Before taking this journey, the two most frequent comments I heard were:
“I’m jealous, I wish I could do that.”
“You’re really brave.”
The courage part felt weird to me because I’ve spent so much time thinking about walking away from my entire life that when I finally did, it just seemed overdue. However, I began to realize I might have some courage when I noticed how alone I felt on my journey.
Before leaving the US, I saw the movie “Molly’s Game.” I went to a movie theater in New York City at 10pm on a Monday Night. I suddenly became aware that I was the only one in the theater. First, I felt afraid. I sat strategically in the back so I could see where anyone else who entered was sitting. Nobody came. Then, stupidly, I burst out crying. That’s when I realized that being courageous is pretty lonely because “most people” will choose comfort over courage and stepping outside a comfort zone.
Sunset on Flamingo Beach.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica
The jealousy part makes me sad. Based on what I hear, many of you secretly (or not so secretly) want to do something different, too. However, like me, you created certain comforts that you may be afraid to give up. Some of you have other people to consider that make it “impossible” to break away.
To be fair, it took me years to throw everything stable in my life into jeopardy. I wasn’t able to do this until I got comfortable with “I DON’T KNOW.”
I don’t know….where the money will come from.
I don’t know….exactly where I’m going next.
I don’t know….where I will end up living.
I don’t know….whether I will improve myself and my life by taking this journey.
I don’t know….how long I will spend in any place.
I finally figured out that many of the questions I was trying to answer were, in fact, the wrong questions. Even better, I came to see that all my worries and anxieties were not the real point of my life. I saw that many of my fears were actually those of loved ones around me, and not my own. Once this became clear, the excuses that kept me stuck began to wear thin, and my heart and mind aligned in my decision to take a journey where “I don’t know” has almost become a comfort zone! (more on comfort zones in another post.)
Poisonous blue jean/red dart frog. Near La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
Hanging bridges near La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
To anyone else out there that wants to take a break from your life, or who is questioning, like me, whether your life “fits” you, here’s my take.
I knew that something about how I was living was out of sync. I was doing many different kinds of work trying to figure out what I really want to do. But, I just kept on working really hard and not figuring it out. Only since a break from all of it, do I see that I was completely distracting myself from, well, being myself. I made it impossible to spend any quality time figuring out what I wanted because with all that work, I had no time!
I realize that this journey is like trying to figure out a food allergy.
I’ve removed almost everything stable from my life and am creating an open space to allow in new ideas and opportunities. I believe the next phase is to slowly re-introduce SOME of the things I was doing into my space, and see how those things feel. I believe the open space in myself will truly know what things from my past will go forward with me, and which things will not. I can also play with new things I’ve never done before, and see if my soul might be craving a different path. And, once I figure that out, I can’t imagine living more powerfully, and more authentically. Isn’t that an outcome worth a little courage? (And, maybe if you have that courage, you’ll inspire your friends to do the same in their lives!)