The past six days I've been waking in an Adobe country home in Santa Fe, along with four pups, two cats, and two horses (the horses sleep outside, though). Why? How? House-sitting! A friend recently recommended it as a way to take an occasional break from van life.
Thing is, now I don't want to leave. It feels so right to be back in an airy house in the hills, surrounded by nature and animals.
My gut says: "YES! It's time. Create that life." And then my head butts in: "No, you're still too young. It would be a waste! Keep moving. You have your whole life to be still, to plant roots."
So all this got me thinking, what if life is not this linear progression of events as we might expect?
Last night I slid into a pair of wool leggings, thick sweater and socks. I boiled water for tea and baked cinnamon rolls (from a tube — #realitycheck). The pups followed me from the den, playing rough as I tripped over them in my path. It was complete chaos. And it was lovely. My heart felt so full. The encroaching fall season made parts of the house cold out but the oven infused the kitchen with warmth and the scent of browning sweet dough. I danced around with the pups, having one of those moments where all you can think is This is exactly what I want.
So this morning I woke up and changed all the locks. Little do the home owners know, THIS IS MY PLACE NOW. Muahaha.
But seriously, this kitchen epiphany made me realize a larger truth (and I'm going to share it because I can't help myself)...
There's this idea of a linear life — be born; go to school; travel "while you can"; date around; get a job; get married; have kids; work more; save money; get promoted; retire; die. Or something like that.
For some, this structure may be just what they truly want. And that's great! But maybe... you'll go back to school in your 60s and reinvent your career. Or you'll sell a huge business and retire at 30. Or you'll get married at 18. Adopt a kid at 50. Become single again when you're 45. Travel full-time with your family at 30.
I have this self-imposed pressure to be constantly traveling because I'm young. I've heard so many people say, "Do it while you can!"
I'm calling BS.
Travel isn't just for the young! Putting down roots isn't only for the established! Nothing ever has to be IT — your one chance, your one moment to do X. Nothing is permanent. You can always change your mind and change your life.
Not to mention, it is never black or white. One decision or facet of your life does not define you. We are each spectrums of adventure and creativity and rooting and love and service and joy. And way more.
Let's shake off the pressure and expectations. I'm 26 and I have this crazy dream to buy a house. (I feel so vulnerable and weird saying that.)
Maybe I'll have it for five years and sell it to move somewhere else or live on the road full-time again. Or live in it part-time and travel the other. Or even realize it's not all I thought it would be. So. What. This is living.
Make decisions. Take risks. Try something new.
Go up and down and around and backward and sideways. Start again. Let people think you're nuts. YES. Create that precious, beautiful (perhaps non-linear) life you love!