Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You Are Living My Dream

When people find out about my current or past travels of living on the road, a lot of the time their response is, "you're living my dream!"  I am always flattered that someone would want to choose the lifestyle of traveling like I do.  Lately, I have been responding with, "you can do it too and live your OWN dream."  Most often, that is followed by, "I would if only..."

If only.

Those, "if only's" are choices. Choices we made in our life that we want to, or need to keep.  Maybe you bought a home that you feel you can't leave, or kids, or a marriage, or your job, or your pet... Those are all great reasons to stay put and not do anything different in your life (not that there is anything wrong with that life) except be envious by posts of other people living a life that is YOUR dream.  The question is, "do you really want to live your dream?"  If you do, what is preventing you from making the choices needed to pursue that dream?

The truth is, you don't have to buy that house, you don't have to have children or get married, you don't have to have a traditional 9-5 job in an office.  American culture wants you to spend your money on things to fill up the home you bought and throw away things that you are bored with.  All the while, you hope this will make you happy in your heart and fulfilled in your life.  It might give you a momentary sense of happiness but it fades and crashes fast and then has the opposite effect.  Over time it makes you feel overwhelmed and trapped.  The more space we have, the more we want to fill it with stuff.  

I know of several families with children who live on the road.  If you don't want to travel alone, you can do it with a partner.  I can't imagine traveling without my dog Max, but that is a choice and it limits what I can do.  I am ok with that.  

I own a home and rent it out when I live in the van.  There are several online companies that will help you find someone that will pay you to live in your home with all of your furnishings in place.  I come back a few months out of the year and each time I do, I get rid of things.  I sell or donate the ten years of stuff that I have collected in my garage.  A collection of emotional items (Grandparents furniture, photographs, art) to things I thought I needed.  It's a bigger rush to me to get rid of things now, as opposed to buying something new.  I put out a stack of plastic chairs that I had for parties (which I don't have anymore) out on the curb with a free sign on it.  I was so excited when someone picked it up.  It was giving them a new home instead of a landfill.  If I decide to have a party, B.Y.O.C (bring your own chair) will now be included on the invitation. I digress. 

Here's the thing.  YOU CAN live your dream...whatever that is.  It's all a matter of choices and planning.  Do the work.  Be persistent with your goals and do something to move closer to them every day.  I will leave you with a short clip of artist, Chuck Close on what he would tell his younger self.  

What I took away from this is:
1.) You can do anything
2.) Inspiration is for amateurs.  Professionals show up and do the work.
3.) Continue to do the work, even if you don't feel like it.  Eventually it will get you somewhere.

Time to live YOUR dream.


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