Freedom at Last

Hi Friends!

Well I’m going to keep this short and sweet because the past month of my life has been nothing but blood, sweat and tears. Someone negleted to tell me just how much WORK it would be to move out of a house, plan a cross-country move, prepare for grad school and get ready for a sabbatical half-way around the world.

Uh…in hindsight I guess it should have been obvious.

Complaints and exhaustion aside, these huge changes in my life have left me feeling more fulfilled and energized than ever.

Within 72 hours of leaving my office for the last time I managed to go to the beach twice, eat my way through a boat full of sushi, go for a couple jogs (not in that order!) drink with old friends and new friends, see a comedy musical on River Walk, hang out at my uncle’s house off Las Olas and brunch on South Beach. I slept for more than six hours and had time to chew my breakfast for the first time in a decade.

Imagine that.

I haven’t laughed or smiled or cried this much in a long time…maybe forever…so that begs the question. What the hell have I been waiting for? What are we ALL always waiting for?

I was driving home from dinner at a friend’s house the other evening (HI KRISTI!) and I don’t know why, but I was suddenly overcome by this feeling of complete satisfaction. My life felt “filled up.” Things seemed so inexplicably real. So tangible. For the first time ever I am IN life and not just skimming the surface waiting for it to arrive. I used to place so much of my life out in the future. The things I wanted, the feelings I wanted to feel. They were always just a distant goal that I feverishly worked towards. So what finally changed? What suddenly propelled me here?

Simple. I stopped saying ‘no’ to myself.

Whatever I wanted to feel, whatever I wanted to do, I allowed it to myself. A ticket to Bali, an MBA, even just a nap in the middle of the day. I stopped paying attention to the destructive excuses that the fearful part of me is so good at conjuring up. I stopped including society in my decision-making. My questions turned from “when can I have this?” to “how can I have this now?” How can I be happy now? We tend to put so much of the best parts of our lives out in the future. One day this, maybe one day that. So where does that leave our current selves? The future doesn’t exist yet so all we’re really doing is removing the good parts of our lives from the present. We strip it down to a string of unfulfilling tasks with the hope that they will one day lead us to whatever dreamy goal we set for ourselves. And that’s where the empty feeling comes from. The feeling that life isn’t totally real. How can it be? We threw it so far out into the future – a place that doesn’t even exist yet – that we can’t touch life, or feel life or ENJOY life when it’s all the way out there.

But the moment we reel it back into the present. The moment we strip our decision-making down to one single question (how can I have this now) that we ask one single person (ourselves). The moment we GIVE UP that knee-jerk, societally induced reaction that says “No, I can’t have that now.” THAT is the moment we can feel life again.

If you’re waiting for life to present you the perfect opportunity to do the things you want, you’re going to be waiting forever.  

Most of the time, we are the only thing keeping us from what we want.

Stay tuned…my journey to Sydney starts this weekend!

 

My friend Steve & my cousins new puppy, Riva!

My friend Steve & my cousins new puppy, Riva!

Steve testing my Sony Nex-C3 at Dania Beach

Steve took this one – testing my Sony Nex-C3 at Dania Beach

Getting ready for a kayak

Our Sushi boat at Sushi Rock off Las Olas

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5 thoughts on “Freedom at Last

  1. I was in Sydney in December of 1970 on R&R from Vietnam. Stayed in the Kings Cross section. A lot of bars and such. I thought I had a pretty good tan being out in the bush, but I hadn’t had a hot shower for nine months and most of it washed away. Met up with 2 other guys I was in training with and spent the first night in the hotel room eating KFC and drinking. Also hooked up with a couple of young ladies, one dark haired one stands out so if you get up there you might just asked around and see if any 60 year old women remember me!! One of the guys played the guitar and we made a song called “How many “Os” in Woolloomooloo”, a section of Sydney. Had a whirlwind of a week so don’t try and out do me. Have a great time!!

    1. Haha thank you Uncle Lou! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. If I can make it out to find these places I definitely will. I don’t think I could top you even if I tried…but I’ll still try!

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