The light along the tunnel

My name is Melanie. I am a newlywed wife, daughter, dog mother, Canadian, self-pronounced INFJ, forever language learner, newly-graduated Master’s student in Hispanic Linguistics, and now a Master’s student in Communication. I am an avid reader, aspiring writer, salsa dancer, beer drinker, and coffee addict. I have recently moved from Canada to the U.S. (Peoria, IL), and I am trying to deal with moving out of my house for the first time and making my life with my husband and my dog.

Why am I writing now? Last year I have been so hectic with school, work, and relationships to the point where I had no time to appreciate life and enjoy hobbies that I had in the past. Now that I have had the opportunity to slow down and think more clearly about my life and what I want from it, I have realized what I do not want it filled with: the lack of enjoyment, of beauty and of the melody that it can provide us.

People nowadays get so stressed and dogged down by the have tos and the need tos. Many have careers that do not end at the five o’clock hour nor on the weekends. Many constantly check whether or not they have received e-mails at 11 o’clock on a Friday. How many times this year did I spend my Saturdays cooped up in the house, working on an assignment until 8 o’clock at night and then, brain dead, lie on the couch and watch some bad television? Too many. I did not enjoy the festivals around my city of Toronto. Christmas was good except for the constant nagging in the back of my mind that I still had a whole bunch of work to do. I would have family outings and, in the back seat of the car, I would study for a midterm. I was constantly tired and I got to the point where, if I was not working, I would feel unsuccessful.

That is the key word: success. It seems like this is the concept that gets everyone into this productivity nightmare. The current North American culture requires a person to constantly produce, to be good at their job, and to be a great parent. For the name of success, people forget to look at the world around them and find pleasure in the little things. They miss out on the beauty of the spring flowers beginning to sprout, a cute puppy running excitedly after his master, or even just reading a good book on the patio when the air slowly begins to chill. Nights are filled with worrying about work or thinking about the next day’s to-do list, and no one is able to escape the environment that consumes our lives. As the saying goes, we live to work and not work to live. This is a constant struggle to merge two opposing forces: to be successful and to also be happy doing it.

Last year, I attempted to live my life more. I have tried my hardest to get out and experience what my surroundings have to offer. Yes, we do need to work – but we cannot work to the point where we let our lives pass us by. Yes, we do need to try hard every day to be our best – but we cannot let ourselves become weary in the process.

This is the point of this blog. I will share my new experiences with this outlook. My goal is not for you to see the blaring light at the end of the tunnel, but to see the small twinkling lanterns that guide your way there. I am not here to tell you how to be successful, or how to get motivated. I am just here, trying to live my life the best I can, doing things that I love and appreciating those around me. I hope you come along the tunnel with me and hopefully I can be a reminder to enjoy what life has to offer! This blog will be random from new things I buy in the home, my love story, things happening around me, my current dog training scenario, past and current travel adventures, and anything else that goes on in my life! This blog is my motivation to enjoy my life.