Dangerous Freedom

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You might have no idea what you want out of life. Maybe your plans change with every passing day. You probably have it programmed in your head that you're a failure if you don't do it a certain way, or maybe the people around you make you feel guilty for wanting the life of your dreams. Get real, they tell you. Grow up and get with the program.  But what does that even mean? Who decided that I have to live my own life according to someone else's dreams?

I urge you to ask the same questions. Don't let society put you through the "real world" machine that consistently pumps out the same results. Challenge the status quo. Be curious and let your own heart decide what's right for you. It may not be what your parents want or follow what your family has done for generations. You might fall down and make a ton of mistakes. But at the end of it all, you are the only you you've got and those moments of temporarily letting others down will pass much quicker than the demons of deep regret for not trying things your own way.

When we're young, we're told to explore ~ to drink in everything the world has to offer and find what feels right in our hearts. You can be anything, they say. But then it seems, when we "grow up" by their standards, they stop encouraging curiosity and creativity. By that time, we're supposed to know what we want and our exploration is deemed irresponsible. Why do we have to have to have it all figured out just because we have a piece of paper in our hands that says we know something? How are we even supposed to know half of what the world has to offer when we've spent so much time inside those mind-numbing walls?

It's okay to get out of that box to find your deeper potential. It's okay to crave creativity over productivity. And it's okay to do it at your own speed. There's no time limit to this thing. Whether you're four, 24 or 64, there's a whole world out there waiting for you to discover. It may not have insurance and benefits or guarantee a brimming bank account, but it does offer experiences that make you so much richer than money ever could.

Some have called me crazy for packing up my entire life and moving to a different hemisphere. Some have said it's risky to follow my dreams of becoming a location independent writer whose office is anywhere with a wifi connection.

I'll admit, I don't have it all figured out. But deep down, when I think about what I want out of life, the only constant that has stayed true ever since I was a little girl is that I want to explore as much of this Earth (and maybe beyond!) as I possibly can and get a deeper understanding of my place within it. It's times like these  ~ when I'm getting ready to board a bus that will whisk me away to the cultural wonders of Cambodia and Vietnam with the person I love ~ I'm reminded that there's nothing else I'd rather be doing than living my own dangerous freedom.

| PHOTO | by Sarah Stokke