When Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary
This time last year I was on an island off the coast of Malaysia. My team and I were given a few days off by our ministry contact so we set off for Langkawi Island. We spent several days sinking our toes into white sand and skipping across islands in boats the color of sunshine. We swam in cool lakes in the middle of tiny islands. I was stung by a jellyfish for the first time. I ate the best Mexican food that could be found in Asia and had the best scones with cream I have had to date.
My life was extraordinary. The adventure and excitement seemed to fill my every day. But when I look back, really look back, there were plenty of ordinary moments in between all of that excitement. Sometimes in between the adventures, I was lonely, missed my family, and wished I could be back home in Baton Rouge.
Flash forward to the present. I have been back home now for six months. My New Year’s Eve was about as uneventful as they come. I was dog sitting for a friend and her dog is terrified of fireworks so instead of ringing in the new year with excitement, I was holding a terrified dog who thought sitting on my head would be good protection from the terrible noise in the sky.
My life looks so incredibly different now then it did just one year ago. It is so easy to see that life is extraordinary when you are going island hopping in Malaysia. Sometimes it is a little harder when you are sitting at home on New Years Eve.
After spending months and months traveling the world, things I was once dying to see became sort of average. I hated losing the wonder I first had when I walked on the Great Wall of China. But by the end of my trip I could feel myself getting a little unexcited by another new city, another breath-taking view, and another experience of a lifetime.
Now that I am home, I would give almost anything to feel the rough stone of the Great Wall on my hands, the soft, warm rain in Thailand. The bright orange and yellow of the sunrise in Lesotho. The sounds of a language I do not understand in a strange, new city.
All of this longing for the past is not bringing me any further into the future, so I have decided to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary of my day-to-day life. I love the daily hugs from my sweet students before they run for the school bus at the end of the day. The joy of waking up with my family on Christmas morning. The way my heart feels when I am laughing with friends I was apart from for so long. The excitement of visiting an old favorite place in my town. The adventure of discovering a new love of running.
My life is extraordinary. Not simply because I am surrounded by incredible places and things, but because I choose to never let my ordinary be simply that.
I choose to look for the things that make me feel excited and truly alive. I choose to look for the adventure in my life instead of being pulled into the droll of a 9-to-5.
Let today be a new opportunity to look at things a different way. Instead of always longing to be somewhere else, try looking at your ordinary differently. If you slow down long enough and quiet the busyness surrounding you, I bet you will begin to recognize just how extraordinary your life truly is.