Update: life marches on

by Kim on August 7, 2011 · 29 comments

Here, for your reading pleasure, I present to you the understatement of the week:

There have been a lot of changes going on around here lately.

To bring those of you who’ve been following along on our journey up to speed (there are a few people that follow this blog, right?  Hello??  Oh.  There you are.  Hi Dad.) here’s a recap of everything that’s been going on in the past few weeks.  I’ve been MIA lately, due to said craziness below, but plan to post soon about the insanity of this whole process.  I am learning a lot.

A recap of the past few weeks

In June, Brian and I made the big decision to sell our house.  It was not an easy decision because, even if we received a full price offer, we’d still be dipping into our travel fund to pay the agent/ close on the house.  In turn, we’d need to set our departure date back to replenish our savings.  The post: No More Countdowns

At the beginning of July our house went on the market.  The post: Our House is for Sale!

The very next day an agent called and asked if she could walk her clients through the house.  We agreed, they came to see our house, and four hours later we received a full price offer (we still can’t believe it happened).  Interesting side note: we were offering the house furnished at full price.  The post: The Speed of Change

We accepted the offer.  Next came the inspection, which went well, and then the appraisal, which we were really freaking out about.  The post: There is no post about this because I was freaking out too much to sit down and write a word about anything. 

Last Tuesday I turned 30 (and ran 30 miles to celebrate).  The post: It’s My Birthday!  Kim Turns 30

Then, on Wednesday, we learned that the appraisal went through at full price.  The next day, Thursday, we signed a lease on an apartment.  On Friday, we sorted through our possessions and on Saturday we had a garage sale.  

Because we sold most of our furniture with our house and then most of our other things at the garage sale, we have, within the span of one week, just reduced our worldly possessions by at least 75%.  (I have a million things to say about this and will, hopefully, soon).   

We are moving in two weeks. 

But first! We’ll be out of town for one week (and I don’t even care that I’m saying this in real time on my blog because, robbers, you just go ahead and stop by the house.  We’ve got nothing to steal!). 

We signed a 10-month lease on the apartment (due to the aforementioned budget setback from selling the house) and then… we step out into the unknown.


Somehow, in the midst of all of that craziness, I found the time to read The Alchemist.  The story was great but it was the introduction to the book, written by author Paulo Coelho, that literally made me gasp.  I felt like it was written just for me.  Here is what he wrote (I’m paraphrasing in a couple of different places).  When I read things like this, my reason for what we’re doing is reaffirmed, and it gives me strength when the fear gets to be too much. 

Excerpt from the Introduction to The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

“What’s the secret behind such a huge success? (referring to The Alchemist)

The only honest answer is: I don’t know.  All I know is that… we all need to be aware of our personal calling.  What is a personal calling?  It is God’s blessing, it is the path that God chose for you here on Earth.

Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend.  However, we don’t all have the courage to confront our own dream.  Why?  There are four obstacles.

First, we are told from childhood that everything we want to do is impossible.  We grow up with this idea and, as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear, and guilt.  There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible.  But it’s still there.

If we have the courage to disinter dream, we are then faced with the second obstacle: love.  We know what we want to do, but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream.  We do not realize that love is a further impetus, not something that will prevent us going forward.  We do not realize that those who genuinely wish us well want us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on the journey. 

Once we have accepted that love is a stimulus, we come up against the third obstacle: fear of the defeats we will meet on the path.  We who fight for our dream suffer far more when it doesn’t work out, because we cannot fall back on the old excuse: “Oh well, I didn’t really want it anyway.”  We do want it and know that we have staked everything on it and that the path of the personal calling is no easier than any other path, except that our whole heart is in this journey.  Then, we warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and to know that the universe is conspiring in our favor.

Having disinterred our dream, having used the power of love to nurture it and spent many years living with the scars, we suddenly notice that what we always wanted is there, waiting for us, perhaps the very next day.  Then comes the fourth obstacle: the fear of realizing the dream for which we fought all our lives. 

Oscar Wilde said “Each man kills the thing he loves.” And it’s true.  The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the ordinary person with guilt.  We look around at all those that have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either.  We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal- when it was only a step away. 

This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it: renouncing joy and conquest.  But, if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help The Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.”