Chasing My Wife’s Dream

by Kim on September 25, 2011 · 19 comments

Kim’s note: Six months ago Brian wrote his first blog post, an account of his experience coming to terms with our decision to pursue my dreams.  The post, titled Coming To Terms With Life Change, was one of the most popular ever published on this blog. 

It’s been six months since that last post and Brian is back with an update on how things have changed for him since the last time he checked in.  

 P.S., I don’t ask him to write sappy things, I swear!

A Husband’s Point of View: Chasing My Wife’s Dream

It’s been a while since I wrote about my perspective, and figured I would provide a six-month update.  As y’all probably know, we have sold our house – one of the biggest hurdles that we had to clear – and are now living in an apartment that Kim and I have un-affectionately dubbed ‘The Hotel’. 

Selling our house was a lot easier and a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Easier because the house sold in one day for full asking price (Seriously – one day?  For full asking price? In the middle of a bad recession?).  Harder because, due to the short timeline under which we sold, closed, and moved (only 42 days!), we had to go through an emotional detaching process we thought we had 6-8 months to go through. 

The first couple of weeks after we agreed to the sale were difficult.  Question after question was discussed: Did we give away too much? (We sold our house furnished).  Should we have asked for more money?  Why are we doing this?  These and hundreds of other questions ran through my mind.  I kept going back and forth:  I would think we were making the right decision and that I was moving on to the next step.  Then 15 minutes later, I would be re-living the negotiations and thinking that we shouldn’t have given them this, or we should have asked for that.  After a week or so, I started to feel crazy. 

Then, one night, I was going through my clothes and making three piles: one stack of clothes to wear at my cousin’s wedding, one to pack and move to the new place, and the third to donate.  I was sorting through clothes that I hadn’t worn in years when something suddenly shifted.  I was no longer looking at the shirt I wore when the Bengals played their first playoff game in 20 years .  Now, it was just a shirt that was going to be donated to goodwill.  

I walked out of our bedroom and told Kim that right then and there something was changing.  I began looking at all of our belongings not as things that define who we are, but as obstacles to our goals.  I loved our kitchen table (it’s the piece of furniture that I miss the most), but at the end of the day, it’s just a table.  My thoughts changed from: How am I going to keep or replace this table? to Do we need a table?

So, for me, the moment a paradigm shift occurred was when I was doing the most mundane of tasks – folding laundry. 

I mention all this to bring up a bigger point.  I don’t look at the world the same way now.  I have never been a materialistic person, but now I look at things, whatever they may be, and see the obstacles they can put in our way.  For me, the fewer possessions I have, the more free I feel.  Instead of surrounding myself with stuff, I am trying to surround myself with experiences.  Experiences are much easier to take with you wherever you go – all you need is someone to talk to.  

Now, this sounds all nice and grandiose and a good way to live life.  But the truth is that I am still struggling with it all.  I was happy as hell to give away my lawn mower, but I miss looking out our back door at our dogs sleeping in the sun.  I love our new neighborhood with all the bars and restaurants around, but I miss our 5-year old neighbor showing me bugs he just found.  

So where does all this leave me? 

I am much less conflicted now than I was 6 months ago.  I no longer feel like this is Kim’s dream and I am going along for the ride.  I feel like this is now our dream and we are working together to accomplish it.  These days, I don’t doubt whether or not we should do this.  The question is why wouldn’t we do this? 

I am super-excited about our plans and the years beyond our plans.  We are exploring ways to make money while traveling and the possibility of living abroad at some time (suggestions are welcome).

I still can’t say that I have a dream of my own that I want to pursue, but I feel like I am putting myself in a better position to recognize it when it comes around.  For now, I am happy to build and prepare for this dream.  It takes a lot of hard work to make a dream come into reality.  No one person can do it by themselves – they need the help, love, and support from friends and family. 

I am doing my best to help the woman I love flourish and become the person she wants to be.  And in the process, I discovered an added bonus: the more Kim has flourished, and the more excited she gets, the more beautiful she becomes in my eyes.  I’ve also realized that her excitement is contagious and it makes me more excited for everything to come.  And I can’t help but love her even more for that.  

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Torre – Fearful Adventurer September 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Romantic. You’re a real keeper, Brian. :)

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Carmel September 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I love this line, “I still can’t say that I have a dream of my own that I want to pursue, but I feel like I am putting myself in a better position to recognize it when it comes around.” I love this mostly because although this whole traveling thing was MY idea (essentially), I still don’t know exactly what I want from it long term. It’s more that I know it’s the right step and I’m doing my best to stay open to whatever may be and not have too many expectations.

