See this? That’s me, in the middle. I was 17 when this photo was taken, and I am SHAMELESSLY self-tanned. (Look. You try growing up in Southern California with the complexion of a redhead, and see if you don’t hit the bottle pretty hard.) (And by bottle, I mean self-tanner. What did you think I meant?)
At this point in my life, I saw my life as a railroad, heading straight before me, into the distance. Only one track available. No railroad switches, no options. Kinda like this:
Life was pretty much set before me, all the choices conveniently pre-made.
Trouble is, I’ve never been very good at sticking to the plan. So…. I started to deviate. And it was TERRIFYING. You see, if you’ve spent your whole life following a set path, taking even one lateral step can honestly feel like a train jumping the tracks – out of control, overwhelmingly powerful, and a feeling of “OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH…. NOW WHAT??”
Here’s the thing: Life is not set in tracks. We are not trains. Life is more like a Kayak (or canoe, or speedboat, if you prefer) on an open, connected series of lakes and streams. You can absolutely follow a proscribed map to reach certain destinations. Hit all the major checkpoints. Or, you make a choose-your-own-adventure. The world is an amazing place – if you crave stability, a mortgage, and the same breakfast for 30 years, you can have that! Your life can have meaning, and purpose, and you can find yourself in a wonderful community of which you are integral part.
But you don’t have to.
If you can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner – or you just love to change your mind, even (and sometimes especially) when it’s least convenient, you can do that too. You can choose what others avoid. You can give up what some would crave for what you want next.
There is no one way to have a meaningful, good life. No one way to be a good person. No one way to be who you are meant to be. You get to choose! Isn’t that beautiful?
When my husband and I sold our condo, in a great neighborhood, in a beautiful place, to buy a motorhome, people told us we were crazy. And maybe we were! But we don’t regret it. Not even for one second. We are now living in less than 200 square feet. Our space is limited, and as it is currently midwinter, our feet our often cold. Some days, I just want a normal room to have enough space to do yoga without touching a wall or a bed.
But this works for us.
So, now, this is me:
I’m still shamelessly self-tanned (old habits dye hard- see what I did there? Dye hard? I think I’m hilarious.) And this is where I live:
I’ve found my next adventure. And whether you’re looking to stop showering and join a drum circle, or just to figure out your next vacation, I hope my journey can help insire you!