Recently I saw a post on Facebook that really made me think. It was a quote by Robert Holden about happiness, more specifically that happiness is where you are and not where you are going. It made me take pause- do I suffer from destination addiction? Maybe. The lack of permanence in the world today is astounding, to say the least. Many people are constantly looking for that next best thing – next house, next relationship, next fad hobby, or next job-all that will lead to their ever-elusive happiness. “When I’m a ( insert profession) I’ll finally be happy.”, “When I find love, everything will finally be right.” or “When I leave this job, things will finally look up for me.” – we all know these people; friends, family, our spouses or maybe even ourselves. Do we suffer from what Holden calls “Destination Addiction”? I know I do.
Now I’m very happy in my life. I have an amazing man, great friends and a career that has spanned almost 20 years in the military. So then why am I looking for my next professional destination? Why can’t I be happy in my career as it is; why is it that I feel as though I have accomplished nothing in that professional life? Why do I think that once I do that one career path that I’ll finally have a purpose? I think it is because society has placed so much importance on what we are – a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor or a plumber, that we forget to live and be who we are. Who are you without your profession? Who are you without your relationship status? The question really becomes who are you, to you?
I like so many other professionals lose their way and have swallowed this notion that to be someone is to be that teacher, lawyer, doctor etc. This is why even as an 18-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces with multiple overseas tours, a leader, a mentor a medic that I feel as though I have yet to accomplish anything. But I wonder, what would happen if we stopped being what we do, and started to be who we are. If you described who you are without commenting on what you do professionally, who would you be?
I”ll start. I am a strong woman who has overcome personal adversity. I am compassionate, always looking out for those I love – and those who need love. I am a woman who values home-cooked meals to fast food – but sometimes I give in. I value someone’s worth on how they love and care for those who love them versus how many promotions they receive. I am perfectly made, someone who was born to heal others in many ways – physically, mentally and even spiritually.
Close your eyes. Who is the person you see yourself to be in your most perfect form, in the best version of yourself- who is it you see? Who are you to you when everyone else is gone, and it is only you. I, see a country house nestled between rolling green emerald hills. A forest serves as a backdrop to the modest home just outside its perimeter. Smoke comes from the cobblestone chimney, dense white with grey that dances and swirls, then dissipates into the crisp morning air. The smells of fresh bread surround the home as do aromas of pine, lavender, oak and mint. The panelled front door swings open to the kitchen and there I am standing in my element. Herbs garnish the kitchen and jars with ingredients of all types sit atop raw wood shelving – no doubt crafted by my loving husband who currently works away in his metalsmithing shop. I am a loving wife who creates, heals the sick and mends the soul. I am the wise woman, the healer, the teacher. I am all these things – I was all these things, I will always be all these things. I am not what I do – I do what I am.
So who are you when you are alone, and you close your eyes? Who are you today at your very core?