I’ve been reading this wonderful book called “Where the Crawdads Sing”, by Delia Owens. Last night I came across a sentence that really stood out to me, “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” How incredible it is to come across something so small with such a huge impact. Those brief moments in time you read a small sentence that explains all you are and for a quick moment you realise you’re not breathing…or is just me?
I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to explain the peace I get from writing, or how I feel seeing the sunrise coming over the mountainside, tears rolling down my face. Peace comes from understanding not all things come with an explanation, and also patience. So how do those of us who long to live and do that which what makes us our happiest work the nine to five, repeat this each day and still have the energy to pursue our dreams, goals, and enjoy our lives fully?
How many of us find this routine of monotony completely exhausting? Sure struggling isn’t appealing, but neither is living paycheck to paycheck. I could be wrong, but isn’t the reason you don’t do it, the same reason you want to? Certainty comes with income, income pays the bills. Certainty is also comfortable, so comfortable that nothing ever changes.
I learned at an early age, just how important it is to follow that voice inside, the one who reminds you to be who you are. What if you are wild though? And by wild I mean, not conforming to the norm. What if that voice inside screams everyday to be on a path completely opposite of the one you are currently on? What’s so wrong with that? Nothing…absolutely nothing!
If your happiness comes from working a few odd jobs but you truly enjoy what you’re doing, continue on. If your happiness comes from completely uprooting your life and beginning somewhere new, then so be it. If your happiness comes from hiking a new trail each weekend, have at it! Find “IT” whatever it is, find it and roll with it. Life is going to happen regardless, days will pass regardless.
When opportunities present themselves, do you run with them or do you question and/or allow fear to take hold? Do you follow your heart or your paycheck? Believe me, I of all people get it. When people ask, are you happy? Do you like what you do? How many of you have said, “it pays the bills”? Unfortunately, I’ve heard this more times then I can count, even out of my own mouth. At a very early age, my mom showed me just what following your heart and dreams looks like. I am and will always be grateful to her for instilling guts into my upbringing (at the time, of course, she didn’t know she was teaching such a valuable lesson).
My mom taught and showed me in more ways than one how to stand up for yourself, (get ready for the swear words) take no shit, follow your passions and most importantly, follow your heart. She taught me literally one hundred million other things and continues to do so every single day but that’s a story for another day and we are on a different track tonight. Let’s get back to the point, shall we? Do you live where you are truly happy? You might not work where you thought or hoped you would, but at the end of the day, can you walk out of your front door, take a deep breath, and do what your heart longs for? How about the views? Do you long for and see sky scrappers and beautifully lighted busy streets or wonderous mountain views with the fresh smell of every tree you could possibly think of? Are you where you want to be?
My boyfriend and I recently took a trip, knowing this could very well be the place that we would want and need to spend our lives and guess what, it was and is! I have played the song “Sleep on the Floor” by the Lumineers for him for over a year and a half. (“Pack yourself a toothbrush dear, pack yourself a favorite blouse. Take a withdrawal slip, take all of your savings out. Cause if we don’t leave this town, we might not ever make it out. I was not born to drown, baby come on” (lyrics from the song). If you don’t know it, I highly recommend! I have always known I was meant for somewhere else, nothing against where I am now, but it’s just not for me. I have lived in so many places and been all over. I did exactly what I was meant to do here and I am truly grateful for the experiences and people I have met here. Leaving will definitely make me cry but there comes a time in your life when it’s just time to go.
At the end of our trip, I cried. I cried grabbing our bags out of the lodge, I cried giving back the key, I cried as we drove away in the truck, I cried once on the road and I cried when we got back to where we are currently living. My boyfriend and I have made the decision to follow what truly makes our hearts happy and that is to move. It takes a lot to leave what you know and where you are comfortable (not to mention having the funds to do so). We both have such a strong pull to where we were that it only makes sense to follow that deep down, know it in your soul gut instinct. We’ve been back for less than a week now where we currently live and we are so heartsick. We will be back to our dream location in just under five months to look at properties and such and we have a plan to move within a year. Sometimes something happens or you see something that just triggers a distinct feeling that you know deep down you should follow.
Where I am going with this, is that life is short! How many times have we all heard that? Too many right? I have said before, live, really live! Yes, I know it takes time and money to pursue that which makes you happy but damn it, do it! Sorry for yelling through my blog but if that’s what it takes. No matter what your situation or where you are, you are capable of achieving, please always remember that. This world moves so fast, and the bills will always keep coming. Put some dollars into that savings account every pay, even if it’s just a couple. Your situation isn’t permanent, you are here now, living. I’ve seen a lot and lived through a lot (that’s an understatement) I can truly say with experience I am where I am today because of everything I have been through. Was it easy, hell no! Was it worth it, absolutely!
You aren’t where you grew up, you aren’t your surroundings. If what you want is the complete opposite of what you know, that’s okay, as long as you live! Work towards what you want. Believe in yourself and your goal and/or dream. I see day in and day out people who talk but don’t put in the action, dedication and work needed to get where they want to be. Guess what? It’s not going to be handed to you. Drive, ambition, grit, gumption, tenacity, accountability, and responsibility are what it takes to make it happen. But it can happen. Live the life you want and can look back and say I did it! Not one that makes you look back and regret. Life is full of lessons, good, bad, beautiful and ugly. Learn, grow, move on and keep going!
This is by far, my absolute favorite poem. To me, this poem is an inspiration at it’s best if you are a nature lover like myself. I don’t want to exclude anyone from this as anyone can love it as much as I, not just nature lovers. When I read this, it reminds me to always stay grounded and to constantly follow my dreams. To pursue a love no one knows but you. That in itself is absolutely amazing. It’s your own personal secret. It’s the permission to pursue what makes your heart the happiest. But do we really need permission?
