Okay, time for some life reflection.
We recently visited a friend who moved to the mountains. Within a month, she had spontaneously discovered and moved to her new home: a mountain-ranch-style one-story with a huge wrap-around deck, two wood-burning stoves, and wood-paneling giving off cozy 1970s retro vibes.
Located in a small rural town of under 7,000 people, her home sat at the end of a steep dirt road deep in the mountain forests. While we enjoyed the sharp piney air and the surrounding blue spruces, our friend served us freshly smoked river trout and cold beer. When the stars appeared, they looked like a movie-version of stars.
“I am sooooo jealous of this spot!” I gushed again and again, starting to realize that I have actually been feeling rather unhappy with my own living situation—one half of a duplex in the city. Not a bad home, by any means, but also not a dream home.
Our friend replied that, at first, she had a few panic attacks about the decision to leave her whole life behind and move to the mountains. One panic attack occurred while she was moving in during the snowiest month of January; the U-haul full of all her worldly possessions became stuck on the snow-packed dirt road. “It all worked out, though,” she added with a smile. “I called the U-haul guy and he dug it out for me.”
I have so many excuses for why my husband and I can’t just up and move to the mountains—[cue whiny voice] all our friends are in the city, our jobs are here, we don’t have the money, we don’t have the time to move, I’m so tired, blah blah blah.
Here’s the thing, though—for the most part, no one has the money or time or energy to radically change their lives. They just do it anyway.
The other habit that often gets in the way of achieving what I want is my fear of making the wrong decision: What if we move to the mountains and it’s a disaster?
One thing that’s helped me lately with this fear are podcasts from my favorite meditation teacher, Ajahn Brahm. Brahm explains, “There’s no such thing as a wrong choice…You just make the choice and live with it.”
The more I talk to people, the more I realize that achieving one’s dreams largely results from taking fairly scary leaps. Rarely do people find their dream homes or dream jobs by remaining safely ensconced in their comfort zones. Moreover, achieving one’s dreams typically involves letting go of other possibilities and lives.
I really like Pickett Street’s approach to living the unconventional life. In a recent episode of their podcast Finely Clicked, Margaret and Jesse discuss all the excuses that stop us from accomplishing something today and achieving what we truly want from life. A few weeks ago, they interviewed Gary John Bishop, the author of Unfuck Yourself, about negative self-talk and other behaviors that keep us isolated, stressed, and both professionally and personally limited.
Pickett Street also offers a free monthly home buyers class to educate buyers—the next class is Saturday, May 4th at 10am. Perhaps this class is the small boost you need to find the courage to let go of your current situation make these radical life changes.
(Psst! Pickett Street is currently looking for their next superhero sales agent! If you’re interested in a radical change and a kick-ass career, email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.)