I finished work last Thursday. I am no longer a flight attendant. I got some business cards printed for kicks (I know, soooo 1980) and labeled myself with the following words: Traveler. Writer. Dreamer. I mean, that pretty much sums me up right now. I am writing a blog aren’t I? I am traveling. And I’m certainly dreaming! I’ve always been afraid to call myself a writer. About a year ago, I went to the Perth Writer’s Festival, and met Kate Holden, the author of two amazing memoirs, In My Skin, and The Romantic. I asked her if she always wanted to be a writer, or if it were the events that transpired in her life (becoming a heroin addict and working as a prostitute) that kindled her creative fire.
You see, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but never felt like I had anything interesting enough to write about. I could have become a heroin addict and a prostitute, but… it’s already been done.
And I couldn’t see myself as a fiction writer, as I am drawn to non-fiction, usually in the form of memoir or travel narrative.
“Are you a writer, Sarah?” she asked as she was signing my book.
The truth was, I wanted to be a writer, but at that stage I wasn’t actually, well, writing.
“Umm, no, more of a reader” I said.
“Well, the world needs readers,” she replied, “there are so many writers.”
For some reason, that kind of deflated me. Because it’s true, there are so, so many writers in the world. What could I possibly have to say that would be worth reading?
So I kept reading, and I kept dreaming, and hoping that some day I would discover my ‘thing’ that would be worth writing about.
I wanted my thing to inspire and delight others. I wanted it to be artistic and creative.
At one point, I thought I had it. I’ll start a magazine!
With Tyrhone’s graphic design skills, our friend Marty’s journalistic prowess, and my and enthusiasm, I was sure we were going to be a great success.
We had a business name (but no plan!) and a front cover design, as well as a few ideas for features, but when we approached printers, we quickly realised that we would have to sell a hell of a lot of advertising just to cover costs.
Suddenly it felt like all I would be doing would be selling ad-space on a page, rather than focussing on the thing I actually wanted to do (write).
And now that I have entered the blogosphere, I think “what were we thinking?! Print Media? Why that’s so 2005!”
When It’s Not Meant To Be…
Soon my enthusiasm fizzled out. I felt drained by the whole project and we hadn’t even got it off the ground! My intuition told me it wasn’t right. I’m glad I listened.
A few months later, Tyrhone and I had the talk.
What did we want? Where were we heading?
I wanted to know Tyrhone’s answers to those questions, but also, my own.
He looked down and said, “I don’t know.”
Now ordinarily, those may be crushing words to a girl! But actually, I appreciated his honesty.
I thought I knew what I wanted, but it suddenly felt like I had been trying to squeeze us into a tiny, rigid box, and then getting resentful when we didn’t fit.
I felt like I should want marriage, a big house and kids, but because Tyrhone wasn’t interested in those things, I kind of blamed him for my unhappiness. Okay, I definitely blamed him!
When I asked myself what it was that I truly wanted, at that very moment in time, it was to travel and write, in that order. Or rather, live the life of my dreams rather than the one I had prescribed myself.
And why was I expecting my partner to subscribe to the same sort of existence that I myself didn’t actually want?
Confused? Yeah, it was pretty messed up!
On a yoga retreat in Bali, surrounded by natural beauty with plenty of time to think (and think and think!) I discussed a feeling I had with some members of the group using words similar to these:
“I feel like the life I’ve chosen doesn’t fit me.”
I had a job with flexible hours and good perks, but it wasn’t doing it for me any more. It hadn’t been for a long time.
I had a nice apartment in a decent suburb. A loving family, supportive partner and good friends.
But the truth was, I wasn’t living my truth. And if I wasn’t living my truth, that meant I was living a lie…
And so began the journey towards discovering my ‘true’ life…
I’ve already filled in the blanks with my other posts, about the events that have led us to this point, jobless, almost homeless, and about to step into The Great Unknown.
I have no regrets about leaving my job. Or selling our apartment. And I am so excited about seeing the world, and allowing ourselves time to truly experience it.
I firmly believe those decisions were vital to living the life we want. We’re on the same path now. We’re excited.
And I have something to write about!!!
I started this blog as a creative outlet, a place to share my thoughts, fears, ideas and experiences. It has been one of the best things I have ever done.
Just over a year ago, I celebrated my 30th birthday in Varanasi, India. As I bobbed on the water of the River Ganges in a wooden boat, whilst worshippers performed the Aarti ceremony, I closed my eyes, and asked for meaning.
Apparently, the Ganga delivers, though not on anyone’s time-line but her own.
So as we get ready to depart on out Indefinite Travel Adventure, I’d like to say thank you, to the people who read this blog, and inspire me with your comments and ideas (please, keep them coming!).
To all my former work colleagues, who encouraged me endlessly and shared your own dreams and aspirations with me, I truly wish you every happiness.
To my family, who support me with unconditional love, no matter what crazy ideas I come up with, thank you.
To everyone that has complimented my writing, your encouragement is so greatly appreciated, as I’m not yet at the point of total self-confidence in my abilities (nor will I probably ever be!), and still feel sick whenever I post something on this site.
I hope I can continue to grow as a writer, and as a person.
And finally, I’m just so excited that I’ve finally found something that lights me up, inspires me endlessly and is proving to be my biggest teacher yet. My journey to…Somewhere.
To all the bloggers that continue to pave the way and push boundaries with their openness and honesty about their own stories, a million thank you’s.
And, most of all, to Tyrhone, for daring to be… Well… Tyrhone. There’s no-one else like you, and I’m blessed to be one of the few who gets to know you. My life had been endlessly enriched since meeting you and I hope I can come close to returning the favour some day.
I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures on the road, as well as our journey towards becoming the best us we can be.
Love, Sarah, soon to be Somewhere…Else.