Welcome and thanks for joining me!
Although it is quite sad, I have observed any times, can sometimes be accidental, but we find ourselves just drifting through each day, without actually experiencing it. And before we know it, another day, week, month, or even year has passed! My goal is to create images and put them with words that allow others to come close to experiencing what I do… as well as encourage them to explore the world around them while they have the chance!
Below is a brief introduction to the person I am today and the person who I am becoming. I hope that in my vulnerability and openness, comes a path to deeper connection with all of you as we take this journey of adventure together!
I am a 28-year-old who is working on completing a PhD in Organizational and Industrial Psychology. I also work in a very structured environment, for 9.5 hours each day. I come into work early 9 days each pay period, so that I can have one extra day off during a two week period. Sad, huh? Writing in a huge part of my job, but instead of being creative, I must follow strict guidelines where content and even format is chosen for me. I feel trapped. It is prison… literally. I work in a prison. Why would someone who yearns to spread their wings and who is so free spirited choose such a career? That is a long story, of which I am working to figure out, myself.
I grew up in an environment which operated on structure. Without it, was chaos. Or so it was drilled into me and my two siblings. Things were very black or white, good or bad-with no room for grey. Everything was an argument, and the only way I felt as if I could please my parents was to be “successful” by their standards. As a result, I became so goal-oriented, that whenever I wasn’t “number 1” or didn’t receive the highest “A” in the class (one would think any degree of an “A” would suffice), I felt like a failure. I strived for their recognition and acknowledgement, their love. I can only remember a handful of times in which I was told by my parents that they loved me, and as a result, I yearned for this. I later learned that their way of showing their affection, was through buying things for their children and one another. This led me to have a desire for things and not so much people. I always found myself with a bunch of friends and in a dating/romantic relationship, so it was that I didn’t know how to interact with others, but that the interactions were empty for the most part. It wasn’t until I broke off an engagement at the age of 22, that I realized that I didn’t know who I was and still was looking for others to fill the void of the love I felt I was missing from my parents. This was no reason to marry. I went on a bit of a soul-searching journey after that broken engagement, where I chose not to date or to be intimate with anyone for about a year-and-a-half. I moved from Ohio, to a small town in the middle of Nowhere, Texas by myself. I was again pursuing a career a dream of accomplishing the things that others had wanted for me to accomplish. I was chasing dreams that didn’t belong to me. I had always told myself that I would not be one of those people who looked forward to Friday. This was not the life I wanted and deep down, I think I knew it wasn’t a right fit for me. However, being influenced by my parents and their idea of success, I landed an “adult job,” a job with benefits, deadlines, and set, strict hours. In all honesty, I was more excited about the chance to explore the West than I was about starting the job. I had been to Texas before, but this was a new type of adventure. And, looking back, I can say that I was able to see many places that otherwise, I probably would not have if I hadn’t moved to this desert and oil town in West Texas. That experience taught me a lot of tough lessons… and also reignited the fire in me to pursue my own dreams. Sometimes adventures are longer, and harder, with tough lessons to learn along the way. That is part of travel and life. We learn through the struggles.
So, in learning about myself, I recently realized that in order to chase and accomplish the dreams of MY heart, I must define my own idea of success. It is okay to think differently about this than others, to include your parents. What makes you happy? If you are like me, you feel slightly guilty asking that. Crazy, but true. It all boils down to a desire to help others, to focus on others. Interestingly, a desire to please others has been the downfall to my own happiness. I allowed it to consume me and forgot to go after things which I enjoyed. Further the confusion, was that whenever I did attempt to seek out happiness, in ways which differed from the traditional lifestyle that I had been flooded with growing up, I was called “selfish.” To a little child, hearing these words from your parents was extremely hurtful. (And this didn’t change as a young adult hearing it from romantic partners). So, what does a child do? They do what they believe their parents would want, what the child would perceive would make their parents happy with them, to love them, to accept them. I continued to do this as I grew older. I continued to play sports I no longer enjoyed, I continued to take classes of which I was not interested, I dated people who I had no romantic interest in (and even sometimes were unhealthy for me) just to appease my parents. In times where they were disappointed with me or disagreed with the way in which I handled myself or made decisions, they would penalize me by threatening to “stop paying for tuition” or “take you off of our health insurance.” Mind you, I was not one to sneak out, party, or do drugs. These specific threats were made as I was dating someone whom they didn’t know except only through a picture. Remember, the only way in which I felt their love was through material items or money they gave me. When they threatened to take this away, I perceived that their love was conditional and if I wanted it, I had to perform in a certain way.
Even as a child, I desired financial freedom as this is how I felt that I could make my own choices. I gained this while in Texas. I want to now achieve this on my own time and in my own way. I am inviting you to come along with me on this journey to not only financial freedom, but true freedom by way of travel, blog, and photography. I should warn you, that I have been accused of being a “hoarder.” I cannot argue this, I do tend to collect many memories from my travels. I am excited to share them with you in hopes that it will encourage you to “hoard” your own.
“Leaving what feels secure behind and following the beckoning of our hearts doesn’t always end as we expect or hope. We may even fail. But here’s the payoff: it can also be amazing and wonderful and immensely satisfying.”
― Steve Goodier