I’ve been subscribed to ever-more email lists about how to create a “Freedom Lifestyle”, entrepreneur-oriented podcasts, self-improvement strategies, etc.
There was a time when I rolled my eyes at just the thought of such things, and I still wield a harsh tone in my mental dialogue at times, but there is no doubt that this is something very attractive to me. This is what I am gently aiming toward, though it may feel foreign and uncomfortable now.
Earlier this week, I signed up for the “10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge” (that’s really hard for me to say for some reason?) hosted by Natalie Sisson of Suitcase Entrepreneur. The idea is that with daily blogging/vlogging on focused topics, participants will get a better sense of where they are/where they are going/where they want to be, and figure out how to make *the dream* a sustainable lifestyle.
My goal is to write, reflect, and share daily. I want to improve my dusty writing skills, form coherent thoughts, and exchange them with others. I’ve also got my travel-future in mind–I want to get in the habit of writing regularly, describing my inner and outer world for the entertainment of readers.
So anyway, I got an email about details of the “10DBC” and somehow ended up on Skyscanner planning my ~spirit journey~ to the motherland. I figured I could fly to Dublin, spend about a week there, and then take Ryan Air over to Kraków. I was giddy thinking of the adventures awaiting me and further encouraged by the affordable flight prices. Twenty-five minutes later, I suddenly realized I had things to do, and quickly came back to reality. Instead of rushing off to do any old thing (breakfast? whatever!) I decided to write this post, and that, to me, is a great win. I’m used to feeling the impulse to write, and instead busying myself with something more “immediate.” In this way, writing never gets done, and my a piece of my soul breathes its final breath. 😉
I wrote that this morning, before I went to work. Since then, I’ve had 90 million back and forth thoughts about any number of things, one of which is:
“Is leaving behind my life as I know it really going to make me happy?”
To which my answer of the minute is NO.
I have such a good life. I have work, food and shelter, friends and family, entertainment of the highest caliber just a stone’s throw away…
and here I am, willing to say goodbye to all of that for the vague promise of something better, something *more* exciting.
What I keep realizing over and over again is that embarking on this trip that I fantasize about so much is not going to be the big thing that makes all the crappy and boring parts of living go away. I’m still going to have to wash dishes and clean my room, I’m still going to need money and all the other resources that I rely on now, there will still be poverty, murder, and ignorance… What I hope will be different is that I will be growing at an accelerated rate as a result of choosing very consciously what I am doing with my time, instead of constantly feeling like I’m falling into doing something to appease someone else/the wider culture. All this will ideally mean that I will be making decisions which are based on what brings genuine joy into my life and makes me better suited to share that joy with others.
Maybe I’ll leave for a few months and realize that long term travel is not for me…maybe I’ll decide that all I needed to do was move away from New York and settle down somewhere else…maybe a million other possibilities.
I KNOW that life has unlimited potential plot twists, that things can be both good AND bad simultaneously, and I want to stand up and start participating in that wildly unpredictable, tremendously glorious, exasperating experience. Again, I know that I could do this anytime, anywhere, but I can’t keep telling that voice inside me to shut up. It’s saying: “Go, see, try,” and I keep trying to find arguments against that deep yearning (and there are plenty).
Ok, so, what I learned by writing this whole thing
- I will only be happy if I am happy
- I won’t be happy if I am not happy
- Be happy
and on that note, this song says it all much better