I'm a writer, an adventurer, and someone who refuses to write an "About Me" page in the third person. Like most people who've ever created their own website, I put this page off until last because it seems impossible to tell you who I am in a couple paragraphs. I'd much rather grab a cup of coffee with you so that I could get to know you too. Besides, eye contact is sexy and it would be nice to end our chat with a warm hug.
A few things that I'll share with you for now - until we meet a a cafe somewhere...
I'm a forty-something woman with wild, curly hair that it took me years to love.
I'm a mother (which rocks!)
I'm poet and a dancer.
I'm bold and sometimes reckless. My great-grandmother once told me I'm predictably unpredictable.
I'm recovering perfectionist.
I'm a friend who listens beyond the words and who isn't going to try to fix you since you're not broken.
I'm a breast cancer survivor.
I'm a vagabond.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS...
On the morning of July 13th, 2016, I stood at a granite obelisk in Milngavie, Scotland. It was the first day of a 96-mile hike that would take my lover and I through the mountains, lochs, rivers and bogs of the Scottish Highlands. I closed my eyes and held hands with him. As part of a ritual that we’d created to mark the beginning of the West Highland Way, each of us reflected on what we'd leave behind as we started our walk.
I rummaged through the daypack of my mind, trying to sort out what I didn't need. The fingers of my thoughts brushed it, and I knew in an instant. My heart fluttered nervously in my chest, then I visualized opening my hand to see the key to my house in the center of my palm. It was silver and small. It seemed like an insignificant thing to leave behind, but because of what it represented to me, I wanted to close my fist and bury the key back deep into the corner of my bag.
What would it look like to loosen my grip and to let go of my need to feel safe? I'd spent years working hard to build and maintain financial well-being. Yet the more money I made, the more I found to spend it on. There was always something else to do or own or invest in. How much was enough? And what was I willing to trade for a sense of security?
At the time I wrote, “I wasn’t making a decision to leave my job or sell my home (at least not yet), but I was letting go of some of my fears about living a life that feels less stable, less certain.“
But intention is a powerful thing.
Four months later, I did put my home up for sale. It was a decision that didn’t make sense to most people. I didn’t even make much sense to me. I wondered (as I’m sure others did) if my actions were fear-based, since I contacted my realtor in the wake of the the U.S. presidential election. The results of the election left me grappling with confusion, disillusionment and depression. But the election was only a trigger. It accelerated a change that was already taking place within me, a desire for change - big change. I wasn't sure what I planned to do next, but home ownership felt like a security blanket that it was time to shed. There was something else calling to me, and it would require focus and sacrifice.
The moment I claimed my freedom and let go of the need for stability, everything changed. It didn’t matter that I didn’t actually leave the key to my house at the base of the obelisk. It didn’t matter that I didn’t commit to do anything specific. What mattered was my intention, my willingness to envision something different for myself. For one moment, I let go. Completely. I enacted that letting go through ritual, and this simple gesture planted that intention as a seed in my body, where I could nurture it and create space for it to bloom.
I'm ready now. I'm ready to take risks for my freedom. I'm ready to learn more about myself by learning more about the world I live in. I'm ready to see what the Universe has been wanting to show me since I left an imaginary key at the base of an obelisk 5,000 miles from home.
I'll start my travels this summer in Spain. I'm not sure where I'll go after walking the Camino del Norte, but I like the not knowing. There is freedom in that.
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