self actualization: outrageous promises that isn’t so outrageous after all.

Today I did something a little outrageous, even for me.

I made a promise, but not to myself this time, as this ‘promise’ was a thought I’d entertained, again and again…and again, but never told anyone.

Except today, one of my best friends who resides on a different timezone/continent messaged me out of the blue.

We started talking about life, and inevitably the topic of work came up.

What astonished me was that how much she sounded like she needed a break, and of course, I just casually suggested that if she had any time off or if she decided to say eff it, ‘I’m going on vacation now’ – that she should:

“Come visit me in Europe next summer.”

There. Said and done.

I had a strong notion that I will be over there again and this time for way longer.

What was once a date on the calendar with a question mark behind it, now became reality. Because now, this is not what I think is or isn’t possible, but because of what I said and suggested, it immediately became possible – in fact, it became a must – and to think of it – what happened earlier today, it is almost impossible for me to not go back to some of the cities I’d visited.

As I’ve explained to another friend. “For some reason, all the creatives seem to cluster in those cities. I keep going back, meeting people, and through the people I meet, I meet more people who inspires me to do things differently.” By this logic, I’m not only networking, organically, but also learning about myself and the world around me.

As one of my friend would say: “Being curious about the world is what gets me up in the morning and productive.”

Note there isn’t overt objective to her goal, just being curious and asking questions and learning is enjoyable in itself – rather than ‘abc’ must be done for its own sake to achieve ‘xyz’. Curiosity, thought processes, and learning on its own right seem to be the simple pleasures we’ve all forgotten in a world where everything is commodified into either a good, or a service that one must pay for and certain outcomes must be met for it to be seen as ‘success’.

If we stay curious and remember that there’s more to ‘learning’ than just the classroom sitting, then we’re more likely to enjoy the experience. Likewise, if we remember that there’s more to life than ‘making a living’ the standard simplification of the modern human experience (i.e: what do you do? well…I do many things.) then we wouldn’t be boxed in the fine lines we drew for ourselves and others.

So what was stopping me from actualizing this desire to be over there next summer in the first place? It was a mixture of purpose, fear of disappointment and fear of risks that came along the adventure – but now I realized, traveling – or at least traveling to be ‘inspired’ energizes me and gives me purpose (for now) and for that I can draw a plan to focus my energy to make that happen accordingly.


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