I’ve been thinking a lot about endless possibilities lately. Have you ever given it much thought? If you have, do you remember the moment you realized that your life is an unwritten story and that anything is possible? Did you feel exhilarated, full of boundless energy that you could hardly contain. I did.
And then, before you knew it, this really strange paralysis takes over and you want to bury yourself under your covers and never get out of bed because it’s too much to think about. What are you supposed to do with your life if there truly are no limits to what you can do and which direction you can take? Oh, this didn’t happen to you? You didn’t stay in bed and stress about endless possibilities for one too many days? Good for you! I want to know your secret.
After over 13 years in corporate America, I called it quits. Following my “day dream,” I decided to leave my old life behind and start afresh on the tiny rock, St. John USVI, in the middle of the ocean. It’s been about ten weeks since the big move, and on one hand, that seems like a blink of an eye. On the other hand though, it kind of seems like an eternity. I keep finding myself in an almost daily mind game of tug of war. Shouldn’t I be authoring a book by now? Shouldn’t I be working for a big resort? I definitely should be accomplishing a lot each day, right? Or maybe I should just be on a beach doing yoga and reading inspirational books? My passion is people, so maybe I should be spreading cheer throughout the island as I blissfully go about, connecting with new people… after all, it’s who you know, right?
During my time in corporate America, I was a type A, driven, task-oriented, self-motivated, to-do list creator. I loved the list and I loved checking things off even more. Now, I make lists some days in St. John and I honestly do try to work through the list. But there are different obstacles that can only be understood by those who have experienced life on an island. Sometimes it’s the heat, or the car ferry schedule, or lack of motivation to do anything other than sit on the most beautiful beach imaginable and appreciate the fact that this is your life… these are just a couple of examples of what stops me from doing more each day. Then the guilt ensues and I’m certain that I will get a serious job the very next day. It’s been a strange ten weeks.
Truth is, I don’t want a “corporate” job right now. At least I don’t think I do. I want to enjoy life on St. John USVI. And I want to appreciate this opportunity, because I am almost certain that this may be the only time in my life I can do what I’m doing. I don’t exactly know what that is, but I’m learning a lot about people, even more about myself, and a heck of a lot about the art of endless possibilities.
Fortunately for me, I live somewhere where it’s way too hot to stay buried under the covers for very long. So, I am going to continue to take it day-by-day, and try not to beat myself up too much. It’s all part of the journey. It’s the story I hope to write and speak about one day. I’ve decided, you can’t write a very interesting story if everything is neatly arranged and packaged in a simple little box with straight edges. So I’m going to continue to work on coloring my story right now… it’s messy, it’s beautiful, it’s abstract, and it’s very hard to describe to someone. But most days my “art” ends up looking like a perfectly imperfect picture of life in paradise. I’m definitely enjoying the view!
Ashley Cates, St. John USVI blogger.