It’s the last day of November 2016 and what seemed like a hopeful time at the start of the month has become somewhat filled with uncertainty for so many. Who knew 30 days could pack such a punch?
However, this isn’t my first rodeo. There have been a lot of really tough times – which honestly have felt even tougher because they have been so much more personal in the past. I have allowed myself all the emotions that come as a result of these past few days (ahem, the election), but I also quickly was able to identify what I wanted my role to be and how I wanted to approach it all. For all its crappiness, November has brought some really positive changes too.
As a travel blogger, I embraced my responsibility to remind you about the power you have as consumers and fellow travelers in deciding where to spend your time and your money. You can read about it in detail here.
As a mother, I am further committed to my efforts in making sure my children are given the tools and knowledge to help them be better citizens of the world. If anything, a lot of what has happened not only nationally, but globally, in politics especially, has really emphasized the importance of education and travel. Though I still believe that one doesn’t have to travel far for a different experience and perspective, I do believe that we, as a people and as a country need to expose ourselves more to those things outside of our comfort, our knowledge, and our bubble and really make an effort to break past preconceived notions and generalizations of places and people.
I question myself almost daily on my homeschooling skills, but almost daily my boys will say or do something to give me the confidence in it all. For me, it’s all still very much day-to-day, but for my kids it’s a new way of life that they are enjoying tremendously.
Not traveling as much is a choice I have actively been working towards this past month. I have never really felt an urge to find myself, though it’s true that each new trip has led to a new discovery. I also have never felt that I was in search of something more. I love seeing the world and experiencing new cultures, but I also really love what I have found already and have felt that my time to nurture it and enjoy it was being limited due to my travel schedule.
It began to feel like I was a guest in my own home. I would arrive from a trip completely disconnected from the people I cherish the most. I hadn’t been able to foster any new friendships with neighbors, and I was missing out on things happening in my family’s lives. So I took control.
In this past month I have met so many wonderful people, of all backgrounds and ages, that lived right by my house! I got together with Latina moms and spent almost an entire morning sipping on lattes and speaking Spanglish. The joy this moment brought my heart is immeasurable. On another rainy weekend morning I met with several moms of color, and we shared our experiences in raising our children, some of which are biracial, in a community where diversity is king, but inclusion sometimes falls short. It brought us all comfort to know we were not alone.
I was here for parties, and birthdays, and playdates, and coffee dates, and movie nights, and boy scout meetings, and doctors’ visits – including one to the ER for stitches, and community events. All of which I had missed too much of for so, so long.
My husband and I have gotten closer…and we got re-married!!
I was finally able to sign my kids up for sports and arts and all the things I couldn’t before because I was never home enough to drive them to any of it.
In just one month there have been some incredibly potential opportunities put on the table that have sadly fallen through, and others that have been wonderfully lucrative and creatively fulfilling. I continue to find my strength as a negotiator for myself and my business, and have been rewarded in return, which has given me confidence moving into 2017. The blogging practices that I shared back in 2015 remain true today.
Over the next month, I am looking forward to sharing more travel stories as my family and I venture out and take on all that the holiday season has to offer. But I know that for many these times continue to be hard and frustrating, if not maddening and scary.
I get it. I felt so consumed by it for a bit there myself. But all those things changed me and I am feeling more myself than ever before. That was something that’s been hard to ignore.
So, I took a moment to focus on how to make lemonade out of all these lemons November brought forth…and damn. Is it delicious. Upward and onward, my friends. Life is just too damn short to waste.