The big fat elephant in the room.

One of my good friends came over to my apartment the other night with a bottle of wine, and the intention to take advantage of my rooftop deck. I happily agreed to this trade, and we sat on my roof for awhile enjoying the company and the view.

As we got to talking, I started to open up. I have been feeling the urge to “get out” of here for months now, and if you’ve been reading this blog, this shouldn’t be news. I can be around a bunch of my friends, having the best time, and I will still feel the urge in the back of my mind to bolt. My friend asked me about the times when I don’t feel that way, what am I doing then? Reading a book? Hiking? Sitting on the couch with my boyfriend? I had to really think about that question, because I feel it all the time, and it’s hard to remember a time when I haven’t had that feeling. Finally, it dawned on me.

When I’m alone. I like the feeling I get when I’m alone, doing exactly what I want to do.

Recently, Diana Nyad ended her fourth attempt at swimming from Cuba to Florida, because of a storm and jellyfish stings to her face. This woman is 63 years old, and she has attempted four times to swim 103 miles in the damn ocean where sharks live, because this has always been her dream. She got stung in the face by some jellyfish, and she’s not the least bit sorry. In reading the article about this latest adventure, something she said really struck me: “I just wanted people to know that it’s never too late to live their dream.”

How many times have I heard that? How many ‘inspirational’ quotes have said that exact same thing? Perhaps it means more coming from someone who just spent 40 hours in the ocean, swimming with sharks, with a lightning storm standing by crossing his arms and saying “No frickin’ way”. If this woman can say that it’s not too late, then hell, maybe it’s not.

During this conversation with my friend, I also found myself quoting this (and how I pulled this out of my mind, I will never know):

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”

There will never be a good time to drop everything and leave the country for awhile. There will never be a good time to leave my cat with my sister, say goodbye to friends and family, and leave my job. I will never have the security of having enough funds, having the approval of everyone important to me, and the assurance that I am making the right decision. I just don’t want to wake up in twenty years, feeling regret and dread that I didn’t take every chance I wanted, feeling like I settled for “good enough”.

Maybe this too will pass. It hasn’t yet, but maybe it will.

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