“Believe each day that has dawned to be your last. Some hour which you have not been looking forward to will prove lovely.”

This haunting quote has been a part of my life since I can remember. Initially told to me by my mother and stenciled on the wall of every room I inhabited, it truly is beautiful and applicable in so many ways – when of course you are in a place to see the optimism in the words.

My problem with it is that I am 26 and want a timeline. So if I could get an exact time and place for my unexpected moment to turn lovely, I would really appreciate it. I try and say out loud with unconvincing conviction that I am fine. Fine being single again after 6 years, fine being in a wretched confused place in my life. Having the timeline I had been marching to for the past 12 years completely erased. I didn’t even get to take a quick peek at it before it vanished. The LIFE board that had a blue peg, a pink peg, and the intention of picking up 3 (maybe 4) pegs along the way down the multicolor path of happiness, wealth and picture perfectness disappeared before my eyes. Nowadays, the colors have run together and the image in my head starts looking more and more like a Rorschach inkblot - my interpretation growing darker and less optimistic every day. 

Embarking on a late onset "coming of age" journey is not something I was open to in the beginning. I didn’t want to intentionally drive the discomfort that results inevitably in personal growth. Blah - no thanks. I had a great job, a great group of friends, a great boyfriend and lived in a great city. I could have… no I should have been the happiest girl around. And thought I was. I would wake up and greet the day with excitement, put energy and passion into my work, my friends and take every opportunity to have a new experience. Traveling constantly for work made things easy in that respect. I could get my fill of newness and adventure without having to commit to the uneasiness of changing the constants in my life. 

Perhaps that is why I lived and at times continue to live in denial and with a particular lack of confidence - shielding myself from the awareness it takes to be brave, and bold. The kind of boldness that allows you to take command of your life and live it the way you choose. Not the way you have lived it, or the way you think it should be lived. Which is what led me to the place I am in today. A broken engagement with an unbelievable lack of direction or purpose. 

I guess I would say my goal is to rediscover that direction and purpose, but looking for yourself is tricky business when you don’t know what you are going to find. Yet embarking on the journey is the first step... so they say. "They" being my parents of course. And "they" being the ones unbelievably supportive in my decision to quit my job, spend every last penny I have traveling and return to start life in a new city. As if a single challenging life situation wasn't enough, I think I just decided to pile them all into the next few months - hoping to come out alive. 

Chelsie Fish

Slightly exaggerated stories of love, life and travel.