Anacortes, Washington

You Are What Your Surroundings Are

After moving to Anacortes, Washington last month, I’ve seen a total of 10+ bald eagles, a seal, a hummingbird, weird alien-like arm length dolphin-type worms, mushrooms that can be worn as a hat, and trees that seem to be on steroids. The nature is out of this world here. And not to mention the community. I can’t go anywhere without being forced to talk to the locals. And I definitely can’t escape waving to all the passersby in Washington Park.

Even the local movie theatre blew my mind. I haven’t seen a line out the door to buy tickets in over ten years! And they actually had a human to buy tickets from instead of a stupid machine. This place seems like a blast from the past, and I’m beginning to think the past was the way to go, before AI loomed over us to take over our lives, literally.

All of this has had me doing some heavy pondering this last month, reflecting on something I had learned during my 4 years in Spain. 

You are what your surroundings are. 

The Spaniards have a saying that goes, “Americans live to work, but Spaniards work to live.”

I remember I had a bathroom emergency after teaching in school one day in San Roque, Spain. I was only in there for 5 minutes. But when I got out the entire school was deserted. I was literally locked in the school. I had to search for a custodian to let me out. This was when I understood the work-life balance of Spaniards. As soon as that bell rings at the end of the day, everyone stops work and goes home.

This would definitely not happen in the US, at least on the east coast. I remember having friends boast to each other about how late they had to stay in the office, as if they had to try and prove something.

There’s pros and cons to both. The Spaniards partied and napped way too hard for my liking. While Americans worked way too much. I like to have a good balance of both.

But my overall point is, there’s no one way of living a life. And this is something I wish more people understood. If you aren’t happy with your current situation, you CAN change it.

There’s a lot of judgement going on within the US for someone who doesn’t follow the “normal” path. Trust me, I know. I’ve literally been shamed by friends, family, and people I barely know for leaving my corporate job behind to move to Spain to pursue writing. And years later I’m still being shamed for following a “different” path than what we’ve been groomed to know. When in reality I’m just trying to live a life that I find is best for me.

Other ways of living do exist, and that’s usually down the road less traveled. And when you go down the road less traveled, people try to bring you back onto the more comfortable road where everyone else is, usually to clear up their own insecurities of not having the confidence to drive down that road.

If you do feel lost and stuck or unhappy in your current situation, look within and listen to your heart, and do what it’s pulling you toward. That’s what I did when I felt stuck in my current situation. And that pointed me to writing, leading me on a wild road of ups and downs, but I have loved every second of it.

If you didn’t have to worry about money, and you could do whatever you want, what would you do with your time?

Would love to hear your response 🙂

Have you been thinking about writing a book and don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re an experienced writer who has felt stuck and overwhelmed with a writing project? I’d be happy to talk it out with you over a FREE Discovery Call.