Once upon a time, I knew exactly what my life was about. I knew what I could and couldn’t be. I knew exactly who I was and exactly what I cared about. And you know what? Deep down, I felt stuck. There was no room to be curious about possibilities, because I had lost my sense of wonder.
It’s easy to cling to known outcomes, especially when you suffer from certain types of anxiety. But what if the outcome you know isn’t the only possible outcome? What if there are amazing outcomes that you had never imagined, but could very well be your reality – if you’d just open your mind and heart to them.
I started this blog as a hobby. But deep down, in my subconscious, I knew it was something more. For the longest time, I resisted. “I’m not a blogger,” I thought, “I’m just someone who blogs.” I was a business owner. I was a sustainability consultant for architects and builders. I was a college instructor. I was a working mom and a wife. But a blogger? That was a title reserved for those who had earned it. People who actually had training and talent for writing, and photography, and social media presence. I wasn’t a writer. I wasn’t a photographer. I wasn’t a creative.
Then, through a series of small, yet interesting, events, something inside me clicked. It was six specific things that happened, close together, that just felt like a sign — no, a billboard — directing me to change my path. I wrote down those six things, each one seemingly trivial and relatively meaningless on their own. Perhaps I’ll share them with you someday, but I’m not quite ready for that yet.
I’ll be honest, I felt like my world had turned upside down. I was both excited and terrified of the possibilities that were entering my mind. Could I really be a real-life full-time blogger? Could I really give up the career I had spent so much time and effort on? That felt like giving up my entire identity. But once I allowed myself to wonder… things actually started to make sense. And I started to feel more like myself than I ever have before in my entire life.
And through that small series of uninteresting events, I started to realize the magic of wonder. It’s a powerful thing that can inspire a deeper sense of connection and belonging and purpose. A sense of wonder allows you to sit back at the end of the day and marvel at the small miracles of what may seem like a mundane slice of your weekly routine. It also allows you to look ahead and feel hopeful and optimistic about the future. And it allows you to take delight in the small, simple experiences in daily life, like witnessing the changing autumn leaves or crossing off every item on your day’s to-do list or listening to your child learn to read or discovering a love for knitting or breathing in the fresh air on the first warm day of spring.
So I’m learning that, as easy as it is to get bogged down in the daily grind, as easy as it is to become overwhelmed or just plain exhausted trying to keep up with daily demands, and as easy as it is to feel bored with your daily routine, life always has pockets full of wonder, both big and small, if we just keep our minds and hearts open to them.