Almost two years ago, I found myself in a new spot. Even though I had become fairly adept at navigation… I was lost. I woke up one day, found myself in a heap of self-doubt, self-isolation and debt. I was on my way back to Ohio, to visit family for my nieces first birthday. I was already in a place where I knew I needed to slow down. I had been on the road continuously for a year and half and had been running at an ever-increasing rate for the last 6 months. Crossing the country from the Midwest to the west coast about 6 times during that time. My thoughts were that I would spend a week back in Ohio, and drive across country again, this time heading to Moab and stay put there for awhile. I had passed through that area a few times and thought it seemed as good a place as any for me to try on for a while. Unfortunately, or rather, fortunately, life had other plans. What I thought was going to be another short visit, turned very quickly into something else.
To back up a moment, I woke up and realized I needed to slow down. To change my pace of searching to one of settled. I needed to reconnect to what I wanted and to be completely honest, to pay off that heap of debt that I had stumbled into. I had no idea what life back in Ohio would look like. I hadn’t lived here for more than 6 months at a time since my 3rd year at Ohio State. To put that in other terms, it had been about 10 years since I lived anywhere without having an exit strategy. I was used to going, to planning, I was used to movement. So feeling a little lost and disconnected maybe shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it was. Because it meant that I had to look at things I thought I had known about myself. I had to look at the why’s of my decisions of that past couple of years and face some harsh realities. Like... Perhaps I have a tendency to grasp onto one idea and run with it, past the point of it working. I took to the road and ran it out.
So as I settled into my new life of being still. Words like structure became used in my language in a non-negative format. I began to realize that sometimes it can be a useful tool for giving yourself boundaries when you feel ungrounded. Now don’t get me wrong. I have never been a huge fan of words like restrictions or boundaries. In the sense that I never want to feel as if I am living the type of life I do not want to live, that I am compromising myself. But recognizing the benefits of things, placing them in your toolbox to pull out whenever something needs a little adjusting is just another way to create more freedom in your life. Once you become aware of the usefulness of something, you now have the ability to use it whenever you see fit. To reconnect to those goals that ultimately are leading you to the life you want to live.
For me, that life involves being debt free. Being connected to my beautiful family. And ultimately to be completely location independent doing things I love.
So would my right now life be a surprise to the me of two and half years ago. You bet. But sometimes you may just need a change of state…