Month: January 2017

Goodbye to a Dream

As long as I can remember I have wanted to do something different, be untethered from convention and live a simple life. It took me many years and a LOT of help from friends and family, but I was able to take a leap out of the norm and travel and experience new things.  

I am thankful I was able to take the driving tour, to minimize my lifestyle, to find a new place, to work on a train and to connect with new friends and reconnect the old friends.  I am humbled that I was able to have this opportunity in my life.  My epic journey was not the journey I had dreamt of all those years.  It was a different journey then I had imagined but life changing nonetheless.  

I have been struggling these last few months, after the train job ended, with what to do now. Reality has started to set in and I feel it is time to say goodbye to the epic journey.  My plans of economic freedom, I now understand, are just illusions.  I got rid of the stuff and have done fairly well without accumulating new stuff.  But when you become one illness or one car problem away from disaster, you have to become realistic and go back to being an adult.

I always wanted to end up in the Keys drinking rum and writing like my hero Hemingway.  This has been the first time in my life that I have had the chance to just write and I was at a loss for words.  My ideas dried up and I sat aimlessly in front of the computer unable to construct a decent sentence.  I tried paper and pen with the same result. I realize now that sometimes your reality cannot live up to your dreams.  Without words, there is no writing. 

Learning about myself and other people has been my greatest joy during my journey.  My heart has been touched by so many.  I have met other travelers, many half my age, who are living the life I dreamed of.  They are free from the constraints that bind so many of us.  They are free souls riding the winds wherever they may blow.  I have seen that life up close and my life pales in contrast.  I believe it is a young persons game and I tried to join in past my prime.  

If it sounds like I’m feeling sorry for myself, please note that I am not.  I am standing on the other side of my epic journey with an entirely new sense of gratitude and world view.  I am changed, I am anew.  I am also realistic in the knowledge that at my age I am not likely to be able to continue riding the blowing winds to the next adventure.  Life has a way of making the carefree life become very difficult.  

So it’s back to a normal job for me as well as some sort of order.  Putting to bed the grand dreams knowing I was one of the lucky ones who got to test drive an epic journey.  It is because of so many of you that I was able to try this experiment.  I could not have done this without your financial support, your love, prayers and encouragement.  I’m indeed one of the luckiest people on the planet to have been able to live my dream  no matter how long it lasted.  Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart.  I love you all.

Will I continue the blog?  I am not sure at this time.  I’m not sure what lessons are left, not that I know everything but I am not sure what earth shattering revelation is left.  Although I have learned that you never know the road that you will end up on.   I may someday continue the epic journey.  I like to think so.  Only time will tell.

Now it’s time to find a real job and go back to being an adult.  My dreams are different now.  I no longer dream of a life on the road with everyday being its own adventure. My dreams were full of color and the unknown.  Today’s dreams are more subdued as if in black and white. The passion fire has gone out for now.  This is just a new chapter in a life full of uncertainty. At least I can look back on my epic journey with the fondest of memories and the utmost gratitude.  

It was a hell of a ride.


Video Games and Life Lessons by Lois Hewitt

I’m in a slow season right now; in between jobs and living with uncertainty about my next step.  This gives me a little extra time to play games on my iPad. I do not like to waste too much time playing but it can be relaxing on occasion. I do not play war games or anything like that.  I like matching or word games.  As I was playing one day, a life lesson came to me.

In this particular game that I was playing,  you have to capture the items listed.  For example, you may need to capture 30 red gems and 50 blue gems. You are given a certain number of moves or a time constraint to accomplish the goal. The screen will be filled with extra pieces of different colors or pitfalls to complicate the task.  I’m not saying it is brain surgery but you have to think things through a little bit. 

So I am playing one day and the task is fairly large and the number of available moves is fairly small.  I just kept running out of moves before I could capture the necessary gems.  After about 20 tries over several days I thought it through. I was missing something.  There had to be a key to winning this level that I just wasn’t seeing.  I looked closely at the screen and contemplated its layout. It was always the same.  The colored gems I needed were all on one side of the board.  The other side contained items not necessary to move on to the next level.

It was then I realized that my compulsive nature was making me clear the entire board which inevitably ran me out of moves before I could finish.  I had to change my way of thinking to forget about or block out of my mind the pieces I did not need.  This made the board messy and that made me uneasy.  But when I concentrated on just looking at the gems I needed I was finally able to complete that level and move on.

