It’s been a while (about a month…) since I took a yoga class, and as I take a deep breath in and reach what is very likely a stunningly normal lung capacity, I think of how yoga teachers told the class how to breathe in different ways. Ujaweyey (actually, it’s Ujjayi – I googled it after my futile guess at spelling). Through the throat. Tip of the tongue to the back of the front two teeth. Hold your breath and appreciate the world. If you yawn, are you doing it wrong?? I yawn every time. I breath out, having confused myself within less than 20 seconds. I turned 24 today. Good Lord, I won’t even fix that typing mistake. I actually turned 34 today. Geesh.
Depending on your perspective, I am young or I am old. As I grew into this ripe age, I never set deadlines for big events in life like marriage and babies and career because I always thought it would work out all by itself. But I am single, with a dog instead of a baby, and just opened my own law firm, so I find work for and support myself. I’m not complaining – I’m happy. Do I want success in those realms? Goodness, yes. But can I find it if I turn into a heat seeking missile with life goals as targets? Eh, probably not. That’s too intense.
I graduated high school at the top of my class, went to an amazing undergrad, and a pretty good law school. Made law review through writing skills, not grades, and when I graduated, I said: “Here I am, world! The awesomeness you’ve waited for has arrived!” Despite my unique paraphrasing, nothing happened. Passing the New York bar exam didn’t seem to matter. Being eager and competent didn’t seem to matter. I raised my chin, determined to fight the apathy of a self-described failure. And, I took the road that was open to me: I moved back to Texas. I boomeranged like a champ. My parents are fortunately very kind, and I moved back in with them. I took the Texas bar exam, and found a job in oil and gas a month after I passed. And another job 2 years later, and another job a year later, and another job 2 years later, and another, until I said: “Dammit, I’m better than this! And I can’t keep up this hop, skip and jump between jobs!” Again, with the paraphrasing. In fact, there’s a lot more to it. Maybe I’ll tangent as I continue my journey and expound upon this part of the story.
Now I find myself in a most unexpected position. I find myself amidst a personal transformation. In a lot of ways.
I was always a smart girl in school, but I was also a silly girl. And as I continued through higher education, it seemed that the silly turned into wild. Wild how? Well, I think that’s just in the eye of the beholder. Do I take risks that other people would not? Of course, but that’s too broad a question to determine what “wild” really means here. Do I go to crazy parties? I used to, when I was younger, but you can’t really talk to anyone or hear anyone at wild parties, so it depends on what kind of fun I’m looking for. Do I do drugs? It’s really not my jam. I like to look at the stars and see if they move on their own, without my mental state doing the moving for them. Do I drink too much alcohol? Sometimes, but that doesn’t get me into the kind of trouble with that I’m talking about. The kind of trouble that I’m talking about makes memories into epic dreams and bittersweet smiles. The kind of trouble I’m talking about is trespassing on a peach orchard at 3:30am to see a meteor shower away from the city lights. Or setting off up a mountain road on foot, because I refuse to let missing a bus stop me from experiencing my one day on the world’s biggest active volcano. The kind of trouble I’m talking about is whimsy, daringness, openness and a touch of foolishness. And perhaps a bit too much trust.
However, this trouble also makes me treasure a day of watching idealistic rom coms because I need time off. And this wild means that sometimes I get stuck waiting 2 hours for a church to open after lunch so I can see the mosaics because my plans spilled into the time for my other plans.
But it’s worth it.
My transformation has a lot to do with my wild. But it also has a lot to do with the career choices I’ve made, and the economy of the last year (or so) which may stretch into who knows when. This transition concerns what I want out of life, and how I want to comport myself. It is the begging plea of creativity masked for a decade by institutional training. It is my grandfather’s stubborn will for experiencing the fullest without being compromised by practicality. It is my hands, twitching to be of use while the gears of my mind form my expected future. It is a small eager smile as I think of the myriad of possibilities if I just put myself out there. If I stop waiting for the world to come to me, I’d better be prepared to step up to meet it.
My mission: use my opportunity to work from home to enjoy wherever I am. This includes home base. And, it’s going to include more.
Why: (1) because I have the freedom to do so; (2) because I have the cajones to do so; (3) because I don’t know what’s next and I may never have this freedom again; (4) because I sing and dance when I’m home alone; (5) adventure beckons like a bloodthirsty siren (bwa-ha-ha).
My plan: go 4-5 places a year for a month or more per place. Focus on the US because there’s so much beauty here to explore (also, international taxes confuse me, and this is supposed to be enjoyable). Work during the day, but really live in places instead of just visit them. Meet people. Find what I love, and what I can do without in each place. Balance what I have to do with what I want to do. Leave knowing that I did well, but can always come back and learn more.
My compatriots: Magnolia (Maggie), the poodle mix. She will be around 2 years old at the start of our journey. I may also have friends visit as we go. No, Magnolia is not my password for anything.
Me: oh, I’m your huckleberry.