A Life Sacrificed?

I am not a person that spends time online envying the lives of others.

I have always striven to live an authentic life, avoiding fear-based decisions. Part of the reason for this blog's existence is an exercise in recapturing and distilling my soul into my most authentic self.

I recognize that there is much work to do, but I have been happy with my journey. Then, I ran across a gentleman on Facebook who is living the life that I have coveted my entire life.

There is a type of person that I feel like I am inside. I am part hippie, part bohemian, part starving artist, part environmentalist. This is wrapped in the trappings of a business woman and mother who works hard for my money and will sacrifice my desires for the good of my family. This is the prototype that our society has created for WOMAN. When I have done something purely for my personal growth and benefit, it is treated as though I am abandoning my responsibilities. This wears on me, until I give in. I silence my inner cravings through overwork, sleep and wine so I can function every day. My passport gathers dust in my drawer, having expired several years ago. Then I am jolted from my "peace" by evidence of a man doing all of the things I want to do.

He is a massage therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga instructor and photographer who travels the world and has the adventures I am only able to have in my dreams. He is living MY life! He has visited Australia, India, Brazil...places I could only image. He rock climbs and scuba dives and camps and photographs the world. I want to be that person!

Then, I think about what I would have to give up to become that person. I would be saying goodbye to daily life with my family. I would have to give up my dogs. I would have to change my business. The steps that are required break my heart. So, I continue functioning, living an enjoyable and comfortable life, and trying not to dwell overmuch on the life I could have had. 

Yet, as I look back over my life, I see the steps that I have taken that bring me closer to who I want to be. I have already moved away from my home-base and said goodbye to my extended family. I have already started my own business, and am working on multiple projects to support myself. My children are almost grown and self-sufficient. I have already been digitizing, downsizing, and purging. I take one step toward freedom, and two steps toward comfort. 

I feel my fearlessness and sense of adventure waning ever so slightly, like ocean ripples across the sand. I carry a sweater with me into restaurants because of the air conditioning. I call it a night at midnight, because I know that nothing good happens after 2 am, and I will be waking at 5 am, anyway...plus, hangovers really suck. I wake early to prepare my office and work to exhaustion and injury for my own business.

I could limit my schedule, but I don't. I could find more balance, but I never do. I could go on an adventure, but my lovely gilded cage has just become so damned cozy. Perhaps, this is the thought that terrifies me more than anything...it won't be the grand gesture that ends my life. No, it will be the everyday comforts that I enjoy which will lull me into a wasted life, one filled with regrets about what could have been.  

The answer? Well, as the quote above says, I know the solutions. The question is, will I move on them before it is too late?

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