For years I dreamed of travelling this fabulous continent with only a camper van and my best friend, (and hubby in case you are new to the blog) Q. I was heavy into my career, building, growing, climbing that corporate ladder but as I sat in my office staring out the windows I would dream of being somewhere else. I felt stifled, uninspired in my life. I was successful but I felt empty inside like something was missing.
Snippets of the life I truly wanted were granted to me via holidays and vacations but once I returned to my life of commute, home, commute, I would quickly push those memories away so I wouldn’t be reminded I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. With obligations growing I worked on, adding responsibilities to my job and knick knacks to my house. Over time I would forget the feelings the vacations would illicit and be complacent with my mediocre existence as long as my house was beautiful, my children provided for and Q and I were at some sort of happy medium. But when you exist, not live, but merely exist, regardless of how nice your surroundings may be, there is a coldness in your soul that begs you to find the warmth it desires.
Q and I have often said we were lucky to finally get the message to re-evaluate our lives, albeit came in the form of an illness. But the truth is, would we have ever stopped, reassessed and taken action if the message hadn’t been so threatening? After much consideration, we think not. We are grateful our eyes were opened, and for the first time since we could remember, we could truly, purely see.
To choose to begin a nomadic lifestyle like I had always dreamed of was an easy decision. The hard part came in letting go of our home. Your home isn’t just “where you lay your hat”. For the majority of us, a home has an address, a static view, with only neighbours changing occasionally. Home is an anchor, keeping us from being drifters.
For Q and I, we had spent our working careers building our home, designing it into our own masterpiece that felt warm, comforting and happy. It was the ambience we had chosen via our furniture, art and colour schemes. Home, was where we placed the majority of our pay cheque, maintaining, and renovating.
When we had finally committed to this nomadic lifestyle it took me months to let go of my home. I would wander into each room and pour my gaze over every inch from ceiling to floor. I would reminisce about where I purchased that lamp, how did I come by that chair and I would ask in every room – how do I let go? Our home is what had comforted me in the darkest days of my life, and contained some of my greatest joys.
My family had lived within these walls.
In every candlestick, throw pillow and mirror, there was a story and sacrifice made. Fear welled within. What if I could never replace my home – in the state in which I now owned it, filled with all the things I’ve ever wanted?
During our discussions of our fears of letting go of home something shifted in my thinking when Q finally relented and told me I could keep whatever I wanted. We’d put it in storage until when and if we decided to finally be anchored to one street ever again. The exercise of deciding what to keep had me gauge the value of each item. I noted during this process each item independently held limited value in terms of sentiment. It was collectively where these items’ greatest worth was noted but by themselves, they were just things we had purchased for no other reason than we liked the way it looked.
For the first time, I started to see my home objectively and realized the attachment I felt wasn’t to the frames that lined the shelves or the duvet that covered my bed. The walls equated to nothing more than a house, and our belongings were just that. Things that belonged to us. I was bound to the parties we held for our family. The Christmas get togethers, baby showers and birthdays. I was held by the memories and the love that encompassed us. The things that made it a home, wouldn’t be left behind or sold. It was each and every one of us, our love for each other and the memories we had made that made this address our home. And as long as we were all together, my home would always be with me, where ever I may be. I was finally able to shift the value from items and place it where it belonged, on ourselves and the new experiences we would now have and the love and joy we will continue to share. Home may not necessarily be where you lay your hat, but it definitely is where your heart is.
Too often in our culture, we place the utmost importance on things. And like others, we too subscribed to this belief, but not anymore. Time is more valuable than anything. With time, we get to live, not exist. And realizing our time would now be spent living, loving and laughing exactly how our heart and soul desires, we have no need or capacity for “stuff”.
I won’t lie. When we eventually walk out the front door the very last time it will be bittersweet. I have loved the home we made for ourselves within these walls. I will miss the warmth of the home we created within these walls. But I will smile knowing, I will be taking what I love most about my home with me when I leave.
~ True North Nomad
Have you had to let go of something you love to fulfil a dream? Tell us in the comments below.
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