Telling others about our amorphous plans.
People want answers, we all do. Especially when it comes to big life changes, we understand, this is deep stuff. We like to feel the certainty that comes when there’s a well laid out plan preferably with a timeline and an Excel spreadsheet. So when the plan is formless like ours, chaos ensues, and we get all types of reactions.
Some people tend to ask many, MANY questions, understandably their puzzlement increases as we are unable to provide clear answers. So, are you just going to leave everything? But why? You have a lovely house and good jobs... And what are you going to do? So you don’t have a plan? BIG eyes.
Other people beam with excitement and it would actually be possible to design emojis with their facial expressions and gestures. Oh my God! That’s amazing! How inspiring! What an adventure! So exciting... You must write a blog! Yes... we are!
Then we have the dreamers; we see how they picture themselves doing something like this. Eyes half open, head resting on one hand, looking up to the sky... tone of voice gets slower and softer, cue in uplifting, triumphant score. Wow... how amazing... I wish I could do that too... I always wanted to abandon the Rat Race...
And then, the sombre come crashing down, like a bulldozer. Well, you’re no spring chicken... You’re getting old and will need a lot of money to have a good retirement, and time passes very quickly you know... Do you really know what you’re doing? You might be making a mistake... We see a degree of reality in this but it’s already difficult enough for us to deal with our own fears, so we tend to swiftly change topic to something lighter: Did you know that if you lift a kangaroo’s tail it can’t hop? Puzzlement.
Thankfully, the inspirational bunch provides some free therapy to counteract the sombre effect; these are the people that give you a big, long hug and say lovely things like You’re doing a wonderful thing or That’s really great, you don’t just settle for a life that’s not good enough or What a breath of fresh air or You’re very responsible, you know, being true to yourselves. We go home skipping away.
Some people really freeze. We can see the panic in their faces as they try to picture themselves in our situation. It’s contagious, like yawning, so we freeze too, it's like Medusa looking at herself in the mirror. They stare into the emptiness looking through us as if we’re hiding a key piece of information they’re missing. We look at each other petrified. Conversation doesn’t flow.
And then without any warning, the random unpredictable reactions. We love them, such beautiful display of imagination! You’re not going to join a cult and disappear forever, are you? Not easy to find an appropriate response.
Occasionally we meet people who live an alternative life without mortgages or traumatic commuting; this category is rare but they look well nourished and pretty happy so with a glimmer of hope we tune into whatever they have to say like I try not to live with certainty, it tends to let you down. True that.
All in all we love listening to everyone’s comments and we can’t get enough of their reactions, because we go through each and every one of those emotions ourselves, sometimes several at once and we have to do mental gymnastics to keep ourselves sane and stick to our beautiful and terrifying amorphous plans.
At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is what our hearts have to say about all this. So, we open a bottle of wine and we ask ourselves the simple question: Is this what we really want to do? It doesn’t take long to get the answer: Hell Yeah! Bring it on baby!
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