Why We Drove Away From A Dream & How To Know When It’s Time To Leave It All Behind (Part 3 of 3)
Today, I offer you the final installment of my series, Why We Drove Away From A Dream & How To Know When It’s Time To Leave It All Behind.
If you read Trail Mix Letter :: No. 13 you know I’m sharing a more up-close look into our life over the last 4 years and how a dream nearly ruined us.
Through this concise little story, I hope to normalize the process of evolution we all experience if we remain curious and open.
The way we uproot and plant ourselves within friendships and communities, the moves we make to different homes and locations, the new jobs we try, and the vague desires and dreams we chase down, these personal migrations are all a part of what it means to be a vibrant human.
So welcome your seeking heart, the one who doesn’t know quite know who she is. Though, she may lack specific direction, let her innate love for adventure guide you.
Keep traveling my friend and, without even realizing it, you will stumble upon your own unwieldy becoming and find a home within yourself.
Now onto Part 3!
It is here where I need to admit something a little frightening.
We were pursuing someone else’s dream.
My fascination with a friend’s lifestyle and her deep convictions turned into an obsession. I hung on to every word she said and followed her story religiously.
Although I couldn’t name it then, I became envious of her family’s home, their property, their story, their faith, their LIFE.
Have you ever noticed how you latch on to certain people and almost without knowing it you copy them? You adopt their behaviors and language, conform your decisions and contort your natural inclinations and unique interests and desires to look more and more like theirs.
Who can blame us?
Imitation is at the core of what it means to be a human, and yet we are also prone to slavishly and mindlessly mimic others. (Here’s an interesting article I read on the topic.)
Of course, mentors and role models offer us a sense of belonging. They keep us inspired, teach us, and are a necessary part of our growth and development.
But I had taken it to another level completely.
I clung to what I called our “prophetic” vision. I sketched it out on paper a year before we moved and clung to it as the promise of our future idyllic home and sacred calling.
I continued to idolize my friend’s entire life, and their influence was undeniable in our choice to continue homeschooling, reside on property, and trust this wasn’t all a big mistake.
The frustration, constant stress, and low-grade loneliness were hard to ignore though. It felt like we were becoming allergic to our own life.
Despite our determination to make our five-acre plot a peaceful retreat, it was ruining us.
Simultaneously, we were also losing our grip on our Christian beliefs, asking more questions than we ever had before.
Eventually, after nearly three years of back and forth, do we go or do we stay, we left the high-maintenance log house part of the dream only to settle a few minutes down the road…
again on five acres.
Certainly, this time though it would be different, better. A fresh start.
- The yard and house felt slightly more manageable, but still had the feel of a private oasis and was enough to make everyone ooh and aah.
-The older kids were attending the public school down the road now and I had finally released the need to be The Homeschooling Mama who baked sourdough and sewed her children’s clothes.
But on our first night at the new house, my husband declared without warning, “We can’t stay here.”
I couldn’t believe it. Was this really happening? Had we officially lost our minds!
Who buys a house and then wants to move out the very next day?
We do apparently.
The very next morning, our second day at the new house, surrounded by packing boxes, my husband phoned our agent to try and find a way out. Perhaps one of the other interested buyers could take our place and rescue us from this mess?
Ultimately, the best choice was to wait and list our home the following Spring. In the meantime, we gathered the courage we needed to chart a different path, one of our own making.
We came to terms with the secret we’d been keeping from ourselves all along.
We were building our life as a replica of someone else’s, pursuing dreams that never originated from our own hearts, following past traditions we’d outgrown, and buying homes we knew didn’t fit with our values.
While we waited we also softened our stance towards the swift currents of life, so we could once again be swept up in the flow of our own bewildering becoming.
We gave ourselves permission to migrate from firmly held beliefs, to move on from certain friendships, and molt old stories we’d been telling ourselves and desires we thought would make us happy.
Although driving away from that sacred dream and leaving it all behind, felt and looked dramatic, we didn’t need to frame it as such. Perhaps our evolution is more gradual and invisible than we realize.
Our lives are built upon microscopic shifts, tiny changes, down-the-street moves, and millions of recalibrations along the way.
There’s no denying how costly, inconvenient, chaotic, and full of risk it is to accept life as an adventure but the only alternative is to hunker down and hold on to who you’ve always been.
Which is more dangerous?
Thank you so much for joining me here. I hope you find some relatable and valuable insights through my words. I realize there’s so much more to be said, isn’t there always?
I’d love to hear what comments or questions this stirs up for you.
Stay tuned for an epilogue and be on the look out for Trail Mix Letters :: No. 14!
Traveling with you,