Saturday, April 9, 2011

Charmed Life

"It's a charmed life
Unexplainable grace
Stumbling, you fall right into place"
                                     - Charmed Life by Leigh Nash

This post is dedicated to my wonderful big sister, Alicia. I chose this song because I truly think Alicia is living a charmed life. It's the classic (and I'd say ideal) case of a girl who falls in love with her high school sweetheart and establishes for herself a successful life comprised of a career, a home, and a loving family. I have to say, I am jealous of how easily my sister was able to "stumble" into this perfect existence. Her life encompasses so many things that I hope to have in the future.

But that's not to say that I am unhappy with where I am now. You see, her life and my life went in very different directions but despite that we are both very happy where we are at the moment.

"Who needs to know
When it all comes and where it all goes
Who needs to know just where
Fate will take you there"

This past summer I made friends with lots of travelers when I was cherry picking in the Okanagan in British Columbia. I remember having a conversation about traveling with a couple of younger friends who held a very strong judgment against those who choose not to venture. They felt as though they should feel sorry for the people who weren't interested in traveling because they are missing out on so much. They didn't understand how people wouldn't want to see the world. I recall confronting them in an attempt to show them that there are different ways of looking at life and that each individual wants different things. I used Alicia as an example. As I said, she married her high school sweetheart and is now living a stable and happy life. This is obviously where she wants to be in life, otherwise she wouldn't have taken all of the life-changing steps to get here. Sure, she hasn't done much traveling of the kind that my cherry picking friends were alluding to, but she didn't need that to be happy. The way I see it is that each person knows what will make them happy. Therefore no one else has the right to judge them or take pity on their life choices. At the end of the day as long as everyone is content in what they are doing that is all that matters.

As I have come to learn, - and I am continuing to learn - traveling is a lot more than just sightseeing; there is a lot of soul-searching and character-building involved in venturing off into the world. But, the sorts of life-altering experiences that shape our character and help us discover ourselves aren't solely found over the course of globe-trotting. I know that I have learned so much about who I am and who I want to be since embarking on my traveling adventures but I am positive that Alicia probably knows a lot more about herself than I do about myself. I say this because, she has had her soulmate, her "other half", riding along through life with her for the past ten years! Being in a relationship also involves a lot of soul-searching and character-building I am sure. Not only that, she has also given birth and is raising a child. That opens a whole other can of worms when it comes to life-changing experiences that shape you.

"It's a childlike world and you can feel the magic
Far from the typically tragic
That's the beauty of a charmed life"

So, what I'd say to those who think that Alicia and others like her are missing out is a quotation used at the epic traveling movie, "Into the Wild" - "Happiness only exists when shared." When all is said and done, it doesn't matter where we have been or what we have seen, those experiences can't hold a candle to the tangible gift of being with the people you love.

"It's a good life in the happily ever after
Last page of a very last chapter
It's the story of a charmed life"

So, kudos to you Alicia! You have found your happy place and you didn't need to go on any soul-searching journeys or waste any time questioning what you want in life. You knew what you wanted and you got it and I am so proud of you! You are a fabulous big sister who I know I can always count on for life advice because you obviously know what you are doing. You're doing this little sister good by showing her how it's done! With any luck I'll soon be walking in your footsteps and finding my happily ever after.

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