Monday, February 15, 2010

The End of the Road

I am the penultimate procrastinator. I can't get anything done without a deadline. Well, the deadline is imminent. I start work tomorrow, and the end of this nine-month Funemployment stint has finally come to end. It is truly bittersweet. I've become accustomed to not setting an alarm, making home-cooked lunches and putting off a shower until around 3:00 p.m. But I am also eager to wipe the cobwebs from my brain and start thinking about things that don't appear in my Facebook newsfeed. It's time to get back to the real world, at least for a little while.

It's impossible to summarize the effect of my time off in any single post. And I think that's why I've had such a hard time writing since I've returned from my jaunt through the South Pacific and SE Asia. But it's time to put pen to paper, or in this case fingers to keyboard, and conclude this amazing adventure with one final post.

I have learned so much about myself and the world in these past months that I feel like I should earn a degree in life lessons. So with that in mind, I want to share with you the top 10 things I learned while Funemployed:

1. Toilet seats are not overrated. I appreciate them more now than ever before. And if there is hand soap and paper towels in a restroom, well then I take a moment and say a silent thank you to the bathroom gods. It really is the little things!

2. People are inherently kind. There are times when some act violently or maliciously, but it is only fear and ignorance that causes this. And one small act of kindness is far more powerful than any evil.

3. If you don't set expectations, you will never be disappointed. When I open myself up fully to new experiences and embrace the unpredictable, I am content.

4. The universe provides exactly what you need, when you need it. Many a time I found myself in situations where I couldn't imagine what to do next, when all of a sudden something would steer my course in the right direction. I remember being stranded in Malaysia without a single cent of local currency and no idea where I was, when I met a woman from San Francisco who offered to take me to my hostel. This "luck" followed me everywhere at exactly the moments I needed it most.

5. When you travel alone, you are only as lonely as you want to be. If you need a friend, make a friend. There are people everywhere who would love to hear your story and share theirs over a glass of cold beer and a bowl of fried cashew nuts (yum!).

6. Don't be afraid to cross the street. It may seem like absolute chaos at times, but once you start walking, people will sense your next move and get out of your way. This is true in Asia, and also in life. When you move forward with intention, your path will clear and your destination will lay in wait.

7. Fear is the enemy of freedom. Once you let go of your fear, anything is possible.

8. Eat good food.

9. Be the stronger version of yourself. It is only when you challenge yourself to do the unimaginable that you give yourself the opportunity to do it.

10. Life is short. Don't spend too much of it on the other side of a computer screen.

When the alarm clock goes off at the ungodly hour of 7:30 a.m., funemployment officially ends and a new adventure begins. I'm excited to get back to the working world, partially for the paychecks that will be direct deposited into my sadly depleted bank account. But also because of the people I will meet, the ideas I will brainstorm and the perks I have so longingly missed (think spa treatments and five-star meals).

I can't promise Employment will be quite as captivating as Funemployment, so I'm probably not going to write the sequel to this blog. But I will say that writing this has been an incredible journey in-and-of itself and I'm grateful to all (5 or 6) of you that have followed along. I've loved hearing your comments and support and hope you've enjoyed reading just as much. So with that, I bid you adieu... I pray we all see the world with excitement in our eyes, eagerness in our hearts and seats on our toilets!

Oh and p.s., I am actually participating in a new blog along with a group of my friends, which has nothing to do with working, not working or traveling... really it's just about eating!


  1. Well Miranda Thank You for your incite and wisdom on your adventure moving across this plant. Thank you for sharing all of you experiences so well written. I will miss this blog, but will enjoy this new daughter. Dad

  2. Welcome back! Start planting the spa seeds now, your body will need it after getting back in front of a computer screen for 8+ hours again! =)

  3. Definitely bittersweet, but so is the best Belguim chocolate! Life's lessons well learned, and lots more to come. Trust me, they never end. XOXO

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures, Miranda. I have enjoyed every word and will miss checking in. (I might check in anyway - just in case you change your mind!)

    Love you,
    Kathy (Megan's mom)

  5. Fabulous finish to a wonderful blog! It was so fun 'traveling' with you, thank you for sharing it with all of us. Best of luck on the new employment. Cheryl