Do what you are doing! Have the balls to just go! Be as brave as you! Have your guts! I am SO JEALOUS!
I hear them say. They write to me. Their voices reverberate. The chorus sings. They whisper in my ear. I wish I could…
Ok, people. While I deeply and sincerely appreciate your accolades and admiration, please remember this: I left a good paying job with great benefits, I have sold many of my belongings for the money, my life’s treasures will be in a storage unit, I still have not figured out health insurance, I will be homeless and unemployed. On purpose. Did I mention unemployed? Homeless??
Now, do you really want to be me??? Be honest. The idea of me is WAY more attractive than the reality of me. The me who will not shower on a regular basis, who gets fucking cold at night with no way to really get comfortably warm. The me who does not have that “home” from which to anchor, from which to escape, from where a reality check can happen. The me with no viable income, at present, and no prospects on the horizon. The me with no real permanent address or temporary address or any address at all. The me whose world will be in a Jeep. Whose existence will be at the whim of the world. The outside world. The weather and the elements. Whose world will be the world.
Then again… this is the me with money in the bank, with all I need in said Jeep (which is paid for), the me that can go where I want, when I want and for as long as I want. Well, within the guidelines of the campground or host place I happen to be at. The me who will be in fresh air every day. Who will hear and smell the out-of-doors. Who will feel the wind, the rain and the sun on my face, on my skin and in my soul. Whose existence will be part of and in the world. This is the me that will have given the preverbal finger to convention, said “fuck it” to being a responsible adult, that is done playing a part someone else wrote. This is the me that is on strike, that is tired, yet wildly energized. The me that is a total dichotomy of existence, that wants and needs to get away, but is terrified and scared out of my head at the thought. The me that is confident and sure, but skittish and doubtful. The me that is faithful, but tenuous. The me that is me. Just me.
I talk to people every day who have more money, more resources, more support, more people in their corner than I do. People who are WAY more poised, situated, ready to go on a journey than I am. People who have more means than I do. Way more, and way better, equipment, gear, and access. Who seem to be in a better position than I am. Way more of everything. Way more.
But, these are the folks who are not going. These are the folks who stay behind, who do not use their means, their resources, or their situation to have the same experience. To have their experience. To have any experience. These are the folks who watch me. Who enthusiastically cheer from the side lines. The folks who give me applause and hugs of encouragement from a distance. As an observer. I appreciate their support, but the irony here is not lost.
I am a little befuddled, flummoxed, confused and overwhelmed. I am a lot excited, confident, happy, untethered, unabated. I am faithful, I am doubtful. I am just so many things. But then again, so are the folks around me. The folks I talk to, who will and will not ever take on the risk of something they love. Who will and will not follow their hearts, their passion, their deepest desires. Who will cherish the moments given, and who will piss them away. The folks who are just struggling gomers, amateurs, like folks who are here for the first time. Like beginners. Like humans who are trying. Like humans who do not have it all figured out. Humans. Like me.
So, here I am, the one who has chosen to throw caution to the wind, to step out on a gigantic leap of faith. Who believes so hard and so deep and so passionately that she is willing to throw all her cards on the table. Put all of her eggs into one basket. Who is willing to take the risk the some, but not all, others will. Who dares. Here I am. The one who dares. Here I am. Me.
Hey, ask me in a year. Ask me when I am clearly and solidly on the road. Ask me when I am cold, when the ground is hard and the tent is blowing. When I am scared in the dark in the woods listening to a noise I do not recognize. When I think a bigfoot will crash through the tent and kill me. Ask me when I cannot find a place to lay my head, when I cannot find a bathroom or when the neighbors kids are screaming and their dogs are barking. Ask me when I run out of water, when I am wet and my clothes are dirty and my feet hurt and I stink. Ask me then.
But, also ask me when the loudest noise is the wind in the trees, when the cool breeze brushes my cheeks. When the water is running clear and cold and fresh. When my tea steeps in the morning cool. When the stars shoot across the sky and the moon lights my way. Ask me when I have hiked that difficult ridge, when I have scanned the vista of the canyon, when the mountains go on forever. Ask me when I am in the midst of a deep and meaningful conversation with a friend, when the laughter and tears bounce around with the flames of the campfire. Ask me when the sleep is deep and the body and mind are at rest. Ask me then.
Here’s the deal. I am not doing anything that YOU cannot do. I am not that different or special or talented in any way that you, yourself, are not. I was not born with all the areas of preparation, the knowledge or expertise. I have chosen to take all the steps to prepare myself, and worked hard to do so. It took me months to get here. Remember that.
However, in the end, I am just like you. I am hopeful and scared and tentative and secure and sated and hungry. I am worried about money and missing my child. I am lonely and loved and tired and excited. I am all the things that you are. In fact, I am just like you and you are just like me.
You should not envy me or want to be me or wish you could do what I am doing. Right now, as you read this, you can be and do and live in any way that you choose. If you feel held back, if you feel frustrated or unfulfilled than you can change it. You can make any choice on any day in any way that you want. Every day is an opportunity to make choices. Any and every day is a day that you control, that you own, that you have to make decisions.
I chose to do this adventure. I chose this path and I will live with the consequences. I do not wish for you to be me. I do not wish for you to do what I am doing. Unless you are willing to put all your eggs in this basket. In any basket. Unless you are willing to risk it all. Unless that is what you want. Unless that is your choice. Unless it is right for you. Unless you feel it in your heart and soul and you are willing to live your entire life in pursuit. Unless it is right for you.
I choose me. You choose you. May the force be with us both.
Cheers to us!
2 Comments Add yours
Yes! I totally identify with this. People always say “I wish I could do what you’re doing,” but the reality is that there is no special ingredient – you just have to take the necessary steps and then do it!
And you’re absolutely right, it’s not always glamorous. There were so many nights on the road where I yearned for my old bed and felt like a castaway trying to find a place to sleep, but in the end it’s all worth it. Taking a road trip doesn’t solve all of your problems – if anything, it adds a whole new set of challenges – but if you’re going to face problems anyway, why not do so in gorgeous new places? 🙂
Love this post and the truth it speaks. You have what so many do not (yet) have – courage! The courage to change; the courage to take risks; the courage to dive into the unknown. I hope to someday have that courage. In the meantime, I’ll be here on the sidelines, rooting you on and living vicariously through you.