Have you ever thought “is the universe trying to tell me something?”
Or have you ever hit an obstacle in pursuit of your dreams and thought… “maybe the world is trying to tell me something?”
Earlier this month I developed a painfully sore neck. I could barely turn my head, and if you were sitting next to me, I’d have to shift my entire body to look at you.
After visiting the doctor, I was told that I had an inflamed disk – and it would take a few weeks of rest, heat packs and anti-inflammatories until I was fighting fit again.
So, I took time off.
I put my phone away (no more typing on the ‘gram!) I reduced my computer hours and was almost religious in my use of heat packs and anti-inflammatories.
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Unfortunately, 2 weeks later, I was still experiencing sharp, shooting pain through my neck.
I was painfully aware of my neck from the moment I woke up in the mornings until the evenings where I would struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position.
It was driving me so crazy that I began grinding my teeth from the stress, and would wake up with a sore jaw (I know, I was a mess)
I was advised that a combination of my computer, phone (too much Instagram!) and overloading my packs for hiking were potentially the reason why I was experiencing so much pain.
I began to question what I was doing with my life.
I mean, if my body couldn’t handle the hours I spend in front of a computer, maybe blogging wasn’t meant for me?
Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a travel blogger?
Is my dream worth this deliberating pain?
Is the universe trying to send me a sign?
The three weeks I spent recovering from my neck injury ended up becoming some kind of pseudo-blogging-life-crisis.
As some of you reading this probably know, travel blogging for me started off as a hobby and developed into a full-blown passioned love affair. I spent 18-months traveling and living overseas and once that was finished I tried to return to my corporate desk job, only to feel miserable.
For me, travel blogging has always felt as natural as breathing, living and drinking water.
But with my neck injury causing me so much pain, suddenly I would give anything to make the pain go away.
And if travel blogging was the thing that would do it – I think I would have given it up.
I voiced these thoughts to my partner, Collin who- I’m not exaggerating, looked at me like I was nuts and said “MG, the universe doesn’t tell you what to do”
“You tell the universe what you want”
How many of us watch for “signs” from the universe? How many of us believe in “what’s meant to be”?
I know I’ve always believed in a greater power. The idea that you’re meant to bring a special something to this world. And I still believe this.
I still believe that we all have a specific purpose in the world.
But I also know that hardship, pain and obstacles are not “signs” from the universe.
They’re a normal part of life… and maybe these moments and events are there to make you stronger.
There was a happy ending to this saga of neck pain: last week my neck slowly started to feel better.
I’m back to working regular blogging hours and making sure I take regular breaks from staring down at my computer. And I’m so glad I didn’t completely fall down that rabbit hole of questioning my dreams.
So if you’ve ever thought “is this a sign from the universe?”
Just remember: you tell the universe what’s going to happen, not the other way around.
Happy travelin’ my friends!