The answer is no, no we do not. Now let me back up a bit and explain. If you’re at work and want to leave early or you scored amazing tickets to a concert or game for the next day and need to call off, then yes, I recommend asking your supervisor or whoever will be covering that shift absolutely. But for everything else, once you’re an adult, who do you really need to ask permission? Whether you are married, a mother or father, single, a friend or relative, if they know you, they know what you love and where your passions lie. Simple as that, right? Wrong. There are multiple reasons people don’t pursue or follow through with the things that make them truly happy (minus anything extremely inappropriate or disrespectful to yourself and others in your life of course). For some, they have lost themselves within the title, mom, dad, wife, husband, sister, brother, friend and any other title that automatically removes who you are. Here’s the thing, you are still you, right? If you have surrounded yourself with super awesome people, then they will understand and support your dreams and goals. If only it was that easy.
In a relationship or marriage, you’d respectively talk to the other about your ideas and what you’d like to do and if that person respects you as an individual, they’ll understand how important this is to you and say hell yes! Or they’ll simply say, that’s awesome. Some people don’t swear, don’t ever trust those people. I’m kidding, of course, you can trust them a little. If you’re lucky enough to have found someone who supports who you are, as an individual human being, then my friend, you have hit the jackpot! Kudos to you. Instinctively together, you’d work out the kinks as a whole and find what works best for the both of you and if children are involved, for them as well. When you are in a relationship, yes, you should consider the other’s feelings. But like I mentioned before, as long as it’s not inappropriate and can mesh with your family life, why not?
Okay, let’s get back to the real reason I’m writing this tonight at 7:42. The title of this blog is called: Grit and Gumption. So let’s talk about that. Either you have it or you don’t. I hate to be that brutally honest (no I don’t) but it’s true. Either you want it or you don’t. In my current line of work, I am constantly hearing excuse after excuse. Let’s face it, even in my personal life, I hear excuse after excuse. Anyone and I mean anyone can reach their dreams if they would only put in the effort to do so. I don’t mean to make this sound easy, I of all people know that it takes extreme work and dedication. You literally have to force yourself every single day to pursue that which you truly want. It does not come easy. How does that quote go? “That which comes easy, is not worth having?” Side note, I find sometimes I talk and write in primitive languages, just go with it. I read obsessively and find comfort in how things (some of them) used to be.
Honestly, I cannot convey this enough. I am living and breathing proof of what may come if only rejection did not discourage you. Rejection is everywhere. Doubt, criticism, and judgments will come, that’s a given. It’s how you handle it when given that stands out. I cannot stress this enough, be the bigger person, always. Easier said then done I know. I have swallowed countless words I’ve wanted to say, but chose to always take the higher road. Stop doubting what you’re capable of and keep going. Use your words and actions wisely. I have to say here also, choose your battles. With anything in life, if there is something weighing you down, depleting you of that good energy and does not support that which brings you peace or fuels what gives your heart it’s happiness, get rid of it.
We all have to work and support ourselves and/or our families, that’s a given. What I am saying is this, work towards your dreams, please. Don’t forget who you were before all of that. Before any titles, you were you. Hold onto that. Remember that. Remember what made you, you. What made you stick out from everyone else. What made you different, regardless of what that is. Grit and Gumption are what makes us stand out, from all the rest. The determination to not give up, not to quit, despite what has been handed to you. One of these days. I just might write my story. You might be surprised to see what I have overcome (it might take two or three books). I’ll write them, one day. Regardless, we all have our stories, maybe you scared, completely understandable. It’s scary out here. Maybe you have someone in your life who has manipulated you so intently, your life is no longer yours? They have honestly fed you every guilt trip possible, to make you feel as though you are the most horrible person for wanting to live your own life. I am sure I will not be the first person to tell you, this is extremely toxic and unhealthy. If you have someone like this in your life, please as hard as it may be, try and develop healthier boundaries as I know this could be someone close to your heart. However, it is not true what they say. Those that love you, care about you, will respect and truly want for you whatever your heart desires and gives you peace.
I can speak honestly of this, as my mom has always been my sounding board and supporting rock. I feel it’s important to mention, she is also my editor, (She did not ask for this, but she does look over my work and let me know where my mistakes lie, punctuations and wordy sentences.) Thank you, mama! She also supports any decision that I make, whether it’s up her alley or not. “This is your life honey, do what makes your heart happy. I may not like it, but it’s your life, she says”. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to her. For her unlimited support and respect towards anything that puts a smile on my face. Of course, she is a mom first and foremost so comes the guidance and advice. Truthfully though, she is my friend. At the young age of 34, I truly know I can say anything to her and she will love and support me regardless. How many can say that? I know what I have with her and thank her daily for the love she provides and constant arms that hold me through all of it.
That said, live! I mean really live, please. Give it all you have. Circumstances do not make who you are, you do. Negative outcomes, bad work days, unpaid bills, untraveled places, unhappy people (family or not) and goals yet to happen are not who you are. They are only points in time that can change with any given breathe. The Universe is only waiting for you to decide. Here I will list synonyms for Grit and Gumption: Initiative, resourcefulness, enterprise, imagination, ingenuity, inventiveness, cleverness, astuteness, understanding, backbone, guts, moxie, determination, spine, common sense, anchor, courage, bravery, spirit, steel, nerve, and valor. Do any of these sound familiar? They should. One last word here, please if you share in these and feel you are or will fulfill these with action, please do so with kindness. Kindness above all speaks highly, higher than anything else.