“But there comes a time, when no matter how much you’ve planned, or how much money you’ve saved, you will need to make the leap.”
I was talking to some friends at dinner a few weeks ago about leaving the life of traditional employment and a fixed address for one of material simplicity and freedom.
I don’t often talk about this stuff with dinner companions, but this one night the conversation had gone that way so I was happy to share my experiences of making the leap to the life I dreamed of.
Whilst sometimes it seems like every man and his dog (yes, sometimes they have dogs! And children!) is leaving their job for life on the road, it is still the exception rather than the norm. I still get a few raised eye brows and inquisitive looks when I tell people about what we do, and in general terms how we do it.
But our life has become pretty normal to us now. Normal includes waking up to mornings of exercise, coffee and conversation, followed by work we enjoy and time spent on things which inspire and invigorate us.
Yet just days ago, we found ourselves in the grips of severe self-doubt and fear yet again, as we embarked on the next stage of our adventure.
I’m not sure if it was the US customs officer’s suspicious questioning as he flicked through my well-worn passport, or shelling out an extra $300 for insurance on our hire car, or the motel room by the San Francisco airport which looked like the perfect place for a criminal hide-out, but as we arrived in the good ole’ US of A to pursue Tyrhone’s flying dream, we were both in the grips of severe negativity and fear reminiscent of the start of our journey two years ago.
Because even though we made the leap once, twice, ten times, it doesn’t mean we’re not scared of making more. We are not immune to financial or emotional insecurity (especially when it involves Tyrhone learning to fly a rather expensive flying machine). Rather, I am learning that doing anything for the first time, especially something which seems kind of crazy and is counter-intuitive to our physical, emotional and psychological preservation (see the flying machine point, above) is really freaking scarey.
The difference now, is that I am learning this is normal.
I’m learning that the fear is part of my evolutionary biology which wants me to survive long enough to bear many, many children but is not really concerned with much more than that.
But I am more than that. And life can be much, much more than that, but it’s up to me to find out how much more.
When biological and cultural conditioning was pulling at my fear strings in that criminal-haven of a motel the other night, I realised I had two options. Give in to the negative voice of doom and gloom, or enjoy the ride, because I was supporting the person I love in living his dream.
The truth was, we’d already leaped. My brain just takes a little longer to catch up with reality. So I had to give my brain a little pep-talk, to let go of the ledge and allow gravity to take it’s course.
Because this is happening, the only question is, how many claw marks do you need to leave in order to let go?
It’s the jumping off point; that point of intense discomfort which requires action. The action you take decides what sort of life you will have.
Because no matter how much I’ve planned, discussed or prayed, I will never know what the outcome will be.
There just comes a time when you have to decide whether to jump, or to stay where you are.
We jumped with our hearts. For the love of a dream and each other and the life we are creating. Really, Tyrhone jumped and I waved pom-poms like a cheerleader, because everyone needs one of those sometimes.
Tyrhone began his paramotor training today.
I’ll keep you posted.
A sign, literally.
Another sign, hopefully.
Pre-flight check: boots: check, gloves: check, Clif bar: check.
Our ‘dry run’ out to the ranch yesterday.
“Highway to the danger zone…” was actually playing.
Sneaky first day of school shot.