Tag Archives: Living

Living by Working… Away

I don’t think anyone was particularly surprised when I announced that I had another big trip in the works. (Two weeks and counting!) This will be my third long trip in the last ten years, and hopefully not my last!

Before I really get into this post I want to make something abundantly clear – I am by no means a wealthy individual. I have been able to go on these trips because I am willing to go through life with a few less material comforts. I find the adventures tend to make up for it. :) Continue reading Living by Working… Away

The End of Limbo

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I’m excited today.

I’m excited because life is full of possibilities. After more than a year of working and saving every penny possible, it is finally time for another adventure. Time to open a new doorway and once again venture into the unknown.

I’m not good at waiting, even when I know that whatever limbo I’m in is a temporary state of affairs. It’s hard to stay chipper; focusing on the mundane day-to-day tasks can become a bit of a drag. That being said, I wouldn’t trade this time in limbo for the world. Because during this time, where in my mind I was accomplishing hardly anything – I fell in love with a wonderful man. Continue reading The End of Limbo

An open letter to the one who dreams of seeing the world

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My dear,

You won’t necessarily enjoy it, that abrupt jolt away from everything that is comfortable and familiar, some don’t. Being surrounded by a different culture, a different way of life, a different language. It might frighten you; even change you. Change is dangerous, unpredictable, addicting and thrilling.

That which you take for granted will no longer be the norm. The world you thought you knew will become tiny and insignificant in comparison to the one that you were truly born into.
If you like everything in your world to be familiar and orderly, it will shake it. Continue reading An open letter to the one who dreams of seeing the world

Am I wrong, because you’re right?

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Your world is defined by that which you accept as truth. Whether it is the things you were taught in school, or by your parents; information gleaned through experiences or as is often the case, formed by the religions, belief systems and societies we grow up in.

Do you know your box? Do you know what it is made from? Do you know why you believe what you believe… and who you believe? How do you choose who and what is true? Continue reading Am I wrong, because you’re right?

Another way to skin a cat….

home-158089_640It’s a commonly accepted fact that with maturity comes obligations and limitations. You grow up, you get a job so you can be tied to a mortgage, you settle down, get married, pay for a wedding you can’t afford and with every child you become a little more indebted until you are so entrenched you cannot escape. This is normal.

I’m told repeatedly, it’s a good thing you are having your adventures now… seeing the world while you can. The implication is always hovering that there is some kind of time limit after which my life will simply cease to exist. As if it is inevitable that at some point I will walk down that path, a willing sacrifice, and end it all. How abysmal.

No thanks. I mean really… It’s like saying that when you turn 23 and 7 months you’re never again allowed to eat chocolate. Utterly ludicrous. Though if it were a commonly accepted practice in society, people would simply stop eating chocolate at age 23 and 7 months. Insanity.

I’m not saying that I don’t want to have a family or fall in love, I just don’t want to do it the way it’s always done.

There is more than one way to skin a cat, and I intend to find one that leaves the cat alive and happy in the end. Or perhaps we’ll just avoid skinning the cat at all, I’ve always felt a little sorry for the poor thing. It deserves a new metaphor… :P

I want a life that doesn’t end in virtual slavery. We live in a world of boundless possibilities and just because something is ‘normal’, that doesn’t mean it is right.

Come on, I mean if that were the case we’d still be burning witches at the stake and bleeding out fevers.

So call me crazy if you like, I really don’t mind. But if I shouldn’t settle for just any man, why should I settle for just any ol’ life?

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Contemplate

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You’re sitting in an empty room. Nothing but you and four stark white walls staring back at you. Nothing but the sound of your own breathing to keep you company. No television to distract you from the world, no music to drown out your thoughts. No one to tell you how you should feel or what you should think. You’re no longer the clothes that you wear, or the style of your hair. There is nothing to define you but the essence of your soul.

There, in that empty room — who are you?

 

 

What can you do when you live in a shoe?

shoe-68769_640Lately I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that time is flying by too fast. I blink and I’ve lost months, they’re just gone with no real sense that I’ve accomplished anything. It makes me a little nervous. It’s not like I have this constant feeling of impending doom lingering like a cloud over my head; it’s more just a pressure to do more. Live more. Prove that I am capable of more than ‘existing’.  Fight for something. Learn. Experience. Make memories.

FYI, you don’t need to be in an exotic locale or spend obscene amounts of money to create them.

To Make Memories
A recipe

1 or more people that make you happy.
A dash of anti-comfort zone dust.
A heaping cup of Present in the Moment

Mix the people you love with a sprinkle of anti-comfort zone dust. Carefully separate all the doubt and worries that come with the responsibilities of life. These will make your mixture too heavy and your memory won’t bake properly.  Add in as much Present in the Moment as it will hold.

Voila! Tell me how it turns out tomorrow. ;)

Now, traditionally, Beth has been a rather secluded individual. She set up a fence at the boundaries of her comfort zone and very rarely tried to even look past it, let alone vault over the fence and take steps into the wild unknown. (Where, by the way, the anti-comfort zone dust happens to be.) She managed to maintain her barricade, in its perfect pristine condition for many many years. She hung up some pictures, planted some flowers, painted it once in a while and made it a nice cozy little enclosure.

But that’s the thing about putting up walls, or even pretty little white picket fences – one day you wake up and realize that you’ve been trapped and didn’t even know it. (Or maybe you knew it all along and just didn’t want to admit it.)

