Thursday, August 21, 2014

Birthday Reflections at 36


Back when babies were allowed to sleep with blankets, I was born. I'm at the age that when people ask me how old I am, it takes me a minute to remember. 

There are some years that ask questions and some years that give answers, and this has certainly been a year that is asking questions, lots and lots of questions.

We all know life is an experiment. I've been reflective lately because we are have been thinking a lot about what's next. (PS - Don't ask because right now you'll get about 6 different possibilities, although the most immediate "what's next" will be revealed shortly.)

The biggest question is, just how long can we live this life less ordinary? J & I are always, ALWAYS pondering our next adventure. However, sometimes I think we've gotten ourselves in trouble over the last few years with our wanderlust. Will we ever be satisfied? How long will we be nomads? Will we ever settle down again?

People used to laugh (or cry) at the fact the we only stayed in one place for 3-4 years. Since 2011, we've "lived" in more places than I can keep track of and have created a habit of changing our home base every 6 months or so. At RR, we get a lot of envy for our lifestyle. Sure, we occasionally get the perplexed cock of the head, followed by, "so what are you going to do when you grow up?" 

But more often we get: "I wish I had done that." "You guys are smart." "You're living the dream." "You guys are really living life." "You two are the most interesting people I've ever met." And while I love the praise, it also makes me sad about society. There's a lot of desperation out there. If so many people are tired, overworked and unhappy, why do they keep doing it? Why does the rat race win? I understand we all have bills and responsibilities, but isn't this life worth more than an ELUSIVE retirement?

If you know us well, you know we are not independently wealthy, although I think strangers make that assumption in their heads. We make it happen because the alternative doesn't make sense to us and meeting so many desperate people reaffirms that. Someday, it may make sense, but not right now.

I had NO idea where our life would lead when in 2011 we gave up the normalcy of "real" jobs and an address that lasted more than 6 months to go hike the AT. I figured--and our parents hoped--we'd finish the trail and settle down in the same way we had in the past. Obviously I surprised even myself. We tend to describe our life as "before AT" and "after AT." The thing is, we were happy before AT. But we are just happier and more fulfilled now.


I don't know if we'll ever return to that previous life status quo. And I don't know what my 36th year will bring. But I do know we'll never take life for granted.

2 comments:

Camie Goffi said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Keep livin your dreams... And mine :-)

Shadow and Country Mouse said...

Hey Guys,
What are your plans for the winter? We are looking into some places in California. Leaving Alaska Mid-Sept. When will you be finished for the season?
Clara and BJ