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Posts Tagged ‘chapel hill’

Here’s the thing: when I decided to marry Kristl and settle down in Chicago, I thought the idea of “Life by Wandering” was kind of done.

The idea being that I would live a whole bunch of different places, and get to know this country, this world, by living in for a year or two in them. The best way to understand a place is to live in it, get to know the locals, make a few friends, set down a few roots, and pick up the essence of the place.

I’ve done this in several places in the midwest: Grand Rapids, MI; Toledo, OH, Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL (yes, the actual city of Chicago.) I’ve also lived in Denver, CO, San Francisco, CA, and Tokyo, Japan. Some of these places I only spent a couple months. Some I spent years. But up until my relationship with Kristl, I was convinced that I was going to be constantly on the move.

Bear with me if you know this, but Kristl was an acupuncturist and she had a significant brick and mortar practice. In fact, by the time she decided to sell that practice and move on, she had her own practice space with three treatment rooms and was grossing over six figures of income. She was successful, but it was unlikely that we were going to leave Chicago with that kind of career.

However, my dream of travel, living all over, and seeing the country and the world in a very intimate way didn’t die. It intensified, and I wasn’t alone. About a year ago, Kristl heard a podcast interview of a couple who both have location independent jobs and live in an RV together. And they weren’t in their 60’s. They were a little younger than us.

An RV? Remote work? Location independence? These terms were like fresh spring water after a long walk in the desert. The truth behind Kristl’s practice was that it was successful in it’s own right, and it was paying the bills, but it wasn’t touching her student loan debt. Also, she felt chained to it. We love Chicago, but we were both ready to try something new. We reasoned out some viable timelines, two to three years to build up the practice and transition out, five years at most. I would do farming and sustainability coaching. Easy-peasy.

Then I had a life threatening illness in May and the picture changed dramatically. A cozy three to five year plan seemed foolish. Why waylay your life goals when you never know how much time you could have?

We decided to move to North Carolina in the fall. Kristl would sell her practice. We would start a business together. We would figure things out. The most important thing was to be healthy, to find joy, to move closer to the goal of being able to freely see more of the world and by that understand more of who I am.

We moved at the very end of October. It’s mid April now. This road has not been easy. I am not a natural entrepreneur. I have learned much about myself, and I have had opportunities to redefine many parts of who I know myself to be. I think if you knew me in college or grad school (or even high school, if we’re going that far back), you’ll find me a much less flamboyant, more willing to listen individual than I ever was.

Regardless, I realized that I thought I had to completely let go of this wandering dream to be with Kristl, and suddenly here we are, in a much bigger way, pursuing it together. I never would have thought to pursue remote work or to start my own business to live in many different places. It is through this partnership that the legacy of Life by Wandering lives on.

We are getting our things in order. We may well be in North Carolina for a while yet, but that dream is slowly becoming a reality. The nuts and bolts of a life of real travel are coming into focus. Time is a construct, frustrating though that truth might be. Anytime something is trying your patience, remember that you don’t know all the beauty, magic, and infinite good that is taking place to make the thing you are waiting for come into being exactly as it is supposed to, at exactly the right time.

Allllllll of this is to say that I LOVE that I don’t need to rename or restart my blog. I can just restart exactly where I left off. If you ever feel like you are a wanderer, remember you don’t have to wander aimlessly, you can wander with a purpose. You can wander with a map, and use Google maps. You can live your life by wandering and see the whole damn world. That’s what I’m doing.

 

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Does that sound good? It’s been years since I wrote on this blog. Did you even know it still existed? So much has changed. I won’t boooooore you with the details. You can find them other places. Or you can ask me. Well, I suppose, a cliff notes version won’t take too long.

  • I started blogging with Kristl on Sustainably Queer in 2012.
  • We got married in 2013. I also got diagnosed with epilepsy after a grand mal seizure.
  • I quit my higher ed job to pursue Urban Agriculture in early 2014.
  • I did an awesome internship at the Chicago Botanic Garden that summer.
  • Kristl and I finally made it to Italy in the fall of 2014.
  • In early 2015, I start to learn about entrepreneurship, coaching, social media marketing, fancy stuff, and I tried to monetize Sustainably Queer.
  • In May of 2015, I had an emergency surgery because of a life threatening ear infection that went rogue, and it kind of turned our world upside down.
  • In the fall of 2015, Kristl and I left Chicago for Chapel Hill, NC and have been here ever since.

That’s the briefest of the brief. Oh the internal work. Oh the lessons I’ve learned.

Dearest friends: career changes, working for yourself, life threatening illness, not knowing where your support system will come from or your next money to pay they bills. These are significant challenges. I’ve been through some excellent times in the last four years and I have been through some significant trauma.

I can safely say I am coming back to myself, now with the help of some healers, some wonderful friends, and my dear partner who has been by my side through it all.

Want to test a young marriage? Try all of the above. Especially the part where you move to a new state and don’t have any money, any support system to speak of, and any jobs. That’s a goooooood test. Try it.

I’m not bragging. I’ve got only my heart to show for it. I’ve only really kept myself through it all, and I lost part of that for a while. Well, I didn’t so much lose myself, as I wasn’t able to see and access myself. It wasn’t safe for me to be me.

But here I am again. Ready to share. Ready to be vulnerable. Ready to laugh and play. Ready to post, show you my thoughts and hear your feedback. Because life is a give and take. It’s gotta be both. Stay in the flow, my friends. May you be well.

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