A New Chapter

Isn’t it crazy how life can change in a single moment and be so wonderfully unpredictable- you can go to sleep with one version of your world and suddenly you wake up and everything has changed. For better or for worse, it never ceases to amaze me. You’d think this is of no news to me when I spend most of my time in clinical settings where I see people’s lives turn upside down in mere seconds. But, it’s always different when it happens to you.

I’m writing this on my couch (next to my new cacti, which I’m proud of because of my apparent lack of ability to keep anything green alive for more than a day) in my brand new loft with my pup curled at my feet, living in this lavish city that was completely foreign to me just a couple months ago ago. Last month, I moved, switched careers, changed schools, ended relationships and basically flipped my life around, all within a week. I tried things I never thought I would and abandoned paths I never thought I’d walk away from. I left behind the toxicity of negative thoughts and individuals and made the biggest life-altering decisions in my life, all within about a week. Sometimes I look back and think, how. How did I pack so much ‘stuff’ into such a short amount of time? I live in a world that’s constantly moving faster and faster, changing and progressing, and in some ways I’m all for it, but it’s nice to slow down and just appreciate the things around you.

^The cacti, are thriving. For now. Updates to come.

I was never the type to want to stay in one place for too long. I’ve lived in countless cities and decorated the walls of too many apartments. I’ve quit jobs to travel the world because I crave the excitement of new places and different people. One thing that was always a constant in my life was my love for medicine. While that hasn’t changed, I’ve switched from the medical model to the nursing model in pursuit of my CRNA, and it took a lot of soul searching to come to this decision..

Just kidding. It took me one day.

When I was younger, I remember my mom telling me that one of my biggest flaws was that I was too too spontaneous and that I didn’t think things through. She wasn’t necessarily wrong, but I refuse to see this as a flaw because it has led me to some unparalleled experiences.

It’s no secret that I’m a thrill seeker. When I travel to new places, the first thing I want to know is what exciting adventure can I experience here that I can’t do anywhere else? It needs to be memorable; I’m drawn to anything that gives me stroke-like palpitations and makes my adrenaline shoot up. The more dangerous, the better. That’s how skydiving happened in Australia which led to my bucket list of the most awesome things in the world I want to experience – including the South West Rocks Dive , the worlds highest bungee jump in South Africa and cliff diving in Corfu.

While I LIVE for moments that make my heart stop, I also enjoy plenty of things that are calming and challenging and force me to grow. In the past 4 months I’ve read more books, studied more anatomy and listened to more podcasts than I thought I would for the whole year. One of my favorite things to do is wake up early and journal, read, and have absolutely no contact with my phone or the rest of the world. With the beautiful chaos of school, work, travel, friends and pets, I don’t always get those 30 minutes of quiet and escape from the constant buzz of life, but when I do I notice the difference it makes. These are things I want to do even more of.

I’m investing in my future, my education, my retirement, my savings, the house I want to buy and so much for my future, which is awesome. I also recognize I’m in my 20’s and that the freedom and financial independence I have now is something I want to take advantage of. The choices I make now are crucial to my future, and while I think so highly of what my friends and family have to say, making these recent decisions with absolutely no influence from others has been a very empowering thing for me.

I think it’s so common for us to compare ourselves and our paths to those around us and to wonder if we’re doing it wrong. This is especially common when we’re uncertain about ourselves, and we look to others for guidance and inspiration. But, it’s the unsettling doubt that creeps in when we’re still pursuing our studies while everyone else seems to be working or getting married that leads to unhappiness – this constant thinking that we’re not where we’re supposed to be. I used to feel like I had to go through life following the traditional steps of getting my degree, getting married, having kids, then making time for myself, and I’m so happy this closed off view only lasted for about 11 seconds. People used to be shocked when I would tell them that getting married is just not something I planned, or really gave much thought to (especially as a Bosnian), but it’s the truth. I love having a plan when it comes to my career, but with the rest of my life I prefer to jump head first into situations and figure the rest out as I go. I certainly don’t have everything figured out, in some ways not even close, but that’s okay!

Every year, I make a promise to myself to continue moving forward no matter how intimidated, overwhelmed or frustrated I feel, and I’m finally doing that. I let go of a lot of ideals perpetuated by older generations, social media, and other ridiculous influences. I used to think I had to be less of a free spirit but that’s literally my nature – I’m intrigued by the unknown and curious about the world and everyone knows I love a grueling and arduous challenge. I want to form my own path because the idea of following someone else’s timeline is not for me. Right now, I’m here and happy and I’m in this place because I choose to be, and that feels good.

And while I love the fast-paced days of studies, work, travel, and everything in between, slowing down to be present is just as important, and there’s time for all of it. The silence of Sundays should be cherished. Time with family should be spent phone-less. Books should be read and coffee should be appreciated, and not just for the caffeine. Life shouldn’t be rushed- it’s a wild ride and I’m still searching and adventuring and learning through it all. So cheers to living and learning and all of these wonderful growing pains, and to moving on to new and better things.

All the love,
Selma

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