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South of the Border

Bridget Connelly

“It feels good to be lost in the right direction.”

It’s an interesting time of life. Well I guess your 20s are as a whole are— so much change, hurt, happiness, selfishness, fun and growth. Early 20s were wild, carefree, but absolutely difficult at times. Wondering, “Should I live somewhere new?”, “Should I date that person?”  “What should I be doing?” Mid 20s became the turning point for “I need to get my life together.” Sleeping until 2 pm became no longer acceptable (sometimes it is), and thinking about a sustaining career became more top of mind. Then late 20s came with feeling the pressure to become an adult….But what does that even look like? “Should I be settled down?”, “What are my passions and where do I see my life going?”, “What does society expect me to be doing?” I find myself, and hear my friends asking too, “What is next?” A new job? Living in a new place? Marriage? Settling down? Families? Traveling?

We can get so caught up in what other people expect of us, that I think it’s easy to lose sight of what you really want. My hope is that one day those expectations will fade away. We are all on our own unique journeys. Trying to live out some “norm” is setting ourselves up for failure. Although it’s hard not to do this at any stage of life, and especially in an age of social media — where we fall victim to comparing our lives to one another. “I wish I was on that trip, I wish I looked that person, I wish I had that kind of love, I wish I lived there”… It can drive a person crazy. Comparison is never a healthy outlet and so much of what you see on the internet isn't really what it’s cracked up to be. I need a healthy dose of a reality check from time to time, while scrolling through everyone else's lives. Because it isn't reality —we all have something we are going through. It’s important and necessary to love yourself, and to accept and appreciate where you are in this exact moment of your life. I fully believe at any point in time you can change, heal, grow, build dreams and set lofty goals to live a fuller life, but love your path your on. Don't compare your path to anyone else and certainly don't let anyone try to change you or your path. Being honest and authentic to yourself and with others, I believe, will lead you to fulfillment and contentment — whatever that may look like and however long it takes you to get there. Be patient, be kind to yourself, and trust that God has good plans for you, no matter where you are at along your journey.  

I would say 75% of the time I feel lost, but a good kind of lost. A lost in the right direction. A lost in that I’m still evolving and working on myself. I’m discovering more about myself every year, I’m understanding who I am in a deeper way, and what I want out of life. It can be a heartbreaking and confusing lost at times, but if we didn't feel that, we wouldn’t be pushing ourselves to find the best, truest, version of ourselves. I wont settle for anything, but that. 

At times when the lost feels more on the confusing side then on the clarifying side, I feel a trip is always a good idea. A time to get away, clear the mind, quiet the mind, and rejuvenate your body, whether it be with friends or by yourself. After my cousin Patrick passed away I flew back to San Diego for just a few short days, before I had to move my life I had created over 5 years, head to Chicago, then move to Dallas. I was the confused, broken type of lost at this time in my life. I missed Pat terribly, and still do every day, while simultaneously had to say goodbye to a life I knew and cherished for years. It was so much to come to terms with, too much. 

In the midst of packing, tears, both happy and sad, my good friends decided they were going to head to Mexico for the night. Now I had ALOT of packing to do. Who knew I had accumulated so much crap over the years? My mom probably could’ve guessed that…but I had no idea! Needless to say, I was in no place to just ditch out on packing and head south of the border for a night, when I needed to ship everything out the next day. But I knew in the end it would get done one way or another, so road trip south we did — and I’m damn glad we did. 

An hour and half south of San Diego, is a sunny place called Los Gaviotas, Rosarito. It’s a quaint town full of history (some not so good), rich character, unbelievable sunrises and sunsets, epic surf (so they tell me), bomb margaritas (which I told myself), and endless, delicious, cheap fish tacos. Basically, Heaven on Earth. 

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We spent the night sipping cocktails, dancing constantly to a “legendary” reggae musician, celebrating the life of some fine humans, playing cards, eating chips like they were going out of style, and laughing until it physically hurt. Something I needed to feel and remember that it was possible to feel again. It’s truly amazing how resilient the human spirit is. Even in the deepest of pains, being able to smile, laugh and find the good even when it’s hard too, is possible. God helps me to remember the good, friends & family help me to keep laughing through the mess, and adventures remind me that life is truly beautiful. 

We woke up to a perfect sunrise, had coffee on the rooftop overlooking the deep blue sea, relaxed on a secret beach, enjoyed a few more fish tacos and then made our way back North. It was quick trip, and painful at times knowing I was not with my family during their heartache, and knowing I was going back to pack up a life I didn’t quite feel ready too yet. But for 24 hours I was taken away from it all — I was refreshed by meaningful relationships, surrounded by people I loved dearly, and felt invigorated by God’s beauty in every breath I took of the salty, fresh air. I left knowing what was to come would not be easy, but that I was going to be OK. 

Spontaneous trips — full of rich conversations, getting to know people on a more intimate level, finding new aspects of life to relate on, encouraging and challenging each other — it is so good for the heart and soul. I was momentarily taken away from the weight I was carrying so heavily with me. It enabled me to go back to San Diego with a fresh perspective and ready to embrace what was lying ahead. A perspective to understand this change would be hard, but good — and even when it’s not good, that I will always have the best support team I could ever dream up, to help carry the weight when it’s too much to do on my own. Change is apart of life we will all face at some point or another, and we can choose how we want to handle it — to help shape us for the better, stay stagnant, or regress. Change has been a theme of my journey lately, in ways I can barely keep up with. There are times when I certainly feel lost by it. But I am confident my lost is pushing me to discover the best version of myself, is heading me in the right direction — my direction, and I am so very thankful for that. The best is yet to come.