366 days ago I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. 367 days ago my life felt perfect, in that Truman show kind of way. It really was great, but it had lost all depth and substance. I knew something needed to change. It took a ten minute phone call and before I knew it, I was on a plane flying out of the country.
I don't know if that decision caused me to lose everything or if I chose to leave everything, but everything that made up my life was gone. It was now behind me.
For weeks I was scared I'd lose more. Essentially, I had lost/left every part of myself. My career, my future plans to return to school that fall, my long term relationship, my health, my faith, my home, and finally, myself. The only area of my life that hadn't been hit was my family. I spent weeks terrified that the last thread holding me together would be cut. Thoughts of death haunted me at night, but overtime I realized I wasn't going to lose my family, no one was going to die. That was not part of the plan.
I spent the next year wandering with a suitcase, traveling to different cities, sleeping in the most random locations and spending each moment being present. Here is what I learned:
- You do not need possessions or even a home to be happy.
- Life is a roller coaster. There are ups and downs, you just have to ride it out. The lows aren't bad and the highs aren't good. It's simply a journey you must experience and accept.
- You can make friends wherever you go.
- Enjoy local food.
- You do not have to validate yourself to anyone. You are important as you and that is more than good enough.
- It's important to let go. Let go of control so life can allow itself to move in you in the best way possible.
- Ask for forgiveness:
- from others
- and from yourself
- and absolutely forgive others, even if they aren't sorry.
- Being alone is a wonderful thing. Don't be scared of loneliness. From loneliness, creativity blossoms.
- If a wave comes:
- don't stand still, it will knock you down
- don't run away, it will push you over
- do dive in as deep as you can go. When you dive into the wave, you come up the other side.
- The fear of change is scarier than change itself.
I sit here, one year later, on top of a giant rock overlooking Snoqualmie Falls, a beautiful waterfall. There are people scattered all around me, laughing, yelling, taking photos, having picnics... My life now is far from perfect, but finally it feels real. There's depth and substance. It's like a beating heart graphed on the screen you see in a hospital room, as opposed to a flat line.
I'm no longer scared of things I once was afraid of. I have my worries from time to time but I've stopped fighting life and change. I've let go of trying to control things and suddenly, all of my desires are falling right into place.
I've found my resting place. It's in myself. It doesn't matter what changes anymore, it simply matters how I react.