Today’s guest is someone very special. I truly admire Lyz for her passion for life and for her courage and wanderlust. She’s a teacher, a mom of two and a dreamer. Most importantly, she is a lady. At least, she’s trying to be one, right? She’s funny and smart and a beautiful woman. She’s honest and a wonderful writer. I’m sure you know Lyz by now, she’s quite popular. There’s a reason for that. Probably the fact that she is so kind and someone we can relate too. Just a girl, trying to be happy, and live an exciting life. Thank you for writing this post for my blog, Lyz. I’m honored.
So What If i Want Something Else? – by Lyz
My shoulders were getting tense, squeezing into each other, curling up into a ball. Air was getting heavy and thick, and it wasn’t because of our South Florida heat. It was my life. It was going nowhere. At least that’s what I thought as I sat at red lights, stood in grocery lines, waited on hold for someone from the cable company to explain why my bill was increasing once again.
This wasn’t what I’d imagined for myself. This thing, I wanted to kick it in the throat and watch it squirm. More than squirm (I’ll be honest because I trust you not to judge) I wanted it to die. I was sick of mundane and not living inside of my passions. I know, I know, stability and responsibility and safety and patience. I was starting to think that patience was a dirty word. A trick used by those who wished to tranquilize us to inaction. And I came to realize that the primary person tranquilizing me was myself.
This sounds dramatic, I know. But it’s my life and wasting it away is dramatic.
I use the word wasting casually, of course. I live in a home. I’m a mother. I’m a teacher. I was doing my fair share of good. I was living well, but I wasn’t living my dream. My dream started something like this.
One day, when I was about 10 years old, my favorite cousin came by for her usual visit. While the adults chatted away in the kitchen and the other kids busied themselves outside, the two of us decided, uncharacteristically, to stay in. We stayed in and the memory of that day hasn’t left me in over 20 years. We decided to play dress up. We went through my closet trying to make my 1980s adolescent wardrobe look sophisticated and cool. We borrowed my brother’s briefcase and a suitcase from my parents and we spent the next few hours locked away in my room pretending that we were in Paris. Just two girls having a coffee in Paris. Two girls shopping in Paris. Two girls eating in Paris.
Something about that experience branded itself into my psyche and I knew then, I felt it then, that my life was going to be incredible.
Fast forward some decades and my booty requires double the work to stay perky. I’m divorced and recovering financially. I’ve got a job that I’m great at and mostly enjoy. My children are well-mannered and only occasionally obnoxious to the point of me wanting to rip out my eyeballs and fling them to the ground in an attempt to shock the darlings into silence. The normal stuff.
My problem: I never wanted normal.
So what if I wanted to wake up in the morning and go horseback riding instead of riding someone’s ass in traffic to get to work on time? So what if the weather is beautiful and I want to be productive on the beach instead of in a box with fake lights and no color on the walls?
I was starting late. Things happened, as they tend to do in life. There was the marriage. It didn’t last. There are the children depending on me to keep it together. There was the job, stable but taking up too much space. Then there was me, tripping myself with negative thoughts.
I read all of these blogs by young and single people exploring the world. You can do it too, they’d admonish, and here’s how, they’d advice. I read about husbands and wives who decided to uproot their lives and take their children on a new type of adventure, show them a new type of learning, that of immersion and experience. I was longing to do that. I was a piece of these people, after all. I was the single woman and the parent. A single parent with shared custody. I couldn’t take them away for extended periods of time, but something had to give. So I thought and thought and thought. And in the meantime, nothing was changing.
What was I to do with life happening all around me? On top of me?
One day (I probably read something somewhere because I’m always reading something somewhere) I decided to start small. Start tiny. Maybe I won’t be teaching English abroad in the next year. Maybe I won’t be backpacking the great Pacific Northwest Scenic Trail by summertime. Those could be long-term goals. In the short-term, I could experience the wilderness.
So me and friend went on a hilarious and life-changing camping trip just 2h30 min from home. I had been asking my friends about a trip to New York. It’s a city I’ve loved from the first. When I realized that there was no timeline for getting everyone on board, I decided to go alone. I went on my own and had an even bigger adventure because of it. I built my confidence because of it.
I wanted my children to get an early taste, sight, sound, smell, feel of what adventure is. So I found dirt cheap tickets and we flew to Washington D.C. I was too broke to pay for lodging so we made it a day trip. Everyone thought it was crazy, but I got them on their first plane ride! I won’t go into all of the details here (though it seems that I have already) but I want you to understand that your life is valuable. And your life is made up of your time.
Here’s a cheesy little comparison: Your life is like a sunset. When you’re watching it, it seems to be hardly moving, It seems to take forever, but then it’s suddenly a strip on the horizon, then nothing. How are you using your time? I know a good Netflix marathon is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. But you know what’s better than a doctor? A cure.
My mission for 2017 has been to respect my time. I know it’s not December 31st and the time for resolutions. But it is time to respect our time. To respect our lives. I’ve been documenting my baby steps because I’d like to inspire others, but I also want to inspire myself. I’m one of those people who need constant motivation or projects will lay by the wayside in an astonishingly short span of time. Is there a such thing as a project hoarder? How about a project murderer? Never mind, I’m both of those things.
So, sometimes I go back through my blog, my online autobiography, and I learn, I feel encouraged, I remember all the parts making up this whole.
Let’s glow and make light. Let’s dream and make it come true.