to the glimmering lake. The sun was shining directly through my window onto my face and for the first time in as long as I️ can remember, I️ felt completely content. I️ wasn’t worried about where I️ was going or dwelling on where I️ had been. I️ was completely happy in that moment – at peace.
As we drove that road, I remembered a quote I had read on the wall of a coffee shops a few days back. It said “If you want to be happy, be”. So simple yet so powerful. Never had I considered the concept of happiness to be so basic, and the notion that it is a choice felt so empowering. We think of happiness as this elusive destination that we’re all in search of but what if instead of searching and coming up short we could simply make the conscious decision to just “be”?
Perhaps being in the presence of so much natural beauty and feeling so small in such a humbling way helped to knock the perspective back into me, but for the first time in a long time I feel like I’m coming away with a bit of clarity. And a renewed faith in this No Zero Days concept. The idea that each day, each moment is another chance to get one step closer to where we want to be now seems somehow more attainable. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of that in the minutia that bogs us down, but if you pan out to see the bigger picture, things seem to come into focus.
See, choice is a very powerful thing. It allows us to dictate our own destiny and eliminates the easy to fall back on excuse of bad luck. We may not always be able to choose our lot in life but we can always choose how we react to the cards we’re dealt. And how we react to the toughest hands determines who we become as people. I have a laundry list of things I’d like to be but right at the top of that list, along with a good person, is a happy person. And why not? Because the stress of where I’ve been or where I’m going holds me back? Nah. That’s not a good enough reason. I’ve seen the roads between and they’re something to appreciate in and of themselves.
So I’m going to try to take a piece of that beauty home with me. I’m going to focus less on where I’ve been and worry less about where I’m going and try to enjoy the winding roads along the way. And I’m going to remember that happiness is there for the taking and that it’s a choice. And after these 2 weeks, that’s a choice that feels a whole lot easier when you see the view from the top.