I’ve realized a prevailing trend in my life to seek out freedom and to break out against constraints put on me. It may be why I can procrastinate paying bills or doing something I know is necessary, simply because I don’t like being told when or how to do things. I’ve never really followed the way society is suppose to flow and have craved a way out.
My ideal life would be me on an island living by myself; thriving off the land, enjoying nature, and living in a more simple way. It’s why being a lighthouse keeper is on my bucket list. It’s also why doing the Trans Canada Trail (24,000 km across Canada by foot/bike) as well as a year long road trip across Canada living out of my car is part of that list. I want freedom to explore, freedom to follow my hearts joy, the freedom to ask myself “what do you want to do today?” and to go do that.
I was once told my idea of being able to live a life with joy and doing what I love for work was idealistic and not actually achievable by someone from an older generation. I laughed because it is entirely achievable because I have done it. A big barrier in living a life with joy every day? Money. It is only when you have a way to pay your bills and extra to follow your adventures, or relinquish bills from your life, that you can stop being so worried about making ends meet and staying in work you dislike.
You see the many times I’ve been sitting hating my life in a job I didn’t enjoy just to pay the bills I would always think, “There’s got to be more than this. Life can’t be just following the motions and hating our days until we die”. I’ve never been convinced or even persuaded I need to work for the majority of my life just to get 15 years of “peace” at the end (on the contingent I am healthy enough or still alive) when I’m too old and unable to do half the things I want to achieve anyway. I’ve never believed in the American dream people are sold because it resigns you to a miserable life.
Like so many other free spirits and wild souls I crave to follow my heart, to venture after what makes me come alive, and to strike out on my own path set entirely and only by me. “Normal” people view it as unstable while the rest of us free spirits know it is the exact opposite – it is more stable because we are doing what we love and choosing exactly what we want versus doing what other people tell us to do. We aren’t sheep following a set out life plan. We are out creating our life to be exactly what we want it to be. It is a fulfilling and exciting lifestyle and one I wouldn’t trade for anything.
If I were to die today I would feel that I lived an amazing life because I sought out adventure. Are there more things I want to do? Absolutely, there always will be, someone like me doesn’t ever become complacent or fully settled. But that’s my ambition to constantly learn and discover new things. But despite the ever growing bucket list I know I have lived life to the fullest and continuously accomplished my dreams along the way. I began living a life with joy the moment I stopped living for anyone or anything else.
I always tell my friends that if I die on the mountains or out there pulling one of my crazy adventures, to know that I died happy because I died doing what I love. To me no cliff side, no body of water, no adventure could ever be more terrifying than the thought of leading a life I hate on the bet I’ll be able to do all that I want later in life.
We aren’t guaranteed more time. We are guaranteed right here and right now and what we choose to do with it determines our lives. It’s why I say how I feel, it’s why I do what I want in the moment, it’s why I ask myself “what can I do today to make tomorrow better?” because you never know if you’ll be getting a tomorrow but you do have today.
I want my days to involve things I’m passionate about. I want my days to feel fulfilling. I want to feel good about what I am doing and what I am putting out into the world. It’s why I don’t compromise and I certainly won’t walk away from my morals or beliefs for money or fame or superficial things. Does it make things tough and more complicated? Definitely. But it guarantees the work that I am doing is contributing to my happiness and putting good out into the world. It means I can sleep at the end of the night proud of who I am and the life I lead.
While having no debt is the key to the type of freedom I crave I have learned it’s not worth compromising my happiness to get out of that hole. In time, in the right way, doing what I love, I will be able to find a freedom where I can up and leave on any adventure at any time. Until then I still struggle against those constraints, but I find my own way to make it work for me.
I know that you can’t outrun your problems with travel or by buying things. I know that money can buy comfort, can buy a better lifestyle, can buy a fake look of business profitability but materialistic things don’t give long lasting sustaining happiness. It’s why I don’t seek huge monetary wealth, I don’t seek being wealthy or popular. I simply seek comfort to follow my dreams and that is all I want for my life because in my mind I am already rich – I am rich in my unconditional friendships, I am rich with my courage, I am rich with opportunities.
I know that I will achieve what I want to. I know I will find ways to get to those dreams that seem far off because I continually cross dreams off my bucket list every year. I don’t just dream I make those dreams a reality and I am confident that no matter how long it takes I will cross those things off my list. For now I am finding my way to chase what I love while also allowing myself financial freedom. Will I retire with a huge amount of money? No. Will I be an old lady with laugh lines and a lot of wicked stories to tell, still adventuring in my 70’s because living a life I loved contributed to good health? Absolutely.