I thought to myself that life is a lot like that silly game.  There are lots of things to look at and lots of things that waste your time that have no real meaning on your life.  I like to check things off my always growing list of things to do, but some of those things do not have any bearing on my life or the path I am trying to take.  I want to check them off the list for the sake of doing it but I will not have progressed any from doing that.  I would only have kept the “board” (aka my life) neat.  Neat was always my thing in life, order, but now I realize order for the sake of order does not necessarily make me the person I want to be.  Sometimes you have to skip over something of lesser importance in order to reach a goal that allows you to move on to a new level.

It is so easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed with all the extraneous things that you cannot see the important ones.  That’s where I have been. I’m trying to look at too many things at one time and I am missing what’s really important.  I want to take a cue from a video game and start ignoring the things in life that do not feed my soul and concentrate on feeding my soul good and healthy things and ideas.  

Finding a life lesson from a video game reminds me that knowledge is everywhere.  You just have to have open eyes to it.

A Season of Pointlessness

“Relaxing feels like failure” as said by Nathan Fillion’s character on Con Man

This last few months have felt like failure to me.  My job on the train ended and I have been unable to procure another position elsewhere.  Too much time on my hands + nothing real to do = low self-worth with a side of depression.  I have always dreamt of having some real quality time to do all the things I have been putting off.  As soon as I clocked out that last time, all ideals of what I wanted to do started to elude me.

I have been struggling with  feeling like a complete loser that has no job and no prospects.  I thought the time would be like a muse to me and fill me with creative ideas.  But because I have made my own personal self-worth based on my ability to work for money, I have been left with the reality that my quest for self-awareness has come up short.

I had hoped that I had come further in my journey then this, but it seems I am still short on how I actually view myself.  I absolutely hate to admit that I rate or value myself on paycheck size, accolades and positive feedback. All those things are contrary to my ultimate mission in life. Because I use those markers to mentally evaluate myself, when they are no longer present I have no way in which to gauge my purpose in life.   The work I have done this last year seemed to fly out the window as soon as my “work” stopped.

I’m not blaming my personal view on society but we do live in a society that highly values accomplishments.  Size does matter as in house size, car size, office size, etc.  I thought I had walked away from those inflated, unrealistic notions of self-worth.  I realize now that simply thinking that does not remove all those ingrained ideals and world views. I was over all of it while I was still involved in it by making money and getting positive feedback from my customers and co-workers.  Once I no longer heard the praises or saw the money in my account, I lost all sense of me.  That is the most pathetic thing I have ever said.  

My personal low self-esteem manifests itself in a low functioning daily life.  I oversleep and overeat which leads to a modest form of self-loathing and overall self-pity.  Then the more I feel useless the more destructive I become and the cycle continues. 

It’s a new year and I could make a laundry list of things I have to change.  The reality, however unfortunate, is I will fall short and do so in a very timely fashion.  That’s not feeling sorry for myself, that’s my proven track record. So what’s a girl to do?  I realize that I need to make a conscious effort to change my way of viewing myself.  It can no longer be based on external components but on the guidelines that are ingrained inside of me that control right and wrong.  Am I on a path to betterment, a path no one else necessarily sees…then I’m moving in the right direction.  Am I wallowing in depression which makes me inable to function…then I’m moving in the wrong direction.  I realize that I have to get over myself once and for all.  I need to stop grading myself on the worlds grade scale.  I want to be my own person wirh a strong sense of self that has no reflection on how others see me.  

I dream of being strong in character and living a life of service to others. I cannot do that if I grade myself on accolades and bank balances.  The two ways of life are in constant opposition. That’s not to say that I don’t get off my butt and get a job.  What it says is that whether working toward a purpose (outside of ones self) or in a season of downtime I use my time and skills for bettering myself and the world around me.   There will be times of busyness and times that are slower.  I need to realize that both seasons are important to life and cannot be judged on criteria based on what someone else is doing or how effective I feel.  It has  to be authentic and evolved.  

Even though I have had a tough time of late, I have managed to learn more about myself and more about what my next steps should be about.  I hope to have a new job soon but in the meantime I hope I can rally my internal troops and make the most of the quiet time to become more enlightened. 

No one ever said self-awareness was easy!  But it is worth the time.