Remember that one time when I quit my job, sold everything, and bought a one-way ticket to Guatemala? And remember how I was finally going to live the life I had always dreamed of, and how everything was going to flow happily ever after forever and ever?
Well, I’m home now.
You haven’t heard about it because I’ve been trying to write this colossal post summing up and explaining all the changes that have happened for me over the last few months. I wrote 28 drafts and I hate all of them. So, at this moment, I’m timing myself and whatever I write down in one hour goes on the blog. (Umm… no pressure.)
(Written while listening to IVY by Active Child over and over and over again.) I recommend a listen as you read…
I learned a lot about myself over the last eight months. I found out I’m not the lone wolf I thought I was – I really missed my community. I found out I’m more of an “adult” than I wanted to believe – I missed a routine and a home base. I learned (and finally accepted) that it’s okay if I don’t have all the answers. And if I need to change my mind, that’s okay too. This last year expanded my idea of what I’m capable of. It pushed out the stubborn boundaries of my comfort zone until more and more things were slowly included.
I saw some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I went volcano boarding. I learned how to surf. I wave-jumped in a bunch of different crazy oceans and tried at least 50 versions of ceviche. People from all over the world became my friends, offering their stories and lessons and dance moves. I would not trade these amazing experiences for anything.
However amazing many of my experiences were, while house sitting in Panama, I came to a point where I just felt… done. I wanted to go home. Nothing bad had happened, there had been no triggering reason. I could just feel it – a shift – I was ready.
At first I resisted this. I didn’t want it to be true. I felt like if I went home it would be like giving up or quitting. I was reminded of times in the past when I forced myself to continue with things that made me miserable solely for pride or principal – and I’ve learned from those experiences that it just ain’t worth the misery.
Eight months ago, I set out to experience being completely untethered from every obligation and physical space – what I had understood at that time to be “ultimate freedom.”
Well, I experienced it, …and then I didn’t want to experience it anymore. Kinda like every time I agree to watch a horror movie. “Okay, thank you, I’m done now.”
I’d done what I’d set out to do. And I’d found it not suitable for me as a lifestyle. So I let myself be done.
I couldn’t be happier to be home. Even though I’m not sure what my next step is, I know I made the right decision. And it doesn’t hurt that friends and family are offering their spare beds and couches and cars and hugs. I felt like I never left. But I’m really glad I did because I am so much more grateful for everything I have here.
I’ve decided not to view coming home as a failure. I succeeded at trying something new and hard. I also let go of my ego’s need to strive and prove, and instead, allowed my decisions to be guided by what makes me feel good. And being home, enjoying the Portland summer with my friends and family, makes me feel fucking fantastic.
I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I have a couple ideas I’m excited about. I want to continue to practice using my voice – I feel like there’s still a lot of work to be done here. So, I’m going to be POSTING REGULARLY!
Every Tuesday. I promise.
I still get that voice in my head saying, “Who cares what you’re thinking about? Everybody has their own problems and their own lives to worry about. Nobody wants to hear you whining about this shit.”
Sometimes that voice keeps me from posting. But, when I am successful at shutting it up, I remember how passionately I believe that every one of us has something unique to add to this world. Yes, you too.
I don’t know what my “unique thing” is, but I know the only way to find it is to be honest and say what you think. I used to feel really alone in my doubts and fears. I want you to know you’re not alone. We’re all fucking struggling.
But we’re all so glorious inside too. I am truly honored to have you here with me. Thank you for being a part of my life.
Mini Super Ashley Number One!