"And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been." ~Rainer Maria Rilke
When I have connected with new people along the route over the past year, or spoken to people before I embarked on my year of traveling, or told people in my new Tucson home about the chapter I just finished, their most common response is, "I wish I could do something like that."
- "It's really nice you are in the position to do that."
- "I want to do something like that one day."
- "I'm living vicariously through you."
I fully recognize that there are unique barriers we all face to living out dreams*. Sometimes I get the impression that people thought it was easy for me, possibly because they didn't see the months and months of hard work, planning, and emotional decisions I had to undertake to become a nomad.
Trust me, it was nice to be in the position to do that... AFTER I finally reached that point and nearly had a nervous breakdown getting there!
I could have said that I would wait for the new year, or to have a certain dollar amount in the bank, or any number of other arbitrary milestones. If you keep waiting on Someday, though, it has a funny way of never showing up. That "Someday" is a slippery little character.
The fact of the matter is, most things are more within your grasp than you think they are. Once you take that first step, and then the next, and the one after that, momentum has a way of building and carrying (or pushing!) you along. Eventually, turning back will seem just as difficult as moving forward once did.
I seriously wake up every day and can't believe this life I'm living. I never, ever, ever actually believed I would make any semblance of a living as an artist, or reside in the desert, or watch technicolor sunsets over jagged mountain vistas nearly every night. But that's precisely what my soul needed.
Since leaving my home of 40 years, I have felt compelled to live each day in a way that makes the sacrifices I made and the gift I have been given worthwhile. Now, I feel driven to live in a way that doesn't waste the opportunity to do what I always wanted but never though possible, and I love that little nagging feeling. Sometimes I fail, but most days I think I do pretty darn o.k.
What does your heart crave? Big or small, weird or mundane - I dare you to make it happen. Tick tock.
Happy New Year!
*Disclaimer: I fully realize that I do not have children, and that they add certain constraints to life with which I do not have to contend. No need to point that out to me. :-) Thank you!