I got an email from a woman the other day saying she admired my “guts” in getting out there as a solo woman in a 36′ RV and towing a car to boot.
She said she’s spent days reading my blog and websites and while she has always wanted to travel like I do, she just can’t imagine really doing it. Besides not having loads of money, she suffers from depression and just can’t make herself take even the baby steps I always recommend. She doesn’t see the point since her past experiences have taught her there’s really no point because she’s doomed to failure no matter how hard she tries.
She said she wishes she believed in herself in the same way I do. She just doesn’t have the faith to follow her dreams the way I do. She used my favorite word “inspirational” to describe what I’ve written, but I can tell she hasn’t read this post I did back in 2006:
I wrote that after fulltiming for over 5 years. By that time, I had proven to myself that I could do it even though it didn’t happen in exactly the way I would have preferred. No use in even talking about those unrealistic expectations. I didn’t win the lottery, I still have to work every day, and I still don’t know when or how much my next paycheck will be.
I’m going through some trials right now that make it hard for me sometimes to even get out of bed in the morning, much less greet the day with any kind of enthusiasm or positive attitude. I’ve indulged that defeatist attitude for quite a while, even thinking about giving up RVing because it was just not realistic or affordable for me anymore.
I’ve had people I’ve trusted and admired disappoint me in ways I never would have believed. It definitely affected my self confidence and trust in my own judgment. What a fool I was! If they had only kept their word to me, I wouldn’t be in such dire straits today. But that bitterness and fantasies of revenge and public humiliation has not helped me one bit and probably wouldn’t get the money honestly owed to me anyway.
I’m the first to admit that hearing platitudes like “think positive” feels trite and unachievable to me sometimes. At times I just want to slap people and tell them they just don’t understand the way I feel and the problems I have are so much worse than theirs.
Regardless, when I really put myself in the imagined position of truly giving up my dreams before I have seen even half of what I want to see – I finally decided there’s no chance for success by continuing to indulge the worst side of myself and my most negative thinking.
I’ve come to believe that sometimes you really do have to just “fake it till you feel it.” And I do believe the energy you put forth is what’s going to come back to you. I don’t think God rewards those who just lie around feeling sorry for themselves. And the rewards for putting yourself out there positively no matter how you feel inside doesn’t always come on the timetable you think you deserve or need, even when we beg, plead and “bargain” with Him just like a 2 year old with “if you really loved me, you’d do this for me.”
No matter how inspirational you find me, regardless of your envy of places I’ve been, just don’t imagine that it’s always easy for me – that I don’t have all the doubts, fears and frustrations that come along even in an everyday, stay-put in bricks & sticks lifestyle.
But that knowledge shouldn’t deter you from following your own heart to your own dreams. I always say that if anyone as unlikely as me could pull this off, there’s no doubt in my mind anyone can.
So I’m surrounding myself with positive thoughts, whether they feel like pointless platitudes or not. I read my Inspirational Quotes received by email every day. I look at pictures like this posted on Facebook and I meditate on them and what it would mean to my life if I really lived that way.
But by far, this is my favorite and something I have by my bedside to remind me as soon as I open my eyes.
No matter how much they upset me, storms are bound to cross my path and disrupt what I thought I’d be doing at any given moment.
In fact, a life without rain is not only unrealistic – it’s not even possible. Life on earth itself would not be sustainable for long without it.
I first saw this on a plaque at a friend’s house in Michigan. She said it was the best advice she ever got from her now-deceased mother. She would repeat it to herself when she thought she just couldn’t carry on without her mom in her life. Holly is a woman I admire who gets out and tent camps by herself in remote state parks – something I tell her I wouldn’t be brave enough to do.
There’s always something you think you can’t do or someone you think is better off or better equipped than you are. Your belief doesn’t make it true.
But our pushing past those beliefs can make all the difference in the world. I’m still counting on that today the same way I did in 2001, and in 2006, and countless other times.
One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Helen Keller. Certainly nobody could argue she had more than her fair share of obstacles to overcome in living a meaningful and happy life. Yet she said:
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
And my last piece of advice: don’t shut the door on people in your life who want to help and support you. The people I wrote about in that 2006 post that were such inspirations to me – I still hear from or about them in one way or another. And I know that whenever our paths cross again, I’ll feel that same love and support like we’d never been separated by time and distance.
I know the truth now more than ever of what I said then: “I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.”
Thanks, love and hugs to you all!