Because last weekend we had Monday off for Labor Day, it gave me some much-needed time to rest, read, get exercise, do some adulting (errands, cleaning, financial planning), etc. I also indulged in a guilty pleasure: Youtube surfing.
I saw that Youtuber Claire Michelle had posted not one, but two long-winded videos, giving us pretty much her entire life story. As I sat and watched, part of me thought, “good lord this chick is bat-shit crazy and an irresponsible millennial!” That was the, “I’m old enough to be her mom” person talking.
But the other part of me thought, “damn that girl has serious balls to take some of the chances she is taking!” That is my, “I’m kind of jealous and miss my youth” person talking.
Let me give you some highlights:
At 19 she moved from Colorado by bus with hardly any money and no plan once she got there. She ended up couch surfing, then renting a ridiculously expensive room in a house in Venice Beach with a couple who fought all the time.
She made one painting and it sold just enough to get her an even more ridiculously priced one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica for (choking) $2,700. Mind you, this girl just wanders around with a backpack and zero savings. She is literally just winging it. Although somehow I do think somewhere along the way she is possibly being supported by the bank of mom and dad, but I can’t say for certain.
Next, she hops on a plane to Hawaii with no plan and has the time of her life, and her spirit chakras or something tell her THAT is where she needs to be living.
Given that she just signed a one-year lease on an apartment she has no business renting, she scrambles to find someone to take over the lease. and luckily the Universe has her back, and everything works out.
She gets on a plane to move to Oahu, Hawaii, and has zero plan of where to live in there, but luckily finds some sort of Airbnb treehouse-type situation where there is no running water and she has to poop outside.
Her spirit chakras once again tell her that Oahu isn’t the place for her to be living, so she decides to buy a same-day plane ticket to Kauai, because that’s where she feels her home really is. Meanwhile, she lost her one and only pair of shoes, so she literally flies to Kauai with no freaking shoes, then hitches a ride with an old hippie-looking dude and his son and of course, wings her life from there too.
I seriously am not making this up and there are so many details I’m leaving out. It has captivated me. I’m both jealous and perplexed.
So what does this have to do with me, and what exactly am I learning from this millennial about life and money?
It made me think of the time I moved from my home in Detroit (where I grew up) to Seattle when I was 25, without really knowing anyone or having a job. I just visited one weekend with a friend, and after that, I declared that I was going to move there regardless if I had a job or not six months from then. Luckily, I did find a cheap place to live by calling up a girl that I had met at a bar on that weekend trip, who offered me a futon to sleep on in her living room for $150/month.
In April 1995, I packed up my Saturn and never looked back. I had $4,000 to my name, and I thought I was fricken rich! lol!
You know what happened? I made it work, and lived in Seattle for eight years. Because you can do what it takes when you really have the motivation!
I think as we get older, we become more settled with the comfortable life, even if the comfortable life is not fancy by some standards. We become set in our ways and fear taking big risks. Whether real or imagined, we feel as if we have more to lose.
Some people (not me) have kids to raise/support, or maybe even parents or relatives to help financially. I’ve even had a hard time getting some of my friends to get out for dinner and a movie because they have too many adult responsibilities to take care of.
It’s not that these things are necessarily wrong. We have to grow up at some point right?
But I think we do somewhat lose that inner daredevil that we had when we were younger.
I’ve talked a million times about wanting to live somewhere other than LA eventually, but the nerves always seem to get the best of me.
- What if I hate it there and I regret everything?
- What if I can’t make friends?
- What if I can’t find a place that takes cats?
- What about health insurance?
- What if I hate the cold/heat/snow/wind/rain/etc.?
Good grief I could “what if” myself to death…meanwhile, I might die asking myself those questions without ever having felt the exhilaration of taking chances and living life to the fullest.
One thing about being almost 47 and not 19, is you start to feel that thing that resembles sort of a countdown. lol! This is of course labeled as a “mid-life crisis.”
I’d like to re-label it as a, “mid-life awakening,” because it doesn’t mean being stupid and buying sports cars and/or cheating on your spouse with someone much younger. And it isn’t about blowing your cash either.
But it is about listening closely to those tiny whispers about really going for what you want in life. To assess risk and do what it takes to minimize any negative consequences, but just f*cking take some action!
And I’m not just speaking to middle-aged people either!
I have no idea what is going to happen in Claire Michelle’s life. My guess is her spirit chakra will tell her that Kauai isn’t really her home either and maybe she should buy a plane ticket to Australia (with or without shoes). Or maybe she will decide she’s had enough of the unknown or crazy decisions and go to college.
I know for me, it’s time to find my “inner-Clair Michelle” (who thankfully has shoes and a big (enough) savings account), and start taking some chances in life. I’ll leave it at that for now…
What would your inner Clair Michelle have you try doing?