I haven’t posted anything about this for awhile, so I thought I’d let you know that the plans ARE still in progress. I have decided to skip Denver and hit the Philadelphia area instead, so here is my tentative order of cities, for now: Philadelphia, Boston, somewhere near D.C., visit friends in Texas and Arizona, and then head up to Portland. I had some minor financial setbacks and so will be heading out sometime next August instead of April or May. But I’m okay with that. I am freeing myself up to not be stuck on doing anything on a particular schedule (I do feel good about August, though). This is a journey of self-discovery as much as external exploration, and so I’m just going to let things progress naturally and see what life brings me. BRING IT, Life!
For now, I’m just working as hard as I can so that I can get the car, glasses, and dental bills paid off as soon as possible. That way, I’ll have longer to save up. I’m gradually getting most of my stuff either given away or sold. I sold a bunch of books, CD’s and movies to Half-Price Books the other week. I’ll probably take more in if they will buy CD’s with paper cases instead of the plastic jewel cases. If not, I’ll be looking for another way to sell them. I’ve donated a few things to friends and to Goodwill and will probably end up doing that with a few more things. It kind of works out that I pushed my leave date back to the end of next summer. This way, I can crash someone’s garage sale again to get rid of whatever little things I have left, plus the bigger things I’m using till then but will be getting rid of, like my desk, futon, bed frame, dresser, and air purifier. I feel like I’ve made good progress on the “minimalizing” so far, though. AND, I actually don’t feel like I’m depriving myself by not buying stuff. I’ve been surprised by how good it feels, actually. It’s kind of like an added freedom to literally not want stuff. I go to the store for food and things I’m going to use, but I walk right past the decorating, electronics, books – all the stuff I used to always browse. Maybe it feels so good because I know that by doing that, I’m one step closer to my goal.
The hardest thing has been my birds. I’ve had them for a few years now. I’m used to the sounds they make and to seeing them every time I get home. I’m kind of attached to them. But it will be necessary to find them a new home. I just can’t take them with me. But I haven’t been able to find someone to take them yet, either. It’s not like giving away a cuddly cat or a playful dog. Birds are a lot different. Good thing I have a year! I’m sure I’ll find someone.
As for money, I plan to save as much as I can so I’ll have a good cushion. Then I’ll work temp jobs for food and any rent I’ll have, etc. For housing, I plan to contact someone in the stake I’m headed to and ask them if they know anyone who is renting and what part of town is the safest/most convenient/etc. Maybe they’ll know specific neighborhoods or apartment complexes to contact. I also have friends who live in and/or know people in most of the cities I’m planning to visit, so they might know things, too. Plus it will be good if I’m able to spend time with them while I’m there, as well.
Also, my book is almost done! I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember, so this brings a huge sense of accomplishment with it. Well, it will – as soon as I, you know, accomplish it. But it is CLOSE! I am going to the local authors’ fair at the FW library in November and WILL have copies of the book with me. I am making this real!
I am VERY excited about this journey. I feel it is necessary to my growth and important for me in all aspects of my life. I have so many things to learn that this experience will be PERFECT for teaching. But I am also heartbroken to be leaving people here in Indiana who have become such a big part of my life in the last few years. It will be both a joyous and a painful separation, I am sure. But I pray that anyone who might feel like I am a part of their life will be happy knowing that this is going to open doors for me and lead me to be a more complete person and perhaps a better friend. That is one of my sincerest desires, to be able to share more love with people and be a more attentive, caring, interested, giving, supportive friend. It sounds backwards that leaving my friends could possibly be a way to accomplish this. I don’t know if it makes sense, either, but I do know that this is definitely the next step for me. And if it will benefit me as a person, then it will benefit my friendships as well. I’m excited to see what Life has in store!