We've received a lot of kudos for chasing this dream. Much appreciated kudos. We put a lot of effort into this. Still are. Made some tough choices. Still are. We've also heard a lot of statements along the lines of "If only I could..." It made me think about how we define what is possible in our lives.
We spent a lot of time thinking this reality was many years off. One day, it clicked. It doesn't have to be. The realization that "can't do it now" talk really meant we were prioritizing other wants and/or needs above the idea of this move was world changing. We started really examining our life. Excluding weekends, there are about 260 working days in a year. We spent about 245 (give or take) days working our petooties off to vacation 10-15 days a year in a place we really wanted to be. Not that Indiana was terrible. We just preferred the pace of life and activities that were found somewhere else. So, why not spend (worse case scenario) 260 days working in the place we really wanted to be? Not to mention, closer to other places we wanted to see.
We started making choices. Vacation planning halted. We quit smoking. Buying pretty much anything stopped and selling all the stuff we owned began. Before we knew it, we were basically camping in our empty house. Go out to eat or make some mix-n-mash nosh from the remnants in the pantry? Admittedly we could have done better making frugal decisions in this category, but we did make better decisions on the food front overall. New outfit for that special occasion? Nope. I even sold my coat in January. Along with a crap ton of other stuff. We squirreled away the pennies, sometimes putting in monster hours to do so. Every decision and action was re-focused on this one goal.
We aren't special or somehow more advantaged than the next guy. This wasn't a magical, wondrous feat we accomplished (although the result often feels like it). We simply set goals and never once took our eye off the prize. The point is, so much more can be achieved when we stop focusing on all the things that make a goal or dream "impossible". Possible may not be easy and may require some significant sacrifices, but possible exists more often than we give it credit. It can even be empowering to realize a dream may be possible, but it is not a chosen priority right now. It can be even more empowering to remind ourselves why our priorities are our priorities. That moment when your kid kills it at his soccer match or aces that chem test. Receiving that degree you've been battling for. A gathering of your closest friends in the house you've been dreaming of owning for decades. Priorities, and the reason's behind them, can be very personal. Whatever your priorities, you'll get no judgement here. Just don't put what's important to you on the backburner.
We were fortunate to have a conversation with a very interesting man this week. He had a different take on how to live life and, although the conversation brief, it really opened my eyes to a new perspective. He spent a lot of his earlier life bouncing around ashrams and talked about making decisions based solely on feeling. In addition to his spiritual journeys, he has also been a successful restaurateur, a generous landlord, and a counselor to many. He talked about how his focus on what he likes to do has driven his success. It was a remarkable conversation with very poignant timing.
As we settle into this paradise, we are once again focusing on our priorities. Up until now, we've been consumed with figuring out the basics, getting the lay of the land. It's time to really start building the life we want here. This will most likely entail getting a second job, in addition to my freelance work for at least a while. The opportunity to listen to the aforementioned man talk about the questions he asked himself and his method of evaluation on how he chose his next career step could not have come at a better time. I look forward to more conversations and getting to know this man and his wife better in the coming months. I'm also excited about discovering more about me and finding out what other shenanigans we might get into. Who knows what we might decide is possible.