**Disclaimer- I don't want the reader to think that my parents lived in anyway that I don't agree with. We are all on our own individual journeys and they lived as they wanted to. No judgment.
I've often thought about my life and all I've lived and how different my life is from my parents. I know that some people live and seem to repeat all that their parents did. I find that very interesting since I don't think my life has followed either of my parents AT ALL.
What do I mean by this? When I was a child we lived in the same house. My dad had the same job and we pretty much did nothing. Well, we went camping on occasion and visited family that lived about 6 hours away on occasion. We didn't really DO anything other the above mentioned. Now, I know change is inevitable, so they must have been doing something to expand their horizons, but nothing I really saw. And, to be honest, conversations still seem to be the same as when I grew up....
I, on the other hand, do not believe much the same as when I was growing up. I left home and wanted to travel and see the world. I also wanted to go to college, so I did. I was the first to graduate with a college degree and from there I traveled the world. I've lived extended periods in different countries and all for to expand my mind and challenge my beliefs.
"...for me, to not be growing is to not be living."
I don't know where I got the desire to constantly push myself outside my comfort zone, but that is what I have been doing most of my 50 now years. I have a belief that if I'm comfortable then I'm not growing. And for me to not be growing is to not be living.
Even now, though I know they are living just as they want to be, I look at their lives and I wonder what it was all for. Don't you do that with your life? I do? But I really wonder what their life was for. And in reflecting on their life, I ask and ponder about mine.
What is this life for?
When I ponder my life I think about all the experiences I've had. I think about the children in Vanuatu that I was able to teach and how fun it was to learn about a new culture. I think about the beautiful, indescribable, beauty of the South Pacific islands and how lucky I was to be a part of that life. I think about the smells and cultural differences I experienced in India and how alive I felt when I walked barefoot in a temple of an Indian God. The smells of India.... urine, incense, fire, salt water, curry... all mixed together in one inhale that takes your breathe away and leaves your knowing you will only have that very mix again when you return. I think about the warm smiles and gentle embraces on a little wet island known as Ireland. Of the old, moist buildings that have been around long before me and will exist long after I'm gone. Of all the journeys it's the people and the experiences that have enriched my life. This is why I live. This is why I exist. Because of the experiences and the people you meet along the way and the love shared, if only fleeting.