Saturday, April 25, 2009

Break Out of the Fish Bowl

Part of the process of just living life, creates routine. It happens slowly until the day comes when we realize we take the same route to work everyday, we come home and watch too much mind numbing television with no educational value, and go to bed at the same hour each evening. We fill our homes with material things that give us comfort and somewhere along the line, make us feel secure. We dig in and although our lives are “busy” and filled with beautiful things that make us feel life is good, it's all routine.

When I look outside my “fish bowl” thoughts of “what if’s” swirl around in my head. What if I wasn’t so “dug in”? What if I could pick up and go somewhere new to test the waters, fill my days doing what I love the most, and meet new people that could have a profound impact on my life? What would that new perspective and those new friends feel like? I’ve dug deep reaching outside myself to embrace change, moving around more than most and happier for the wisdom and freedom it has given me. In the effort to keep things fresh, I have always been eager to challenge my mind and adapt to changing environments. But it can be so easy to slip back into my routines and wake up feeling locked inside a fish bowl. Harnessing my inner restlessness has given me the power to grow and demand more from myself.

In mid-April it was time for me to break out of the fish bowl once again and expand my life possibilities. My latest need for change has brought me back to the city of my youth, Bellevue, Washington. When I left in 1976, Bellevue was a small sleepy town referred to by Seattleites as the “Eastside”. The downtown core had few office buildings and those that existed were no more than 10 stories high. Bellevue was easy to get around, with little traffic and views of Lake Washington that could take your breath away. I went for a walk yesterday in Bellevue's downtown park and found that growth has not escaped the Eastside; the skyline of Bellevue has changed. A photo of the Bellevue skyline as it is today appears above.

For all the changes that have come about here, it is still a place of beauty. As I write this, a bald eagle appeared just outside the wall of windows of my room, giving me the privilege of watching him glide over the lake as he fished for his lunch. The Pacific Northwest is known for the beauty of its four seasons. I arrived just as spring had sprung. Flowers can be seen popping out of the ground at every turn. This place seems to be blessed with a disproportionate number of flowering cherry trees that are coming into bloom, painting a flurry of pink against the blue sky I seem to have brought with me. I am blessed to experience life in a new and different way.
Since arriving in Seattle, I have met some wonderful people who have gone out of their way to make me feel at home. Life’s perspective has changed once again, all because I dared to pull myself out of my fish bowl and explore the "what if's".

1 comment:

Valerie Adair said...

There is so much to explore in this life. I believe it was meant to be experienced through new eyes and heart. When we "dig in' to deeply, we tend to look at new life with old perceptions which grey everything. Stepping out always renews us and after we surrender our fear it's easy to see that the most difficult challenge was just jumping out of the bowl. Explore, do something new every day and write about it!!! You will inspire others to swim in a new direction.