Writer Walks Away From “Normal” to Pursue Dreams

Turning my back on societal norms in order to grow into the person capable of making my dreams a reality.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I have shared in other articles how my life abruptly changed in January of 2018, with the ending of a long-term relationship. I had experienced heartbreak before, but this time was different. It was unexpected, yes, but this time I knew that big changes were necessary. Not external changes, but changes within me.

I began the hard work of going inward, peeling back the layers of everything I had allowed into my thinking, heart, and my soul. I held no belief sacred and put them all on the chopping block, determined to retain only that which was real and authentic for me. Six months later a new vision began to form, and I gained a clarity unlike anything I had ever experienced. I became very clear about who I was and how I wanted to live the rest of my life. It is important to note that how I wanted to live was clear, but the ways in which it would come to pass, not so much. I have learned not having all of the details of “how” does not have to paralyze you. You just have to act on what you do know, and that is exactly what I did.

I went back to a normal job, and worked hard for the next twelve months. During this time I kept all expenses to the bare minimum. I did not date, go to clubs, bars, movies, nor did I eat out at restaurants. I took my lunch to work ever day, and I ate the same meal for dinner every night. Peanut butter and crackers, for more than a year.

If all of that sounds like I was in misery, I was not. I was on a mission and was willing to do whatever it took to see it through. I was through with wishing, hoping, and waiting for my life to miraculously morph into what I wanted. It was going to take a lot of hard work, and I was ready to pay any price required. In the end, I was able to go from being completely broke and drifting, to saving a few thousand dollars and being filled with purpose.

Chickasaw State Park, Tennessee

By May of 2019, I knew I had plateaued in my personal growth. I needed to do something much different, surround myself with new people and experiences. I needed to push myself to the next level, walk away from illusions of security and comfort, and stretch my beliefs. I gave notice at my job that I would be leaving in a month. I told my landlord as well. Those two actions suddenly made everything very real. Soon, my landlord was showing my apartment to potential tenants. There was no turning back now,

During the month of May I began purging my material possessions. I had already become a sort of minimalist, but I jettisoned even more stuff until everything I owned would fit into my 2013 Ford Fusion. I eventually want to transition to a motorcycle so this was great practice for me. 

June 1st, 2019. I was on the road and headed to Knoxville, Tennessee, and then on to Chickasaw State Park. Camped in my tent, went hiking and communed with nature. From there I drove across the country until I reached Fort Smith, Arkansas where I spent the night. The next day I journeyed to Shawnee Oklahoma, where I got to meet with fellow writer Anna Timperley. We had coffee and discussed life and writing. Next I traveled to Fort Worth Texas, which is where I am as I write this article. While in Texas I am planning meetings with several people in the world of writing and public speaking.

Meeting with Anna Timperley in Shawnee, Oklahoma

The people I am about to meet, and the things I have experienced and am about to experience- none of this would have been possible if I had not walked away from what many consider to be a normal life. Being on the road alone, with no particular place to call home, forces you to be self-reliant, resourceful, and confident. There’s no room for fear on such a journey. What’s more important is that I think in new ways, am even more certain of my path, and know that nothing and no one can hold me back. Only I have that power.

The choices I have made were necessary for my own personal growth. My specific choices fit my life at the time in which I made them. The same choices may not be right for you, but you do have choices to make if you seek any kind of change in your life. Be willing to make them, see them through, and do whatever it takes. If you will do this, there is nothing that can stop you from creating the life you imagine.

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