The Oregon Coast and the promises of Nathaniel Hawthorne..
“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
Engjell and I made the decision to sell everything and travel the world almost two years ago to the day. The waiting sometimes seemed eternal, but piece by piece, things came together: our business sold, our cars sold, we had a bang-up garage sale... And here we are, one week and one day into the grandest adventure of our lives.
I'd be lying to say that I wasn't scared... that the idea of letting go of responsibility and success, both of which we'd worked hard for and earned, wasn't terrifying. But the unknown seemed resolutely better than the day-to-day stress ball I was squeezing the life out of.
Last week, the night before we left, I lay awake almost the entire night wondering if we were doing the right thing. Not even that it was right, so much... just wondering if mine and Engjell's tendencies to lead with our hearts was still serving us well or if we were really headed into a regretful adventure. Because, honestly... who blows their entire savings on a trip around the world? What responsible person anyways?
And then I thought, that if we continue to let the societal "norms" and expectations define what is or is not responsible for two 30-somethings with a squadron of kiddos to provide for, we may possibly come to the end not ever having given ourselves the opportunity to create our own story: original from start to finish.
So we are here on the Oregon Coast. Living in an RV is pretty darn ridiculous... It's freeing and limiting all at the same time. Every time I move, I knock something over. The 3 times I've showered, it was with cold water ( user error, unfortunately). Driving a behemoth abode on wheels down the interstate is an outrageous feat of navigation... (Engjell probably loves the challenge). But yesterday, when I saw my kids run down the sand straight into the surf of the Pacific Ocean, laughing and giggling with the biggest grins little munchkins can manage, it all made sense.
It wasn't about being comfortable or what the logistics of responsibility might be or even embracing the unknown. It was just about that day and that moment, watching my kids enjoy the heck out of their first time at the beach. I'm not sure I had really understood, up until that point, how heavy the weight of our "responsible" life had been. And I felt free... or freer than I have in many, many years. It was almost like the same feeling I had the day I flew out of Montana to go to college in Vermont, or the day I left the U.S. to move to Italy. What's the old adage? "The first day of the rest of your life"... it feels like that.
Because all I have to do is enjoy the next 700 plus days that I get to spend with my kids and with Engjell. I can plan and look forward a bit, but mostly all I have to do is feel the freedom.
Oregon Coast, Day 8