So what lead to this decision — how did I get to a place where I opted to cash in my chips and take a huge leap of faith? The short version of the long backstory of my life is that like many people, responsibility and an ever-present To Do List came first, and all those “someday” plans waited in the wings. A few years ago, I lost a very dear friend, and I haven’t been the same. Like Mike’s death many years ago, Gerald’s passing forever changed me, and I recommitted myself to really living. We all have those buckets lists, whether just in our heads or actually written down, full of all these things that we want to do “someday”. And then the days, weeks, months, and years pass, and we wonder where the time went, dusting off those lists and wondering “if only” and “what if”. So I had to ask myself, “What are you waiting for?” And I decided to stop waiting on the really important things that were on the rest of my list.
First up was getting my pilot’s license, and I did that last year. Then life responsibilities happened again, and I haven’t been in the air in nearly a year. Time to re-examine my life. It’s expensive to live in Seattle, particularly if you want to own a home in a good area, and that means getting comfortable with the Golden Handcuffs, which is exactly where I found myself. Working hard for various companies, in order to make enough to afford to live here, and ultimately just making money for other people. I enjoy my career in many ways, and have worked with some of the most amazing people. So what was wrong? I have a life that by any world standards is blessed. Why isn’t that enough?
At my core, I’m a humanitarian and lover of the natural world, and most aspects of the corporate world just don’t pass the “So What?” test with me. I’m here to make a difference, to leave things better than I found them, to give back, and use my life for a greater good. When your work is in direct alignment with your personal integrity, that is success to me. Not a job title, or salary, or how well one may master corporate politics. I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to really consider it without a radical change.
I grew up fairly poor, which isn’t something that I wear in shame; it shaped who I am, and prepared me well for my adult life. When you grow up with very modest means, it never leaves you. I don’t know how to think other than in terms of financial security. The house I am selling is the only placed that I’ve lived that had a mortgage. And that ever-present concern for financial security was a huge part of what I had to work through to embark on this journey. You see, I left my job, sold my house, and I have no idea what’s in my future. I’m currently jobless, and about to be homeless, both by choice, and it sounds insane to me to even say that. If you were to tell the me ten years ago what I just did, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s unlike anything that I’ve ever done, and while I’m terrified in some ways, I’m also wrapped in a peace that tells me that I’m exactly where I need to be in my life: At the precipice of great things.
So that is my backstory. Part of setting the stage for this adventure. Every person that was part of my journey thus far is coming with me in spirit. I’m blessed beyond measure in all the most important ways, and there is no price tag, no salary, no house value, no stock portfolio that compares to those riches.
Let the journey begin!