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So I’ve been beating the crap out of the boundaries of my comfort zone lately. My fence isn’t pretty anymore; it’s got some serious scuff marks, indentations and in a few spots there isn’t really enough of it left to call it a fence. It’s more of a marker of where I’ve been, and where I have yet to go.

I’m not sure it ever really gets any easier to leave; There is a good chance that I’ll be giving myself pep talks every time I walk up to it for the remainder of my life. The good news is that I KNOW I can get past it and in the process I’ve managed to harvest a whopping amount of anti-comfort zone dust, which I look forward to mixing into my future memories.

When was the last time you left your cage behind? Have you been living in the moment or looking too far into the future… or the past?

Maybe you think the things you want are too hard or too much of a risk. Maybe you’ve traveled down that path before and you didn’t like where you ended up. You’re faced with challenges, I know you are. We all are. We have to choose which ones to fight through and which ones to walk away from. We have to pick ourselves up each and every time we fail and somehow find a way to convince ourselves to do it again.

Insanity is often defined as repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I used to believe that this was true, and clearly, because I am terrible at giving up on things even when the last 15 times it ended miserably, I must be crazy. But then I started thinking. (DUN DUN DUN).

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If we all gave up after our first failure, we’d never get anywhere. Say you’re picking up a stone. (This is the metaphor of a lifetime. The complexity will blow your mind…) The first day you try it you can lift it to your knee and since the challenge was to get it to head height, you failed. Game over. You should give up. It didn’t work. Clearly that would be the sane thing to do.

Or you could try again tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that. You’re going to keep failing but that stone is going to get higher and higher each time till finally you pick the damn thing up, raise it above your head and use it to pummel the lunatics that told you it wasn’t worth it.

I’d been wondering about my sanity lately. About whether I should learn to give up and walk away (and stay away) once in a while. But the instant that silly little rock metaphor popped into my head I began to feel a million times better. I’m ok with appearing crazy. But if I don’t manage to get that rock where it needs to go, it won’t be because I gave up. It won’t be because of me.

HUZZAH! So here’s to facing challenges and not giving up on the things that we want.

***

Now. Back to my original point. Living life unhampered by your comfort zone! (Which is one of the many things I desire.) Because of this I am trying to add things into my life that I would never have considered ‘back in the day’. I’ll be spending the next two days on one of these little projects. Buuuut I’m not going to tell you what it is in the hopes that your curiosity will lure you back here. ;)

See you soon!

Be sure to share your recipes for making memories; I’m always open to tweaks and substitutions!

Rambling Thoughts

The Road to Burnham

When I think of who I was a few years ago, a few months ago – even last week – it floors me to see how much I’ve changed.
The changes in the last week or so are small, things that would be hardly noticeable to others – but the months, the years of little things have changed me so completely that I’m only a tiny fraction of who I once was.
My hopes, my dreams, my beliefs and convictions; they have all been tossed out the window and slowly gathered back so many times it’s not surprising that they look a little different these days. I just wonder if they’re better, if I managed to find all the important bits and leave the things behind that were meant to stay there – or if it’s all just a big jumble that makes as little sense as it once did.
I honestly couldn’t tell you; it’s just one of the endless things that I don’t know.
What I do know is a shorter list and it too will no doubt be tossed out the window from time to time. I hope it is – in all honesty I hope I never stop learning, never stop changing. Not all the changes might be positive, but they all bring me a little closer to who I’m supposed to be. To knowing who I am and who I want to be.
Some of the changes are voluntary; it’s possible you know, to change yourself – that’s one of the details I’ve recently added to the list of things I know. There are a few things I wish I could do and I’m determined to push myself until they become a natural part of who I am.
Like saying what’s on my mind. I’m getting better at this one; I talk now – but it’s a work in progress, I know that. It’s hard to make these changes overnight, but I’ll keep trying.
Like not waiting until it’s too late. Sometimes in a moment I know there is something I should do, something I want to do or say – but I don’t. For no other reason than the fact that I am not certain how it would be received by… well whoever might happen to be on the receiving end. Sometimes it’s as simple as defending something I believe in, sometimes it’s a desire clinging to the inside of my chest that is screaming at me to act… but it gets ignored. To my eternal regret.
Which brings me to my next desired change; no regrets. This one might be impossible – but it’s tied in very closely with the other two. It’s not that I expect to never regret anything ever again, that’s ludicrous. I simply don’t want to regret NOT having done something. I don’t want regrets because of a lack of courage or determination or willingness to put myself out there. That’s not who I want to be.
Some of the changes in my life have happened without me even noticing; events and people I have met have changed me and shaped me more drastically than I could ever do on my own. They definitely account for some of the negative changes, the ones I know I need to work on. But they also account for every single one of the good changes – including my desire to change myself, my desire to become a better person. I never would have stumbled across it if I were alone in this world.
Why am I telling you this? I’m not too sure really – maybe it’s a warning so you’re not surprised if I suddenly do something drastic and seemingly unexpected. Or maybe it’s because it’s something I need to say.
… or perhaps it is for no other reason than the fact that taking the time to write something out is the best way I know to make sense of the thoughts running through my head. Ask me to tell you what’s going on in there, I will probably shrug and say nothing because I don’t know how to explain it. Hand me a pen and paper and I’ll write you a novel.
Chances are it wouldn’t be quite what you were expecting… but who wants to be completely predictable anyway?
Picture via D H Wright