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  • Writer's pictureTai John

What Am I Doing?

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

"What am I doing?" A question that lives rent-free in my mental space. This is a question that I used to feel obligated to have an answer to because it somehow defines & defends my existence & worth on this earth, my purpose, my reason, my why. Although it shouldn't, it has even made me feel as if where I'm at & what I'm doing isn't enough or that it's somehow off the track I'm supposed to be on based on "societal norms".

Redirected POV

What I have learned is that when this question, in particular, comes to mind, I don't always have to have a specific life-defining answer. And it definitely doesn't mean I'm any less if my current reality is not the same or parallel as that of my friends, family, colleagues, or people I look up to. Now, when that question comes to mind I'm able to redirect my perspective to see both sides of the coin, the present & the prior.

So, "what am I doing?" Career & lifestyle-wise, I did my school thing for my bachelor of science degree in communications & journalism & never quite became the traveling journalist I wanted to be. So, I returned to school to get my master's in counseling & counseled for a period of time. I made the decision to take a break as a mental health counselor & work & travel, essentially embarking on a working holiday for who knows how long. I wanted to see what else the world had to offer & what other ways I could fulfill my love of nurturing & helping others. I wanted to fulfill my longing to live & work overseas & develop a healthy work & life balance. The choice I made landed me in New Zealand working in the hospitality industry. Is this my dream career or industry? Absolutely not. In order to fulfill one of my lifelong aspirations to work, live, & travel overseas, this is the path I have chosen for the time being, not the long haul.

Although I've taken a brief leave from therapy, I feel as if I have had many moments along my journey that have allowed me to keep exercising my therapeutic muscles & keep my love for helping others therapeutically alive. I would still like to counsel or be a part of the mental health field in some way, shape, or form, but that's not where I'm at in this phase of my journey & I am very content with my choice.

Being in New Zealand has given me the freedom I have been craving to fully live my life on my terms. I may not be in my dream career as of yet. I may not be living in the home or place I most desire yet. And I may not have my desired family yet. But the keyword is yet. I am still well on my way to creating the life I most desire one day at a time. While I am working towards that life, more than anything I have learned to be present, be grateful, & enjoy everything in the now. I can do what I want, when I want, with who I like, & it is all on my terms. The choices I make right now for the most part affect myself & my life, which means, I have to do what I need & want for the sake of my health, wealth, & happiness. Things will not always go my way, they may go in a completely different direction, & the redirection maybe even better than what I intended. Regardless, I am the director, writer, producer, & star of this story called the Life of Tai.

Life's What YOU Make It Not Others

With the change in perspective & feelings towards what I'm doing with my life has also come the understanding that comparison is not my friend. Comparison comes along to mess with your mental & emotional space & play you into thinking that you need to be doing less/more or this or that just like someone else & that's how you'll get to be where they are at & attain what they have. That's how you define success & happiness. In actuality, success & happiness is defined by y-o-u. What comparison really does is keep you stagnant & distracted from focusing on fulfilling your personal purpose & creating your definition of happiness & success.

When you have the understanding that we are all unique individuals on our own specifically tailored journeys, you'll see that no journey is alike, & it shouldn't be. How boring would it be to all have the same mindset, aspirations, dreams, goals, hobbies, plans, & lives? Rather, focusing on what you have going on in your plot of life, the grass growing on your side of the fence, nourishing it, loving it through the good & bad, & continuously working at it, is what makes your grass greener & the flowers in your garden grow & flourish. Feed & fill your life with the focus, positive energy, & effort it needs to flourish into what you want it to be. Learn to be genuinely happy for others, give them their flowers, & be sure to pick & give yourself your flowers as well. There is more than enough room in this world for us all to be great in our own ways.

Understanding is for You, Not Them

Lastly, with the understanding that your life is what you make it, & comparison is no one's friend, know that everyone doesn't have to understand or approve of the life you are living. Just like I used to feel obligated to answer the question, "What am I doing?" now, whenever it comes to mind, I know I'm not obligated to always have an answer for myself or others alike. And even if I choose to give others an answer or explanation, they don't have to understand it, like it, or approve of it. It's for me to understand, not them. It's my life & the choices I make, I have to like, love, & live with. Remember we are all on different journeys & that's what keeps things interesting.

Life of Tai

As for my personal journey, moving to New Zealand has given me the foundation & growth I didn't know I needed to level up to where I wanted to be as an individual & live the life I desire. New Zealand wasn't always the goal but it's where my journey has led me & I'm grateful to be in the position I am currently. I'm 30 years young, no dependents, n good health & strength, book smart, well-traveled, attain a colorful resume of work & life experiences, I have a solid circle of friends & family far & near, I've accomplished many of the aspirations & goals I've set for myself up until now & I'm blessed to do what I've aspired to for so long; live life independently overseas. I am working to fulfill my necessities & travels, exploring new places, having new experiences, immersing myself in new cultures, & doing it all with people I have met along the way, grown to love, or solo. I understand now more than ever that the place I'm in, what I'm doing with my time, & the people along my journey have all been strategically placed to give me what I need for whatever phase of my journey I am invested in & to prepare me for what & whose coming next.

What's next on my journey? My focus with this new age & new year has been to ensure that I am being present every day & not overthinking, worrying, or hyper-focusing on the future. Rather, focusing on doing what I can do in the now to get closer to where I want to be, while celebrating the blessings & lessons along the way & living my life in the now. Working on maintaining a balance between the work I do & the ways in which I choose to benefit from the work I've done. Saying "yes!" to the things, places, experiences, & people that feed my soul in the ways it needs & wants. And more traveling & exploring within & outside of New Zealand. Overall, my goal is to make the Life of Tai a story filled with fashion, fun, friends, family, romance, changes, risks, plot twists & turns, travel, & unforgettable experiences. My story continues to be written...

Take a peek at some photos from my journey lately😊

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