A week from today I will be pulling out in my 24 foot Class C motor home, headed west to explore and create the next chapter of my life.
You’d think that this would be easy. I have no children, no spouse, no mortgage, no employer, no ill and elderly parent that I need to care for. There is nothing to hold me back, tie me down, nothing to keep me from living my dream.
Except my own self. The only thing that can stop me are my fears, my doubts, but mostly my rules.
Many people think I am spontaneous, flexible and adventurous. They think I live like a free-spirit, easily exploring new places and embracing new experiences. They are surprised to learn how structured and regimented my life really is.
I wake up at the same time every day and immediately jump into the shower. It wakes me up, refreshes me, readies me for the day. I get dressed and take the dogs for a walk, pressing the on button for the coffee maker when we return.
I feed the dogs then the birds at the feeder, then I have my own breakfast. It’s the same every day: a bowl of bran flakes with dried cranberries, no milk, and a single cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee.
I tend to eat at the same favorite restaurants and vacation in the same places.
I go to bed at exactly 10pm, switching off the lights in the same order, adjusting the thermostat and even saying the same “ok, it’s time to move over” to Mabel every night before getting into bed.
Spontaneity is NOT my middle name.
In fact, when I travel, it takes a lot of gusto to explore where I am, to venture beyond what is familiar and comfortable.
Maybe this incredibly structured living provides the necessary support system for my wildly creative ideas to blossom.
But I see how it can so easily limit me, too.
Several years ago I worked with a high level business coach who constantly told me the only thing limiting me were my rules. I was always quick to say NO to her suggestions that would uplevel my business, bring a more professional look to my website, connect my with a higher paying client base. They were all good ideas but my response was always, I can’t do that.
Yes, in business it is essential to be able to say no, to set boundaries, schedules and limitations. And I’ve gotten very used to being in such control that most things go exactly how I plan them.
But only saying no can quickly become self-limiting.
Well, now it’s time to let go of the control, the knowing, the way I’ve boxed myself into such a comfortable, predictable, controlled existence. Now it’s time to practice saying YES.
Yes to risk
Yes to driving alone
Yes to not knowing how and what will unfold
Yes to meeting new people
Yes to trying other people’s suggestions
Yes to walking even if it means breaking a sweat
When I think about moving to CA, I can only imagine that I am going to be living this same life, just in a different place. And I see that’s not enough.
I don’t WANT to keep doing the same things in the same way.
So I guess that means I’m ready for whatever it will take to do it completely differently. To let go of everything and try a new way. Where I DON’T know everything ahead of time, where I can’t plan every detail, where life becomes about the present moment, from when to dump the holding tanks to where to find fresh local produce.
And I have everything I need to begin: a fully functioning RV that I love traveling in, a new MacBook Pro, and a reservation for the month of August at an RV park in Morro Bay 2 blocks from the beach. There is free wi-fi there so that I can stay connected to friends and clients and there’s even a laundry on the premises.
So, this is my path, the road I am traveling. All I know is my initial destination. Beyond that, I will be open to change and spontaneity, a word that is hard to spell, much less live every day. But I am ready.
What rules hold YOU back? Is there one rule that you are ready to break? Share your story by clicking the comments below.