I could see the possibility of it not happening and it was filled with conflicting emotions. I wanted to go on our cross-country adventure. I really did. But, I knew we would also be happy if we stayed.
We had been camping for the past five weeks at a lovely campground in Epsom, NH and it felt like home. After leaving our house eight months before, traveling the east coast, it was good to feel settled. We had made new friends in this campground, but we were also close to old ones. Family was only a few hours away. The area was familiar, we had our car (we don’t take it when we drive out of New England), and we could visit our dog and cat that we left behind with a friend.
Although we had come back to New England in April, our plan had always been to head toward Montana in June, meet up with friends and speak in Billings. After that, we would head west to see more family and friends.
But something had happened to change our plans. A legal issue with a former spouse forced us to stay longer in New England and I was not happy. I had to miss my speaking opportunity (IPPW member Omi Preheim was there to take the helm and rumors have it she was awesome… as I knew she would be.) I wanted to go but staying put became my only option.
When we arrived at this Epsom campground, we were only going to stay four days. Those four days turned into five weeks. I must admit I had grown attached to the place. Our site was lovely, private, close to the bathroom and laundry. There was a river a few sites away and we could bring our chairs over and sit with our feet in the water. The people we meet were lovely. The camp was close enough to both Concord and Manchester and we were able to have friends over for dinner…something I had really missed doing. It became a place that felt very safe and familiar. But wait, what about our Montana adventure?
Now I ask, has anything like this ever happened to you? Here is the scenario: You are into a routine, be it a job or a relationship – you know you are not where you are supposed to be. You know you should leave, but something inside tells you to stay.
What if you do something different and don’t like it? This might not be a perfect setting, but it is familiar. You stay because it’s too much work, too scary, not that bad, could be worst…all the excuses you could use to keep yourself right where you are.
We all know people who say they hate their jobs but continue to stay because…? It would cause too much stress to even apply for a new job? And what if they can’t find a new one or don’t like the new place of employment? Maybe we should just stay with what’s familiar. Or maybe they are in an abusive relationship and they stay because they are afraid to go? We all know people like that or…maybe we are people like that.
Yup, been there done that. It’s not a healthy reaction but certainly it is understandable. I once stayed in a relationship much longer than I should have, mostly because I knew the wrath that would befall me if I dared to leave.
There was a time I was afraid to take the lead on anything, because, well, what if I did something wrong? I stayed with a church–even though it did not reflect me spiritually–because I didn’t want to lose my friends. Do you see a pattern here?
So you can see my dilemma. My husband Rick didn’t really want to go on a long trip. He would be happy just traveling New England…and we did thoroughly enjoy our adventures through Maine and New Hampshire. What harm would there be in staying a little longer, and a little longer?
Here is the harm: we might never leave. We might get stuck in the good enough adventure and not take the risk of a great adventure.
To do what we had said we would do… well, it would cost more money, put more miles on our rig, be too hot, be too cold, maybe we wouldn’t like it, what if all the campgrounds are filled for the summer, we wanted to see more of our family, my Dad’s not doing well health–wise, we would miss the annual family reunion…the list of excuses can go on and on.
We just had to bite the bullet and get back on the road. And guess what, the minute we made the decision and were driving down the highway, we could feel our hearts sing and knew everything would be ok. We were happy. We were living the life we are supposed to live.
There are always reasons for not doing things. As humans, we tend to be great rationalizers. We can talk ourselves out of, or into, almost anything. But to live our best lives, to be our authentic selves, we must take risks and make change part of our existence. Take a risk, make a change — it’s the only way to live a life without regrets. Your adventure awaits.