Two years ago today, I walked onto a plane full of anxiety, fear, worry, excitement, relief and anticipation. I was leaving behind jobs (for I had many!!), the best friends I never knew existed, a fiancé, a sense of home and all the comforts I had known for the last 35 years. I was travelling Mexico and Central America solo for six months. It was the first time I was travelling for so long alone. My eyes filled up with tears for I knew this was going to be a huge life change and challenge. If only I would’ve know then what I know now, there would’ve been no fear, anxiety or worry. There just would’ve been a huge sense of relief that finally everything was going to be ok.
Two weeks into the trip, I opened up an email and read that I lost my fiancé. No other explanation other than, “I’ve said a lot about this relationship. You know how I feel.” I grieved without any of my comforts and without any of my friends. The only person I told was my Mom. I discovered I had many friends in front of me, there were many reasons life was still going to be great, and eventually I discovered that there were other men more suited for me.
I still love and miss him, but thank him for that lesson and am glad he made that choice. I’m not sure our journey together would’ve brought me where I am today. A place which is unbelievable beautiful and peaceful.
Along my backpacking journey, I met many great people who gave me things to think about and lessons to learn. Some lessons were about the ugly part of humanity but I never lost faith for there was so much good coming my way. I re-created myself many times through various crises that just seem funny to me now. None of them matter. I experienced the state of inner peace and although I’ve had some slips, I’ve managed to keep it.
I found the love of my life, sailing. I’m writing this on a farm and love it here too. Maybe I just love being so close to nature and working with my hands. I don’t know, it doesn’t matter. It just matters I found a lifestyle suited for me. I found an amazing life partner who is helping me on my path in life. It’s nothing like what I thought my ideal relationship was, but it gives me exactly what I need right now.
The most important message I learned in the last two years was to stop fighting. Stop fighting with myself, stop fighting to fit into society and stop fighting with the universe. I’ve learned to stop forcing things I think I should have. People always said that stressing and worrying about something would never change anything. I would roll my eyes and think “what do they know??” They know what I now know. I’ll tell you this. It doesn’t change anything and it only takes the enjoyment out of life. I or you can’t change most situations. We really can’t. Thank goodness because I would’ve changed it so I got the fiancé back and I would be sitting on land somewhere unhappy and fighting. I’ve learned the universe really does know what’s best for us.
A very dear friend of mine from many years back wrote to tell me of a tragedy he suffered. I wrote back with words of comfort and he wrote back, “You live the life of no regrets. As it should be. Some might call it crazy, I call it courageous.” Tears welled up in my eyes. He said “some might call it crazy,” well a lot do and that’s because they are afraid of living outside the norm. I understand it, but sometimes I feel pretty lonely as a result. I was very touched he could offer me such kind words when he was hurting so deeply.
I don’t want to get married, I don’t want a house, I don’t want children, I don’t want two cars, a hefty retirement fund or a full time job. I don’t want a routine and I don’t like commitment. I want the life I live now. A life which brings me new adventures everyday, a life which brings me what I ask and a life that puts so many great people in my path. If that’s crazy, well I am and I’m damn proud to be crazy. I’ve let go of fear, of what others think of me and of a life society told me I should have. I never would’ve thought this would happen two years ago.
Maybe my story will inspire others and maybe it won’t. I just meet too many people who have said they think I’m brave and wish they could do the same thing. Everyone is capable of making the same “brave” choices. If you’re not happy with something, look at the monster of change in the eye and say, “I’m going to do it anyway.” My life isn’t perfect and I’m not happy every day, but that kind of life doesn’t exist. When I walked onto that plane full of fear, my heart knew it would be OK because I was stepping into a life which allows me to be much more content and at peace then I have ever been. Life is meant to be lived. I’m glad I’m doing just that.