As I was frustrated over adulting the other day with having to owe on my taxes and not expecting that and then health insurance costs and job searching and wondering when I will have a pay check again, Brian said something that stuck “ life is grey, not black and white.” I don’t know where he read it or when he thought about it, but I was in agreement and at the same time still frustrated that I couldn’t plan out things. It’s funny how I had little worries while traveling other than remaining safe and not spending too much, both of which I felt I accomplished. I mean I spent a good bit of money but remained under what I allowed for giving me a cushion when I came home.
By nature, I feel I am a planner. I track every cent I spend and bring in, in an excel sheet. I had to let go of the fact that I wouldn’t be bringing in money during my travels and just tracked my spending so that if I really felt like it, I could put it into categories such as food, activities, lodging, etc. I like numbers. I majored in math. I like to know how much I am putting to certain categories so that I can see what I can cut back on if needed.
It frustrated me that when I got home to start doing my taxes, I discovered I wasn’t getting a refund this year, but in fact owed money. In the long run, it’s not much money but I wish I would have known.
If there is one thing booking a one way ticket to another country teaches you, it’s that you can’t plan out everything. I went into my trip with this in mind: travel for as long as possible and have fun. I think I accomplished that. I mean I probably could have traveled longer but I knew I wanted a certain amount of cushion of money when I returned and after Brian got his job back, I was able to extend my travels for another 3 weeks and by the end, was ready to go home and have a bit more relaxing time.
I got home though and realized I had quite a bit of “stuff.” I only left a small handful of my belongings at home but it was so nice only having a backpack to travel. I love having “new” outfits to wear, but at the same time, I think I need to part with more clothes. Keep in mind, all the clothes I actually wear can currently fit in 3 suitcases (1 large, 1 medium and 1 carry on size). Still there are clothes I have had forever that I maybe wear a handful of times a year and probably don’t need. Plus I do want to make room for new clothes once I do find a job. Try to find a style that suits me and try to not look 18 anymore.
So life is grey and you can’t control everything, but right now, I am going to focus on what I can control and that is how much “stuff” I bring when I move. I decluttered a lot when I moved in December and sold half our furniture (though we never had much), but I am feeling like I need to declutter more. After traveling, I guess it’s just a fresh start and while I don’t feel the need to buy a bunch of new things, I do feel the need to just start with less if that makes sense.
I guess I don’t really know where this post is going, other than to say, life happens, we can’t always plan, but we can focus our minds on the positive, focus on certain aspects we can control and how we react to the situation. Continue to move forward even after taking a step backwards and all will be OK. I have to trust that right now, that all will be OK.
Linking up with Amanda for thinking out loud.