Most of the contents of my vision board consist of words and places. Affirmations and sights, sunsets, oceans, and landmarks whose awe call onlookers from around the globe. I have been thinking hard (and feeling hard) about "What's next" and for the life of me I can't decide. What would I love to do most? Travel the world, take pictures, write about experiences. Wouldn't people care about a thing like that? I keep trying to convince myself that I could have enough of the things I crave if I just took a faculty job. There would be summers to travel, to write...and you would get to teach and learn and grow, in fact it would be your job to do so! Something about it just feels wrong for me. Something I can't seem to shake.
October 2011 I made a vow to myself not to give money more power than was necessary. Money is a tool, not a dictator; stop allowing it to determine what you can and cannot do, see, and experience. Then today I was reading a message from Necole Bitchie where she posted:
Travel while you are young and able. Don't worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.
Following an account of how her travels renewed her spirit, I felt the pull even more to just GO. There are bills though, and responsibilities, and student loans to repay and...so I have to figure out a way to merge my skills and my passions and figure out what demand they fill in this world. Necole also saw fit to make a bucket list for the year. Things she would like to accomplish. Right now I have about five things on mine:
- Buy a camera and a laptop
- Get back to Jamaica.
- Go somewhere new--solo Taking photos Writing Meeting new people along the way
- Get in better physical shape
- Publish my book
Granted "make significant progress on my dissertation" is not on there, but that too. So much of my work has to do with my own process, my own work, addressing my own needs and staring down my own fears so that I can show up authentically in my spaces.
It is, perhaps, my biggest fear that I never become all that I feel I could be...that I know at least on some level I could be. So many people take the safe route, the one with the predictable life of comfort. I do not fault nor blame them, I just know in my bones that is not my path. No matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise. Faith is putting one foot in front of the other trusting that the ground will not give way, and if it does my wings will spread.
I never wanted a home before my third act. What would I fill it with? Pinterest-able sconces, candles and color schemes, trinkets with no function, or meaning. No...I never wanted that. I wanted a home with a story. Evidence of a life well lived and adventures sought through. Smells to remind me of the places, photos to show me the people, fabrics and spices to tell the stories. What use is a home if not to hold your treasures? I don't want to run forever, and when all is said, I want that home to also be filled with love and a family I just do not believe I'm quite ready to take root. Just like I had to change my work to move, I need my life to do the same.