The more I think about it, the more I realise happiness doesn’t arrive when you arrive. Be that at your destination of the trip you’ve been planning all year, your home after a hard day’s work or your bed after an excruciatingly long plane journey. Happiness is a constant state of being that comes from being fully present and appreciating life for what it is, in all its misery and glory, all its ups and downs. As the end of 2014 came to a close, I was looking through all my lists of goals and resolutions, places I’d planned to travel to and things I wanted to write about. I started thinking about what I want to achieve in 2015, and then I thought SCREW IT! I ripped up my scribbled goals and half-hearted resolutions and threw caution to the wind.
I always write lists. Lists of books to read, places to visit, groceries to buy and so on. I love that feeling of ticking things off my list and feeling that sense of achievement. But this year I don’t want to write lists. I want to live more spontaneously. People keep asking me what my plan is. What plan? Why must I know where I’m going to be in 5 years time? Or even 1 years time for that matter? Of course I know where I’d like to be, and what I’d like to be doing, but if I write it down or speak it out loud, the pressure cloud instantly appears and hangs over me until I actively make the plan happen. I don’t want to live my life like that. It’s too stressful. It’s not that I’m worried I won’t be able to achieve it all, it’s just that sometimes it’s more fun just to live right now, in this exact moment, instead of being uptight and freaking out about all the things you told yourself you’d complete before the fireworks go off next year.
This is the year of spontaneity. The year where anything could happen. I’m completely open to new opportunities, new lands to explore, new friends. I don’t have that crazy urge I normally have to wanderlust my days away. I feel quite cosy and content in my current place. Even though I know living in China is always going to be only temporary, I feel comfortable with that. I’m just enjoying each and every day and the mad adventures that come from living in this quirky country. One day soon it will probably be time to fly back to the mystical land I like to call home, but for now- hello world, surprise me!
The first act of spontaneity for this year is my upcoming trip to Malaysia in a few weeks. One of my best friends live in Melbourne and I messaged her and said “Let’s go to Malaysia!!!!” Being a fellow spontaneity fan, she was like “OK!” and within 30 minutes we’d booked our flights. I never really thought about Malaysia before, but now that I’ve started reading about it, I am so excited! Perhaps this will also be the year where I wake up one day and just book a ticket somewhere random, or even better…rock up at the airport and go wherever the cheapest ticket will take me!
Actually, looking back, I realise I’ve always been like this- creating goals and trying to map out my life the way we all do, but ultimately letting them fizzle out as time goes by, when I discover that it’s way more fun to just be. Free of plans and to-do lists and big goals and stress and panic and…you get the picture. Maybe little bite-size goals are a nice compromise. Little things such as: tomorrow I will buy flowers to make my house smell sweet, tonight I will study 2 hours of Chinese, when I receive this month’s pay check I will put 1/3 of it aside for a rainy day adventure (or my future, Mum…haha).
Here’s to letting go, to dusting off all the built-up goals from past years and to living each day as it really is- a fresh start. No more big goal setting, but also no more procrastination. I guess it’s all about balance, but mainly it’s about happiness and being inspired and love and adventure and exploration and laughing and waking up smiling and dancing and climbing trees at 4am with friends on a random street in China.
2015, hello you! Let’s do this!