Agreed. You’re a keeper. So is Kim. :) You guys are so great and I’m eternally grateful we met.

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Mica September 25, 2011 at 10:29 pm

It’s always awesome when you’re with someone who motivates you to do amazing things. Sometimes you discover that those things can also be a part of your own dreams. Good for you both! It’s such an exciting time right now, and it’s only going to get better!

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Ali September 26, 2011 at 2:28 am

Brian, you brought tears to my eyes with the sweet, wonderful things you said about Kim! I’m so excited for you guys to follow this dream and make a new life for yourselves. I can relate to that freeing feeling of having less possessions too, I got rid of probably 90% of my stuff in preparation for moving to Germany and now my own RTW.

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Scott September 26, 2011 at 6:05 am

Just after reading this I came across an Irish proverb on Twitter that falls into place perfectly here. It states “a dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatified”

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Deborah September 26, 2011 at 7:28 am

I love this post for many reasons . . . love in action is ALWAYS inspiring and Brian clearly sees love as an action verb. But on a more pragmatic note, I love the observation that our possessions often become obstacles that keep us from moving forward. (And thanks to Scott, too, for sharing that wonderful Irish proverb!)

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Rhonda September 26, 2011 at 10:35 am

Wonderful post. It is certainly an ever changing perspective you get when you decide to make a major life shift. I commend you for being so open to the idea of “something different” that you are willing to not just follow along, but actively participate in following Kim’s dream.
When we did our RTW a couple of years ago we sold our house but kept all of our “stuff”, a decision we came to greatly regret as it tied us to a place. In our planning for our next big trip in a couple of years we’re getting rid of it all, except for a few personal mementos and the items we’ve acquired on past trips. Even the beginning of this process is so freeing!
Keep up the growth…it will all be so worth it.
Cheers,
Rhonda

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Peach September 26, 2011 at 10:38 am

this is such a great perspective.
i, too, am in the process of packing up my life and getting rid of bags and bags of clothes in preparation for travel. it’s crazy how detached i’ve become to my belongings. things i’ve held on to for years because i “might” wear it again are being donated without a second thought. it feels good…and exciting!!

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Annette | Bucket List Journey September 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I love this line: I began looking at all of our belongings not as things that define who we are, but as obstacles to our goals.

Such a strong and beautiful post.

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Kristin M September 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm

You two are an incredible team. Brian, the support you give Kim and the fact that you now see this dream as your goal as well is amazing and encouraging. You’re both talented, driven and inspiring people. I continue to wish you both the best as you prepare to head out on your RTW!

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Miel September 27, 2011 at 10:14 am

Great post Brian! Great to hear your side of the adventure. This is so just the beginning for you both. This change in perspective will last with you in ways you aren’t even aware of yet. That is the beauty of travel.

Enjoy,

Miel

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Dalene October 5, 2011 at 2:53 am

AWWW! You guys are so effin’ cute. And your transformation of dwindling down your belongings is bringing such flashbacks to us. At first we felt like part of our identity was disappearing with the “stuff”, and then it became such an incredible freeing feeling. We’ve been chasing that one ever since and I think it may be impossible for us to EVER turn back now. Own our own house? Then I have to buy a broom, a table (!), etc….don’t wanna!!

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Kim October 5, 2011 at 11:54 am

Hi Dalene, it has been so fun to hear from you because it gives us a taste of what is to come. I can only hope that we thrive as you guys have out on the open road.

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Dalene October 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Fun flashbacks for us – fun looking forward for you! We must meet over a bottle of wine sometimes to discuss… :)

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Desertsafari October 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I feel Everyone should have a dream like that ,working together to accomplish it,putting yourself in a better position to recognize when your dream is going to come true its really un imaginable .Great Post Brian

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allison October 20, 2011 at 6:04 am

What a sweet, inspirational post! I recently started traveling and while it’s just me, this post really makes me think about my relationships with people and what I’m willing/should be willing to do for them.

Pre-travel, I wasn’t materialistic either, but it’s REALLY hard to get to the mindset of being able to give up everything – I’m still working on that, actually, as I have a storage unit. That takes some time, I think.

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Kim October 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Hi Allison! It definitely takes some time. I think there is something in all of us that wants to hold on to our things. We are so easily defined by them. Good luck to you on your travels. :)

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Joy November 10, 2011 at 4:31 am

Hi dreamers,

did you get some ideas about earning while travelling?

have fun,

J.

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