That "Holy Freaking Shit This is my Life” Feeling

How Travel Breeds Gratitude

Nam Song River, Vang Vieng, Laos

Nam Song River, Vang Vieng, Laos

Appreciation for the Moment You’re in

I love sitting still and just listening to the wind, and feeling the sunshine on my face. I really relish the moments when I am completely at peace with my environment and my surroundings. When I just embrace the stillness absolutely. 

When I’m able to separate my pre-conditioned desire to be checking things off a to-do list and trusting that what I feel compelled to do is what I’m meant to be doing. 

It’s hard for me to see the “purpose” of resting sometimes. Even when I’m down for the count with a cold and know that rest is exactly what I need. That my body is trying to tell me to take the breath. To close my eyes and to listen. And then to do exactly what I’m guided to. No matter how my logical brain perceived that task. No matter how “productive” or “needle moving” it seems to be or not be. 

To embrace stillness wholeheartedly. To understand that that is as, if not more important than, any other moment in my day. 

To smell the grass, listen to the leaves, close my eyes. To just really feel it with my whole heart and soul. 

That all of me is alive. That I am grateful for every little piece of it. That I am surrounded by wonderful sights and scenery everyday. 

Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng, Laos

chasing “That” feeling

I don’t need to travel across the ocean to feel this moment of complete awe at my surroundings, and where I am physically. 

I didn’t always understand this, and maybe you are where I was.

I used to feel the need to chase that feeling of complete and utter awe at where I was. At was I was looking at, the atmosphere, the vibe of a place. 

This deep, all over, feeling of complete presence and utter gratitude for the moment I was in and the landscape I was looking out at. 

I can recall those moments like I’m there now, you know what I mean? That moment you look out over a beautiful landscape and think to yourself I can’t believe this is my life. Everyone has to see this, everyone has to feel this. 

I used to think this was something I needed to travel to find, and I do, and I will. But, it isn’t necessary for me anymore. 

Getting on a plane and going on an adventure in a foreign place are not requirements to create that feeling. To really appreciate where you are physically in your life. 

I get that feeling looking up at a really beautiful blue sky, or up at the stars at night. Just pure aw at the world. 

It’s so magnificent and there is so much to be in awe of. 

It’s easy to forget sometimes and just let the moment pass you by. To take your dog for a walk without really looking at how beautiful the trees are, or how colourful it has become since the flowers bloomed. Have there always been flowers there?

I have been guilty of this. Of just putting my headphones on, podcast on, and focused on what it is I feel I need to learn. What it is I think will inspire me that day. Feeling the need to “make the most” of every second of my day to absorb information and grow. 

I consciously do not do this anymore. I consciously leave my headphones at home and CHOOSE to be present in those moments. And I’ve found that, that awareness now carries itself over into the rest of my day. 

I find myself closing my eyes and just smiling to myself when I’m just in complete and utter gratitude for the world I live in. 

Amongst other things, I thank travel for this.

For pushing me to find those moments of awe in my everyday, whether I am traveling or not. 

I used to crave them so badly. Yearn for them. Work and save for months to be able to experience them again. Count down the days until I would be in a new place, with new things to be in awe of. To have my breath taken away by. To be ecstatic. To be overwhelmed with gratitude. To be overcome with emotion.

It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst, and then I remember to relax and stop trying to hold onto it and it flows through me like rain and I can feel nothing but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid, little life. You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure, but don’t worry. You will someday.
— American Beauty

you have the power to create “that” feeling

I know now that I can create this feeling anytime I feel like. That life in general is amazing and that I am genuinely amazed by it.

I know now that it’s a feeling I choose into or out of. 

And, so can you.

It’s not always easy but it’s always possible. 

Some days I spend the whole day floating in this feeling. 

Others I spend in a stubborn bummed-out state at where I am in life (natural, human over here).

Most days I am CHOOSING into gratitude. 

I’m CHOOSING into that “looking out at a new place” feeling. 

I’ve tried to describe it to people before but I’ve never really understood what it was before now. 

What it was exactly that I was trying to recreate. 

I’ve now titled it my “Holy freaking hell this is my life” feeling, with a drop of “How lucky am I to be experiencing/witnessing this?”

It makes me smile even just to write it because I know you know the feeling that I mean. 

I’m still driven to go out and see as much of the world as I can and I’ll be grateful for every bit of those adventures. But, my “Holy Freaking Hell This is my Life” moments are not dependant on it anymore.

I am overwhelmed by it, where I am, as I am. That in itself is pretty amazing.

Life’s the adventure, define it however you’d life.