“What if we created a life where we travel for a living?”
A question my hubby asked as we drove east on I-80. We were driving home through Wyoming during the first week of January 2017 after an amazing week in Utah. Hesitation and fear of the unknown led to my firm response of, “H-E-double hockey sticks, No.” (Yes, I actually use that phrase.) “No, our kids go to great schools. We have a great base for your health needs, we have family, we have our friends and we have so much there,” and out came every excuse I could think of. Ryan’s response to all the rattling of excuses: “Live life out of your desires not out of your excuses.” Ugh, at times he can be really profound.
Fast forward 45 days and I’m realizing that in the short month of February we would only be home 11 days which meant 17 of those days we were on the road away from the kids due to business, conferences, speaking engagements and more. And, I loved it. I loved traveling, I loved watching my husband speak, I loved being an inspiration to many who are dealing with cancer whether themselves or loved ones. I loved touching lives, BUT I also love my kids and I missed them very much.
What am I afraid of? A question I pondered. Here we were in an unique time in our lives with an opportunity to do something many only dream of.
What if we created a life where we travel for a living?
What if everything I wanted was right in front of me and only fear stood in the way? What if I was currently living a life that was more interested in making others around me happy than what I really wanted for myself?
After many days of internal debate I went to Ryan on my own and my new response became, “yes, I want to travel for a living, live an adventurous life and have it all: business, our kids and you all at the same time.” Ryan needed no second thought and that response took us down a path to where we are today. 100 days after my change of heart we trekked to Kansas City after trading in my minivan for a Jeep and took possession of a Class A 40 Foot Gas Motorhome. Exciting, thrilling and a little nervousness at the same time. We literally traded the keys of our home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a home on wheels. We literally sold or gave away everything. We left nothing behind except my scrapbooks and a few keepsake bins securely stored for a later time.
On Sunday, June 25, 2017, we said our goodbyes and headed west. As I watched the sunset I realized that for the very first time in my life I was exactly where I wanted to be. Not out of fear, not out of my husband’s influence, not out of the necessity to please others. I was exactly where I was because I let go of other’s opinions and the fears of what if. I allowed myself to do something that seems so crazy to most. I allowed myself to live fully for me and in turn, for my family.
This is us. Ryan and Caroline Luelf with three amazing kids; Addison, Atlanta & Arthur living in a tiny home on wheels of 350 square feet.
This is us. Our life has been an adventure since we said I do at the altar in 2000 and will always be a life of adventure.
This is us. We have made it through ugly times, high times and the unknown if Ryan would breathe again when his lungs would fill up with fluid.
This is us. We only live once and while we are alive we will go for it, not afraid of the unknowns.
This is us. We will fall short, we will make mistakes, we will change our plans, make deviations and make it all work anyway.
This is us. We will hurt, we will hurt others . . . but we will love and we will heal.
This is us. We live in transformation knowing that there is no end goal, but purely living today. Not just existing and merely going through day to day, but living a life out of gratitude that our little family of 5 continues to be: be alive & be together.
This is us.
Who are you? For the hundreds of people I have spoken to just this year alone the answer to this question has broken my heart more than it has brought happiness. Are you defined by the mistakes, the pain and negative emotions? Or are you letting go of the muck so that you can live out of who you know you truly are? I’m not talking that we have to live each moment in the mode of achievement or that we have to live each moment in euphoria.
What if we go thru a process that leads us to live in continual peace irregardless of a cancer diagnosis, irregardless of a job loss, irregardless of outer circumstances and even irregardless of relationship turmoil?
What if one of life’s greatest gifts is to live in joy thru the good, the bad and the ugly? What if we learn to give that gift to ourselves so in turn we freely give it to others?
I’m not looking for perfectionism. That does not exist. That is an illusion. I am a recovering perfectionist and as I have let go of these idealistic views of what perfection is supposed to look like it has freed me more than anything else. It has allowed me to live life on wheels not knowing where we will be 3 months from now.
Let go and live.
Live Free . . .