Blank Slate

When people ask me what my book is about I tell them, “It’s about the first year of my life on the road in my RV by myself.” It sounds simple, but the steps it took to get in that RV and drive away were anything but!

Living the RV life was a dream of mine for decades. At times, long before I owned one, I would share it with others, “I can’t wait to get in my RV and drive away.”

They would laugh at me. I’m not sure if they were laughing at the fact that I was dreaming an impossible dream or that it was ridiculous to give up my very comfortable life to become what some call “trailer-trash”. But deep down I knew I’d be happy if my RV ever materialized. I stashed my dream in the back of my head and continued living my life.

And then it happened. A blank slate.

Have you ever had a blank slate experience? You know, that moment in time when some big change happens and life as you knew it ceases to exist?

It’s scary.

But it’s also a great time to hatch a dream.

I filled my blank slate with a monstrous motor home.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I didn’t know anything about buying a motorhome or driving one or living in one. All I knew was that if I didn’t make it happen then I probably never would.

I was terrified to take my vehicle for a test drive let alone drive it home through rush-hour traffic. As soon as I got behind the wheel I knew I was in way over my head. And when things went awry as I picked it up from the previous owner all I could think of was how people would laugh at me for making such a foolish and grand mistake.

But within days my decision turned into creating my new future.

Isn’t that the way it is with everything?  With the job you have? With the spouse/lover you have? With the children you have? If you had known before what you learned after you made your decision would you have made that same choice? Maybe not, depending on the day, or your mood.

With any change, any blank slate, be it large or small, there’s an opportunity to practice what it takes to live our dreams. It’s just facing the unknown with bravery and persistence. It’s what we all do every day of our lives.

Chapter 1 of my book is about how I lived through the first step in living my dream. I hope it gives you the courage to live yours.

Advertisements

Land of the Free and home of the Brave?

Tempe Diablo Stadium backs up to this mountain, and when the national anthem plays at the beginning of every game, all activity halts, and a moment of silence prevails…but only a moment.

Today as I sit down to write, I am flooded with gratitude that we live in the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

What a cliche, right?  Sometimes it bothers me how little I acknowledge that freedom and how many opportunities I miss to practice bravery. And, honestly, I know I’m not the only slacking American here.

Ouch. I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but think about it. What have you done to exercise your freedom lately? How many true acts of bravery have you participated in this week?

I’m not talking about the freedom to express your sexual preferences in public, or the bravery required to rescue damsels in distress.

What I am talking about is freedom of the mind, and bravery of the heart. The kind that gives us courage to talk to a stranger who is obviously down on their luck. The kind that sees someone stranded on the side of the road with car trouble, and causes us to stop and help them — even if it requires us to have some hard moments explaining why we are late to our boss because of it.  The kind that helps us hold our tongue when we have something less than kind to say about someone.

Just like this photo, we’re consumed with a mountain of other priorities, and the values that we stand for are just a speck of color in our otherwise drab world. Climb that mountain and grab on to something really important today.

Freedom of the mind and bravery of the heart are yours!  Act accordingly.