It’s been a year and half-ago that I started writing on this blog. I wanted to document the process that Jeff and I had started. I knew that it was worth documenting; that it was going to be a huge shift in our life. I knew that other people (millions of people writing their own blogs and travel blogs. Really hurts my feelings. I like to think I’m extraordinarily unique.) had written travel blogs or whatever blogs. But I thought a lot about what I wanted this blog to be.
In fact, this was what this whole, new way of life was going to be dedicated to: what is the exact life I want to be leading? What if I stayed committed to my most authentic (bleh, the meaning has been taken out of that word) life. Meaning, what if I followed the path of my heart and soul with no compromises? No exceptions to this rule? That’s what I wanted so deeply when I started this blog. And I wanted my writing to be a reflection of that. No compromises. No trying to entertain just for the purpose of entertaining, or trying to be funny in the same way. The core message always had to be there: Is this the most honest reflection of what I’m going through at this time? This, of course, could end up being funny or interesting or entertaining but just as long as the priorities weren’t reversed.
What this meant was that it (the blog, the writing) wouldn’t follow a course that always made sense to people. Hello! My life! But if people are actually allowed to be real, authentic, honest this is what we will do. We will meander. We don’t always want to write about the new place we’re at on the map. I’m going to write about my braces, and then my inner children and then Big Sur and then my dead cat.
But there has been plenty of discussion along the way. Jeff eventually came in to the picture. And his question was something like this: Should we change it to include more people? This came up because family wanted to know where we are and people are used to a topical travel blog. Again, sadly to me, this was not a unique thing. Even people my parents age are like, “Oh you should write a blog about it!” Me: ‘Shut up! Let me be really unique and extraordinary!!’ And to that question or suggestion, some people we would tell and some we wouldn’t, that we did in fact have a blog but we would have to serve it up with a warning. “Well, we do have a blog, but its not for every one” or “Well its not typical, its kind of serious”. Because most people seem to want to get the topical, fun story. “Dude, whoa. Why do you have to be such a bummer. What’s there to be sad about? You’re living the dream!” And no, no one has said this to me, but you get the idea.
It has been uncomfortable to show who we really are. There is pressure to present a story that is pleasing to the eye. To avoid taking anyone anywhere “too deep/too serious”. So Jeff and I had this discussion many times. And we would usually land on these foundational ideas:
- I’m the one who had built this blog and it eats ALOT of time. I was not willing to create a whole other blog. Especially for the purpose of making people more comfortable or just purely entertainment with nothing “threatening”. (I’m pretty sure those of you that know me would laugh at me ever being involved in something like that)
- The people that aren’t into something that is more real or intense just won’t read it. No harm done.
- We didn’t want to have more the one Self. One for family and one for friends, for example.
- We both felt that we were on a mission, in this life, to be, above all, true to ourselves.
I tell ya, there seems to be a picture out there of what “true to yourself” means. Like it’s some luxury or some fairy tale. Or its read and the thought is ‘oh yeah, true to yourself. Of course, Emily, you have to be true to yourself’. The image is a pretty picture. Something that’s a given, something that’s easy. All people will step aside so you can “be true to yourself”. That is until I say something that is disagreed with or “hurts” someone or disappoints someone. Being true to myself means that people can turn their back on me, or walk away from me. It means I can lose opportunities. It opens the door to all kinds of judgment. A few: she’s CRAZY, she’s weird, she’s a bitch, she’s mean, she’s doesn’t care about family, she’s trying to control him, she’s SELFISH, she only cares about herself, she’s creating something out of nothing.
So why do this? I do this because this is what I decided to commit my life to with no exceptions. Almost like, well exactly like, a social, emotional, spiritual experiment. I want to see if my life can look like it does in the books I read. From the people I admire; can I make my life look something like the extraordinary lives that they led/lead? If I take the extraordinary risks that they took can I have that too? That’s what this journey is about for me. I want to take it ALL THE WAY. This includes my faith in the Divine. I’ve been around religious people all my life and I saw that for many, the true master was Money. I think the true master for most of us is money. I am not immune to this but I am willing to take the steps to work against this enslavement (too strong? I think probably not.) Our worship of money is almost always the reason people don’t move towards their dreams. Or that they compromise, “Gotta make a living”. The book I’m reading now, The Soul of Money, addresses this “making a living” concept. She (the author, Lynne Twist) says it is more accurately called “making a dying” or “making a killing” because we are so accustomed to sacrificing a small part or a large part of our soul to “making a living”. I have wondered since I was very little, ‘Is there another way to do this? Because in my little, innocent body, this does not sit well’. We laugh at the “naivete'” of children, “Oh just wait to til they get a glimpse of the “real world”. Then they’ll understand that that’s just “the way it is”. Ha, ha, ha! We are so much more clever than children!”
What is so cool about this time in our human history is that many others are asking this question. I, we/me and Jeff, aren’t alone in this search and that helps to keep us inspired and afloat. There are others. And I am so grateful to have those others in my inner circle. These are people also committed to the brave and sometimes lonely path. Thank God for You!
So far in the experiment it seems I have absolutely been supported emotionally, spiritually, financially, and mentally to move forward. This has not been easy. Yogananda describes this part of the journey like this:
“The hard core of human egotism is hardly to be dislodged except rudely. With its departure, the Divine finds at last an unobstructed channel. In vain It seeks to percolate through flinty hearts of selfishness.
And I’ll paraphrase his other words: It was like having every diseased tooth removed from my metaphorical jaw. In other words: this path is not for sissies.
If you have your own stories of what it’s really like to embrace a life of “to thine own self be true”, please share them with me. Either down below in the comments or in some other way. I really will celebrate it with you. Or you can just know that, silently, I am with you; I’ll cheer for you.
Much love from me to you.