Our 1 year USA road trip is over and we’re back in Raleigh!
There are a number of reasons why we suddenly turned left towards North Carolina as we drove out of Jackson Hole (an excruciatingly painful 6 day drive).
I’ll explain some of those in my next blog post tomorrow (involving an exciting new Raleigh-based project).
But for now, let me say the mystical truth:
It was like this giant unseen hand that cannot be ignored or denied, reached into our Makepeace bubble, shifted our Ford F250 truck and travel trailer to the left and said, “Now is the time.”
And like that, we were on our way, wondering if it was the wrong choice, but knowing deep down it wasn’t, and having it confirmed as we drove into Raleigh-Durham and a million joyful bubbles began popping inside me.
On our last night of our RV trip, we found ourselves camped by a pond in Knoxville, Tennessee
The sounds of the crickets welcomed us and the night embraced us with a Southern humid sweat I love. A sweat, strangely, I’ve realized I can’t live without.
As I sat down to be with the stillness of the evening, it hit me, this really is my last night.
The end of 22 years of roaming – never feeling like I belonged anyway, never able to commit to a home, a job, a lifestyle, or a set boxed in way of living.
22 years of searching and seeking to find my place in the world.
A journey that took me to over 50 countries, calling five of them my home for longer periods of time, until now, just a week shy of my 44th birthday, I know I am ready to leave this nomadic life behind.
To perhaps finally grow up. To lay some roots and build a life in a place I found as the most perfect place in the world for it.
What a monumental life to reflect upon on this night.
A life I chose not to race through, but savor, somehow knowing that it would all work out if I just lived each day with a zest that said
“I’m here to learn, and live and grow and of course, have fun.”
In the process I was shown a life of wonder, of discovery, of joy, of challenges, and experiences that brought me now to this point where I can say on my own terms, “I Am Ready.”
I’m almost 44 and in true unconventional manner, I don’t own much.
At times, this bothered me, as “by now I should have it”. Everyone wants to tell you time “always running out”. And “when are you going to settle down?”
I think my Mum is now breathing a sigh of relief and welcoming in no more sleepless nights worrying about her daughter with kids who just keeps wandering like a lost teenager. (No Mum. I won’t be getting a real job. I don’t need it.)
As I’m ready to move to the I’m-a-grown-up phase I realize it doesn’t matter that I’m about to move into at an older age. There was always enough time for me to arrive here.
As I said in my TBEX keynote speach a few weeks ago,
“Don’t let time boss you around.” (nor other people’s opinions about it).
Take the control back and savor the slow moving joy of time.
In the back of my mind during my reflections, ran the words to my new favorite song, Young, by the Talbott Brothers, indie-folk-rock musicians from small town Nebraska.
In a message to his younger self, Tyler says:
“You’ve got time, but everybody says it passes you by
Don’t go thinking that’s how it has to be
You‘ll ask why and learn by breaking your bones
It’ll all be answered at the coming of the sun
For now be young”
When I heard these words sung for the first time I was stunned. How often have you heard a different story told about time?
We’re warned it moves fast.
That fear and pressure causes us to run through experiences and take on too much when we’re not ready. All in an effort to check it off your list before it’s too late and adhere to other people’s expectations and perceptions of time and life goals.
You don’t have to have it all figured out by 24: the university degree, the job, the perfect partner, the number of kids and the white picket fence.
You’re made to believe that you need to know all the answers, collect every country in the world passport stamp, know the right words to land the perfect partner, and have the babies before the clock ticks away.
Life then becomes this frantic race where you never quite feel connected or secure, fulfilled or happy.
At 44 you wake up and say, “what the hell has all this been for?” and you move into existential crisis mode trying to reclaim those lost years.
Because, yes time moves fast and you didn’t make the most of it. You didn’t savor it and so many years are lost.
What if you had enough time? What would you keep and what would you drop? What would you do less of and focus more of your attention on?
It’s okay to learn through your mistakes and enjoy every day slowly.
These are words I wish I heard when I as young. But they are words I can now transfer to you.
Live like you have loads of time.
I figured it out by “breaking my bones” and was taken down SURPRISING paths that I NEVER could have predicted or even created. (You’ll hear much about this magic in my TBEX keynote, which I will be able to share the video of with you soon.)
Life took me on this magically fulfilling journey that in its own time brought me to the perfect opportunity and grown up life. It doesn’t matter that I’ve arrived at 44 (and yes you can do it with kids too!!)
You’ve got time. It won’t pass you by if you choose to love every moment for what it is, let go and allow life to guide you a little more.
For now, be young.
P.S. I say I, but really it’s a WE. Craig and the girls feel the same way. #Lifesmagic.
P.P.S. These are the type of stories I send out each week to my email community. Come join us. It’s free and inspiring.
The Talbott Brothers – Young
You know I like to share great things with you. We discovered The Talbott Brothers last month at an outdoor concert in Idaho and became big fans of their storytelling and artistry.
It felt like I was watching someone like Dylan or Johnny Cash at their beginnings. I am now a major fan and love all their songs. Young in particular moves me.
As a traveler, you will resonate with their story, vibe and song lyrics.
They have a wonderful message to share to inspire people. They have a new album, Ghost Talker about to launch this month.
Check them out here. Share the love and press play below to listen to Young. I know you’ll LOVE it!