Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How Did We Get HERE ?

Once upon a time, I lived in a place where each dwelling looked much like the dwelling next door, where green grass was manicured and life was good. All of the people worked somewhere in the city,  all of the children went to the local schools and life was good. Each day was just like the one before and life was good. One day I awoke to find I had everything I wanted and life was good. Life was so good in fact that I had trouble finding the source of my great unhappiness. I had reached all my goals and life was good  yet I found myself feeling unfulfilled, stifled. I had a family, a good job and a nice house so why wouldn't I be happy?

My first thought was it must be a connection problem between myself and creator. I then set out on a journey to explore my spiritual shortcomings. I began a spiritual blog, The Spiritual Feast, and began to really engage my relationship with my creator. I wrote about how material items diverted much of our attention from the natural world towards the superficial, consumer driven world. I realized that these things were causing traits like greed, desire and envy to exist within me. Despite my ability to understand that this unhealthy attachment to things was keeping me from becoming the me I wanted to be. Understanding the concept was simple. Reinforcing the principles behind the concept was far from simple.

Before I could act on these self discoveries and make appropriate changes in my life, the economy changed. I lost my great job. Two months later, my fiance lost his job too. We got rid of our house and downsized to an apartment while we worked our new jobs. After moving to another state we were able to recover and find comfort again. Yet, I still found myself plagued by the same unhappiness I had experienced before. 

We found ourselves at a very tricky crossroads. We could begin to reconstruct our lives as we had  before or we could dare to change. After close examination we realized our previous dream had only been a product of the culture in which we were raised, a dream written by others and imposed on us. Many people will ask, "How did someone impose a dream on you?" Simple, both my fiance and I grew up in the inner city (Chicago, Brooklyn respectively) where children are taught there are two paths in life, good and bad. One path is a revolving door and the other an exit. The revolving door spins you around and puts you right back in the life you were trying to escape. The other path, the exit was a chance to leave the life you grew up in for something better. 

We had lived our lives according to the myth that there were only these specific two roads in life, good and bad. The first step to creating our new dream was to shatter the myth that there were designated roads to happiness. This transformation of thinking empowered us to create our own dream without worrying about fitting in with norms created by society, our culture or our families. We explored all those dreams that had been on the sitting on the backburner until we had our lives in "order".  You know the "if I won the lottery" or "after we pay this off we will ..." dreams. Our most compelling options were travel and home ownership (without debt).

After much research and debate, we decided to achieve  both. We decided to become a full time RV family traveling and working our way around the United States. Since then, we have purchased an RV, purged 90% of our worldy possessions, reside in the RV working locally. Our plans to travel and work kamp begin this summer and take us to Utah near the Grand Staircase. Some people don't quite understand our desire to escape conventional life. Others understand and even envy our ability to break free of societal/cultural limitations to embark on an journey where our purpose is ever evolving. On this new road we hope to live our dream of finding adventure, knowledge, connectivity with the earth, friendship and closeness as a family. On this journey of growth and discovery, we hope to gradually  leave selfishness, materialism and the obsession with impressions behind in the dust.

I do hope this provides those straddling the fence with some insight of how we came to the decision to leave mainstream and forge ahead a path all our own. For more insight to our process and progress thus far read:The SearchThe PlanThe PurgeThe Dream and The Myth.

This blog post is part of a blog hop. Continue the journey of searching, discovery and choices with Break out of Bushwick. . My favorite part, one we can all identify with no matter what life we lead:
I felt like I was living someone else’s life. Indeed, I was living someone else’s life. Melissa- at least, the Melissa I recognized- was gone.
This mom decided to Choose Life and I can't wait to read about her adventures abroad.


  1. In some ways, it sounds like we've had similar paths- thinking, at least for portions of our lives, that we needed to choose one of two paths. I'm also a Brooklyner (or rather, I have been for ten years).

    Best of luck to you and yours as you continue along a path to find fulfillment and joy!

  2. Well done! Looks like there were two paths until you decided to create your own. I understand completely! Excellent post, and continued success as you explore those other paths in the future!


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