I remember when I first visited Seattle when I was still living in Detroit. I was amazed at the cool energy the city had and how people were walking around laughing and smiling as they went bar to bar, probably to see the latest hot band or musician to come out of the city.
Although I’ve always been introverted, I longed to leave the quiet, generic boring suburb I lived in outside of Detroit, and join the ranks of being a cool city dweller who was always looped in, and close to the “action.” So at 25 I sold everything and drove across the country, not knowing anyone or even having a job.
I spent much of my 20s being part of the action (spent being the operative word). I sometimes wonder how the hell I managed to work full time, yet see live music at a club just about every single night! Oh, to be young and full of energy!
But, the vision of my life has drastically changed over the years. It started rather slowly in my 30s as I shifted from listening to angry or heavy music, to basking in the mellow glow of Jack Johnson’s soothing voice.
I also ditched the chip on my shoulder that I carried much of my youth, into learning more about myself, my emotional triggers, and most importantly, taking ownership of anything and everything that happens to me.
In my early 40s I had to turn on that hustle once again as a freelancer, although I balanced it out with living a quintessential Southern California life of going to the beach, chilling out at home most nights, and adding more singer/songwriters to my repertoire (Amos Lee & Ray LaMontagne)
Now that I have my full time job and I’ve slowly begun eliminating that hardcore hustle from my life, I start thinking of the next chapter of my life, and what will make me fulfilled. And the truth is, it somewhat surprises me!
While there was a point when living a quiet existence sounded like the 7th Circle of Hell, it’s now starting to appeal to me. I’ve mentioned recently that I’m really paying attention to simplifying my life and paying attention to how I spend my time, but it almost goes beyond that.
When I daydream, I picture myself living on a quiet property. Not a million miles from civilization, but someplace where my neighbor isn’t ten feet away (as it is currently). I picture a garden, and maybe even some farm animals. I picture a wrap-a-round porch with a porch swing where (insert hot Canadian actor here) and I will be sipping our coffee in the morning or drinking wine at night.
I picture myself cooking from scratch, instead of running out to Trader Joe’s to pick up a pre-cooked meal (although they are yummy!). I picture attending community events where you know many of the names and faces who live there.
I see (hot Canadian actor)** and I having friends over to sit by the outdoor fire pit and playing music and just being mellow.
I imagine living a more sustainable and eco-friendly life.
There is so much more I imagine about “my future life” that has utterly surprised me. I wonder how much of this is actually true, or is some part of it me just idealizing a life that would be more “perfect” than the one I have right now. So tough to tell!
I’m actually reading a book called Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want right now, which I asked the author if I could review after hearing him on a podcast, and the book centers around creating your life plan, so I’ll be curious how this exercise unfolds!
But in the meantime, without being in this future utopia, I am making small changes towards living that life. I’ve been considering getting a compost bin as a way not to be so wasteful. I’m teaming up with the guy who lives in the apartment next to me to turn our backyard into a big garden (our landlord doesn’t seem to care what we do with our shared backyard), and of course I’ve considered getting a bike * so I can bike to work (and just ride more in general).
As far as the wrap-a-round porch and hot Canadian actor? Well, maybe one day. 🙂
Do you ever consider a very different life in the future from the one you’re living now?
*I actually did buy a bike off Craigslist, which I’ll write about in my March review post.
**Totally exaggerating this part of course. 🙂