When I was a child, my mother asked me ‘what I wanted to be when I grew up?’, as parents often do. I said,
Mom, I want to learn all the languages and cultures of the world so I can get to know what’s in people’s hearts. That way someday I can show them how to come together in peace.
Looking back, my mom must have thought I was a quite a handful! I was always the do-gooder type that wanted to help people around the world.
As life progressed, I loved having the opportunity to travel even if it was only for business. Over time, I’d seen 20 countries on 5 continents and I lived for over a year in Ecuador. I never wanted it to end. I thought I was unstoppable.
However, during the past few years, I’ve gone through some really rough times and my confidence was shaken. A tough divorce, fighting like the be-jesus to try to hang on to my house, watching the business I’d built phase out, and finding myself taking on two jobs to cover the bills rolling in. That’s not even to speak of the wall of distrust that built up around me which has made relationships of any kind pretty challenging to say the least. I felt alone and isolated. I was treading water.
Occasionally, my inner adventurer would poke me and ask, “When are we leaving?” or say things like, “What are you doing here?” I learned to squash that voice for awhile reminding it of our “survival” and my “new found belief in practicality”.
Somehow, I connected the events in my life to being irresponsible and impractical. Because I didn’t fit into a “proper” box, I should work harder to shove myself in there and work it with a smile from 9-5, damn it! “Then bad things like these wouldn’t happen to you”, I said.
I told myself to grow up! because that’s what I thought all grown ups eventually did. They gave up their dreams and settled (down). My whole life I rebelled against this for the simple fact that I never met a grown up who was happier at work than they were at happy hour.
No matter how hard I tried to shut myself down, eventually my mind made me listen to that voice. I was terrified. I began to sob. I knew I wasn’t happier in this cookie cutter life. I proved that I was responsible and practical and that I could work 9-5. I could get through a divorce and keep my house. And now what?
I felt like I was trapped in the Matrix and I wanted to swallow a red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
So, I did and I’m about to find out what’s down there.