And then suddenly, in a flash, we are already a month deep into 2016. How can it be?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a difficult time starting this year.
Throughout the final days of 2015, I found myself surrounded by stories of people I know personally, hurting deeply. I saw sadness and despair. I didn’t just see it, the empath in me felt it.
Meanwhile, I was experiencing the contrast of an upswing of joy in my own story of life and love. And I was fully experiencing the privilege of being home in the arms of my family, while feeling as if I was pressing pause on life, disconnecting from obligations or trivial responsibilities. I felt undeserving, and almost guilty getting to breathe in these cherished moments for what felt like days and days.
Then came 2016.
On day four of the new year as Andrew and I were driving across the state of Florida from our hometown back to St. Augustine, I figuratively pressed the play button on life. I then literally took a quick glance at my inbox to refresh my brain on what projects were in progress and what I was working on before the holidays. And boom! The number of check in emails was daunting… “Where are you?” seemed to be the general theme. What do you mean where am I? Aren’t we all just coming off of a time of sacred retreat? Is anything sacred anymore?
I immediately felt overwhelmed and instantly felt that considering the weight of our existence and the pull of this world, none of it really matters.
Recognizing that my “none of it matters” mantra was tied to the difficult emotions I felt leaving family, coupled with the urgent nature of the society I was born into—one that moves way too fast for the good of humanity—I decided I had to move past this destructive thinking and commit to the fact that some things do in fact still matter.
Not only do they matter, it’s up to me to streamline my focus and really pay attention to what these things are in my life and walk with them until I am able to pick up the pace and run with them.
IDENTIFYING WHAT MATTERS
Ultimately what matters most to me is my personal life—and all the joy, challenge, wonder, changes, and forward motion that it entails.
Then comes the supporting focus: pursuing a shared vision (with Andrew) of living out a simplified, semi-remote existence in an effort to be able to spend extended time with the people we hold dear and more fully live out the kind of minimal lifestyle we’re drawn to, while creating meaningful work that supports us and allows us to give back to causes close to our heart.
In short, we seek to maximize our efficiency and meaning in this world, and minimize our belongings and attachments. This vision will require an abundance of trust and sacrifice (far more than it already has), followed by even more trust and sacrifice. And did I mention trust and sacrifice?
As our vision evolves, so will Vegan on the Run continue to take on new shapes and forms. Shapes and forms I can’t say I’m entirely sure of yet—but I have faith that direction reveals itself a day at a time. No faster. No slower.
SPEAKING OF FAITH
Speaking of faith, rather than any sort of resolutions this year, I’m returning my attention to the driving themes in my life: faith and fortitude. Faith in the unseen and an unwavering belief that when I’m acting in love rather than selfish ambition, life will unfold in time. Fortitude to keep going when the journey gets tough and when I find myself questioning if what I’m doing really matters in this world. It’s these themes that will keep me stepping forward in my journey, while igniting opportunity for growth and change, each day, one day at a time.
No matter where you find yourself here at the beginning of 2016 I encourage you to remember this:
Life unfolds a day at a time. No faster. No slower.
Oh and in the words of Boy Meets World, “Life’s tough. Get a Helmet.”
Bern helmet with custom veggie illustrations by Andrew Scott Wilson Art.