These past few months I've settled down in Boston. I hate to use the word 'settled'. It sounds as if I've given up my travel dreams. Or maybe regulated them to the dream realm. Perhaps I did cut out a bit early from my leave of absence, but now that I'm back to the 9-5 (or 9-8 more aptly for the nonprofit world) I hold onto the thought that my 4 weeks vacation are there for the taking.
Whereas some women wonder if they can 'have it all' and mean family, job, etc., when I think about 'having it all' and I wonder if I can see the world and have a job that makes an impact on the issues I care about and allows me to hold onto meaningful ties with friends that I really value.
This year is that test.
It doesn't happen automatically. You have to write vacation proposals and then advocate for them. You have to throw yourself into your work to make sure it actually works. Friends, even when they love you, are prone to forget to call, so you must pick up the phone and make the plans.
So far, somewhat good? There's still places I miss. I still wish I was better at my job. There's still people I wish I had brunch with every Sunday. But I'm finding the balance. I continue to find the community and beauty of Boston entrancing. I learn more at work. I buy plane tickets to see friends and arrange dinner dates when I sweep through their city.
I don't want to settle, but I am settling down and letting the scale balance itself out to a comfortable place, a balance of travel, impact, and friends, that all might actually be good for me.