Yesterday I was on the phone with my grandmother as we caught up about our lives and she asked “So… Do you think you’d want to live in a house anytime soon?” and I happily responded to her that I don’t! To many, like my grandmother, living in a tent may seem like a strange or even terrifying experience. It seems like the biggest sacrifice. I also know to some others, it may seem exhilarating to visualize yourself living with only what you need. For the past 4 months I’ve been living out of my tiny two-person tent and I wanted to share my journey on how I arrived here.
I was at a point in my life where I felt such a deep calling to explore my personal journey. I had so many inspirations, ideas, and passions that I wanted to pursue, but found myself trapped in the rat race, unsure of how to create the life that I envisioned myself living. I found myself feeling very dissatisfied with the life I was living and that all of my passions were just out of my reach. I wasn’t living sustainably and felt disconnected from nature, where I felt like I truly belonged. I kept envisioning myself living a life that gave back to the planet. A life where I wasn’t degrading the Earth, including all living beings, by each daily decision I made. I couldn’t accept the excuse that this was just the way things were. Yes, I was preaching daily about sustainability, permaculture, and consciousness, while trying to embody it the best I could in our current mindless consumerist society, but I wasn’t fully aligning with what I was preaching. Every day I knew I was trying my best, but I also knew a brighter reality lived just around the corner.
I felt that I was being greatly held back. I found myself in the system of working a job to pay for my rent/bills, just to live in the area where I could work to pay said rent/bills. There wasn’t any purpose I was fulfilling other than working to pay for my bills and that left me feeling completely dissatisfied. But that was what you did, right? I was conditioned to believe that as soon as you graduate college, you pursue your career where you can achieve the All-American Dream… The dream where you get your house mortgage, a car payment, and a family by working 40-60 hours a week to pay for your existence, but you were allotted a paid vacation and retirement when you’ve put in most of your hours from your life. This is what we deemed as “successful.” This is where we found our worth. I found this dream lacking the acknowledgement of my actual existence of a human being. It lacked the acknowledgment that we are the creators of our own reality. We learned to work to acquire money to do the things that we love, instead of just doing what we loved. I didn’t find myself aligning with this lifestyle at all and despite family not understanding, I chose to stand in my personal truth.
“The American Dream betrayed even those who achieved it, lonely in their overtime careers and their McMansions, narcotized to the ongoing ruination of nature and culture but aching because of it, endlessly consuming and accumulating to quell the insistent voice: “I wasn’t put here on Earth to sell a product.” “I wasn’t put here on Earth to increase market share.” “I wasn’t put here on Earth to make numbers grow.”
We protest not only at our exclusion from the American Dream; we protest at its bleakness. If it cannot include everyone on Earth, every ecosystem and bioregion, every people and culture in its richness; if the wealth of one must be the debt of another; if it entails sweatshops and underclasses and fracking and all the rest of the ugliness our system has created, then we want none of it.
No one deserves to live in a world built upon the degradation of human beings, forests, waters, and the rest of our living planet. Speaking to our brethren on Wall Street: No one deserves to spend their lives playing with numbers while the world burns.”Charles Eisenstein
It seemed that so many others aligned with this perspective, but it was an achievement down the road. They’re working now so they can have freedom later. But isn’t now all that exists? Isn’t now all that we have? Isn’t that perspective the same one as the “work every day until your paid vacation and retirement?” Why are we putting money before our own sense of happiness and fulfillment?
I couldn’t put my happiness, my life mission, and my purpose on the back burner any longer. I wanted to provide myself time and space to pursue my passions of exploring sustainable living, permaculture, intentional community, and living close with the Earth. I wanted to live a life that I felt good about and help share this reality with others. I felt this was my purpose and I couldn’t allow anything to hold me back. I knew deep in my heart that my life had so much more meaning and purpose than the life I was pursuing. I chose that I would leave everything I knew to explore the unknown of the unlimited possibilities that is this life.
Making the move was utterly terrifying, but the best decision I could’ve made. I left what was familiar to me and surrendered to trusting that as long as I’m following my highest path, it’ll all work out… and it undoubtedly has. I’m now living in an off-grid eco-village in my tent and everything that I envisioned myself pursuing months ago has continued to unfold. I don’t feel that I’ve sacrificed anything by making this decision. If anything, I’ve gained more than I could possibly imagine! I believe it’s because I let go of fear, I trusted, and put my path first. I completely acknowledge and am incredibly grateful that I have the privilege in my life to pursue this. But in that space, I would recommend looking at what’s holding you back from pursuing the life you envision yourself living and ask yourself if you are actually being held back by blockages. If there is a will, there’s definitely a way.
With so much love,