I have been sitting here, staring at my screen for about a half hour, trying to figure out how to tell the story of the struggle I have been in trying to write and post a new blog. I decided that my readers are smart enough to figure that out themselves, by the lack of posts made since the original in September, or October, or whenever the hell that was. And besides, any single person out there who has ever desired, or had to write an essay, blog, or novel, knows how difficult it is to just get yourself to the page. SO, I will not start my blog from there. It is a pointless task.
I will instead start from here, where I sit, in a local coffee shop in Burlington, Vermont, on the eve of the New Year, and just days before my departure to Hawaii. I must clarify that Hawaii is not my main destination. While I plan to travel and visit as many places as is humanly possible in the matter of a year or two, my main destination will be on bookshelves around the world. This adventure is, in fact, a leap of incredible faith.
I have recently decided that I have been following a path that was not my own, but set forth for me by my father. It has always been important to him for me to get an education. While I agree with him wholeheartedly, I also believe that there is a great amount of knowledge and wisdom that can come from traveling the world. Whenever I bring this up, however, he tells me to “go to school, get an education, find a good job, get married, have kids, and when the kids grow up, then you can go on a cruise or something.” After a while, I began to convince myself that I had to at least go to school and get a good job before I could embark on my dream journey to write the book that is burning a hole in my heart.
A few months ago, I began to ask myself this question: “why am I not taking a more direct path toward my goal?” Would I rather live my life eating Ramen, and doing what I hate; or eating Ramen and doing what I love? In recent years I have been living on very little, and doing the things that I thought I should be doing, I could so easily be living on very little and doing the things that I want to be doing. Naturally, I have discovered that nothing really comes easily, especially when there is a disgruntled father involved, but I am finally on a path that I want to be on.
It is only now that I recognize the internal struggle, and can answer the question of why people do not generally follow a direct path toward their dreams. Unless your dream is to become a doctor or lawyer, or require some sort of training and certification, there is no distinct and oft tread path for us to follow. There may be some overgrown or distant memories of paths taken by those before us, but there is generally not any one distinct path toward success. We have to take the path less traveled, or stomp down our own in the overgrowth of the wild forest of this world.
This is downright frightening. Nothing is guaranteed. Our path could lead us to bliss, or an abrupt drop off. I know from experience that it is so much easier to find a routine somewhere where you feel comfortable. For me, that comfort spot was Burlington, school, some work on the side, and a social net (i mean this in both terms of social network, and safety net), where I knew everything, and everyone around me. Nothing was scary, everything secure and where it was supposed to be. I created a false sense of moving forward by going to school, and while it was moving forward in one sense, I had put my hearts greatest desire on hold.
Not anymore. I had an epiphany one sunny day in October while assisting for my friend and mentor SARK at Omega Institute. There is only ONE way to become successful at my goal: travel and write. That’s it. That is all I can do to accomplish my goal. I also had to redefine success. What is the success that I am looking for? To write a bestselling book? To Travel? To write? In the end, I decided to make each step a success. I can succeed at traveling. I can succeed at writing. I can someday succeed at writing a book. In the end, I found that I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, and end up becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. If I break everything up into little successes, they can soon accumulate to become a giant success.
My first success was making the decision to just go for it. The second was purchasing the ticket. I set the process in motion. Next I reacquired my job at the hostel, and now I will begin to pack my bags. Once the day arrives, I will board a plane for the first leg of my journey: Hawaii. For the first few months in Hawaii, I will relax, enjoy my time and some sunshine, and plan the next step from there. My intention is to plan my round the world travels, figure costs, and the time it will take to work and save. Once I have worked it all out, I will begin to work, save money, and start writing my book.