Thursday, August 20, 2009

Conformity


We went to Cannon Beach last weekend, just for the day - the girls, me and my husband. What a goregous place. Reminded me a lot of Del Mar, California where my husband and I met about 13 years ago.

On our way home, my husband and I were talking about how we would really like to move back to the beach someday. We were discussing how much we really miss that lifestyle. Isabella pipes up from the back seat, "So if you liked living at the beach so much, how come you moved?" Ouch...reality....right in the kisser.

Why did we move anyway? Let me be clear... we both know and understand that all choices made in our life leads us to the road we are meant to follow. Do we regret moving up here from sunny San Diego? Not even for a second. In the 6 years we have lived here we have made more friends, shared more stories and lived more than we could have ever imagined. But the question asked by this little angel deserved an answer. Honestly I didn't know what to say.

So I politely told her that we really wanted to see what it was like to live in the Pacific NW. We had lived at the beach for so long we wanted to see what it would be like to live where there were four seasons, a snowy Christmas and mountains visible from every window of our house. That seemed to appease her curiosity but the question still rang in my head. Why did we move up here? I LOVE San Diego!

My husband and I have always been ... non traditionalists. We were living the "life" back in San Diego. We had an 800 square foot apartment, garage sale furniture, 4 blocks from the beach, no debt and a lifestyle that allowed us to travel every year to exotic places. Then we had Isabella and it all changed for some odd reason.

We were under the impression that since we had a baby we had to act all grown up and be super responsible.... what does that mean anyway? To us, at the time it meant, buying a newer, more reliable car, buying a house, contributing to a retirement plan, getting a "real" job, moving near family, finding affordable housing. None of those things sounded like me but I went along for the ride.

So now, here we are, 6 years later, yearning for that simple life again. A life that allows us time and freedom and space to roam around without so much "grown up" responsibility to carry on our shoulders.

Am I saying that we should live a hippie lifestyle? No, not necessarily - although it does depend on how you define "hippie". I am suggesting however, that we can reevaluate what's important and make decisions from there. When you get close to losing every material possession you "own" you realize you really don't "own" anything and nothing is important but the time you spend with each other. Nothing ever matters but the quality of life you are living.

It doesn't matter if you rent or own. In the end, nothing belongs to you anyway. What matters is if you are happy where you are. Can you make it through with joy and gratitude even if you aren't in the "perfect" environment? Do you see the beauty in each day as it is presented and ask for more? That's what matters.

So we spend a glorious day at the beach. Racing down hill, swimming in the ocean, making sand castles, eating ice cream really fast and digging for China at the beach. In the past I may have said, "Oh man, I wish we could live here". Now I say, "How much fun is this?"

I admit I conformed to what I thought I "should" be doing when we moved up here. I know that one day we will once again live at the beach. I realize, most importantly that each decision I have made brought me here. That even though I conformed to what society would define as "best for me" - I now know that I have the gifts within me to make the choices that work for me - regardless of what society says. But I would have never known it had I not gone down this road.

Following your heart may not always mean that people will understand you, let alone follow you. But in the end, whatever decision you make, make it from your heart. Let it speak the loudest. And know that whatever decision you do make, leads you to a road that opens you up to being who your were born to be.

2 comments:

Denise said...

Wow D...you do have several talents, writing being one. I am impressed with your prose. I can 'hear' your voice and I miss it:)

Dana Layon said...

I miss you too. Your travel bug inspires me. write me some stories I can publish! Try a yoga pose somewhere exotic!