Guest post by Rebecca Tracey for Oh, these Wild Women: Stories from the tribe
I used to live my life pretty sure that I wasn’t on the right track. Mind you, what the “right track” was, was never really clear to me… I just had the sense I wasn’t on it.
I didn’t want what everyone else wanted.
The fancy degree. The fancy job. The fancy husband. The fancy house.
What I wanted was to just get away from it all. I dreamed of adventures, even from a young age. Let’s face it – my all-time favorite movie was Labyrinth (though whether it was because of the pure adventure of it, or because of David Bowie’s mega tight silver spandex, one can’t be sure). Point being, I dreamed of faraway places, and new experiences, and getting lost in mazes for hours (or years?).
In high school, when everyone was planning schools and jobs and seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do with their lives, I was dreaming of Australia. Or Ireland. Or anywhere else that would give the sense of freedom and adventure and of really experiencing the world that I was so craving.
When graduating from University (after having given in to going in the first place, for lack of a better option at the time), when everyone was stressing over which grad school to go to and applying for jobs in their chosen field, I was booking a 6month trip to Australia, after which I vowed I would “Figure Out My Life”. Starting in Fiji, and ending 2 years and 6 countries later, it seems my desire to travel wasn’t as short lived as I had hoped it would be.
I spent the next 4 years doing my best to “Finally Settle Down.”
I got a proper job (only to quit 6 months into it), decided to go back to school for counseling (only to later change my mind), then went back to school again for nutrition. Finally! I thought I’d found “The Thing” I was supposed to be doing… only I changed my mind after 2 years in the program, and was back to square one.
I finally threw in the towel and took some serious time off. If chasing some impossible outcome wasn’t working, I may as well try a new approach. I worked almost nada, napped in the park frequently, and took a few spontaneous trips out of the city… and country. I stopped worrying about when I would Figure My Life Out, stopped stressing over money and jobs, and stopped trying to fit myself into a cage of a life that just didn’t feel right for me. I stopped worrying I was lazy, and unmotivated, and not meant to be a hard worker, and instead just LET myself be lazy and motivated and not a hard worker
I started to realize that maybe this IS my life. Maybe this will always be my life. And maybe that’s ok.
And after about a year of this, something started to happen. I started feeling motivated again. I started getting the urge to work. And the urge to work my way – to do what was always inside me, that I seemed to have been pushing away for so long.
Kind of that “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality. I decided to try living the life I’d always wanted. This was not a novel idea to me, but it occurred to me that I had only kind of half tried it. In the past, my desire to travel and be able to work at the same time manifested itself as working on farms to pay my way around Australia, and teaching English in Korea, and becoming a travel agent. But none of these felt quite right to me, and most of them certainly didn’t feel sustainable.
So I took the big leap and started my coaching business where I help others to live the adventurous lives they’ve always dreamed of. To celebrate, I promptly bought a van and took off on a 7month road trip. I was finally doing it!
I realized I used to live as if I didn’t believe that what I wanted in life was “enough.”
I was searching for something bigger, and better, and brighter for my future, when what I had in me all along was big and bright and perfect.
And what I know now is this: When you stop making it so hard, and stop fighting your natural wants and desires, everything becomes easier.
Embrace who and what you are, and you’ll never be left searching for the perfect life again, because you’ll already have it.
Check in with yourself and pay attention to where in your life you feel like you’re forcing it – because you probably are. If you could change one thing about the situation that feels forced so that it would be more in line with your values, what would it be? Then work on changing it. Slowly at first, and more intentionally as you move forward. Keep going til your life has the sense of ease and freedom that you crave.
And don’t ever stop til you get there.
The world has too much to offer for you to settle.
As a Life-Switch Coach + Professional Adventure Instigator and creator of The Uncaged Life, Rebecca Tracey works with people who want to do something big with their lives, like travel, quit their job, or start their own business (or all three), but who need help creating a plan, staying on track, and beating out nagging resistance and fear.
She also loves working with new entrepreneurs to help them design businesses THEIR way.
Rebecca is an avid traveller and rock climber, and is always on the lookout for her own next big adventure.