***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***
This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions. From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I feel like writing. These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.)
As I pondered a topic for this blog post this morning, I thought about the number one word that has stuck out to me over the last couple weeks. That word has been REGRET.
Most importantly this word is included in sentences about selling our house. “I hope you don’t regret selling your house.” I have heard it time and time again, and my response has started to be “I don’t really live with regret, so I’m not really worried that I will regret this.”
I suppose I am fortunate in that I haven’t lived a life full of regret. I am keenly aware that every moment of our lives, has transpired into where we are today. And I suppose, that if I was in a place where I was utterly unhappy, then I guess regret may play a more prominent role. But, even through the trials and tribulations that I have had in my life, I have mostly chosen a happy path. Whenever I start to find myself in an unhappy situation, I know that it is time to change things up, and I realize that it is time to go out and find what it is that makes me happy.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always roses. I’ve had many things that have happened in my life that I consider to be failures. Failed businesses, a failed marriage, failed friendships. Sometimes I just FEEL like an utter failure, and sometimes the unhappiness creeps in when I’m not looking, and I find myself in a bit of a rut before I have some major breaking point that snaps me out of it.
But, the point IS, is that I do eventually snap out of it!
I’ll never forget an experience that I had when I was kayaking in the Bahamas at the age of 24. (Some of you will have already read part one of this adventure! If not, read here.) My ex husband and I were paddling a chain of islands called the Exumas. There were a few fresh water cisterns that dotted the islands, and were indicated on our marine charts, but they were usually quite brackish and didn’t look very appetizing.
We had with us 2 collapsible 5 gallon water jugs. When we ran out of one of them, we usually got antsy about getting more water. So we would look at our Marine Charts, and would figure out where the closest popular boat anchorage was located. Most boats had mechanisms to desalinate (ie. remove salt) from their water, so they could use ocean water for drinking, which vastly reduces the need to fill up cargo space with water.
We would simply paddle up to boats and start chatting with sailors, and as soon as they heard what we were up to, they would generally not only offer to fill our water up, they would also offer to give us food. Now, this was never our plan, to get more food, but if someone offered, we sure weren’t going to say no.
On a side note here: Sailors, and the sailing community in general, have got to be the most community minded and helpful group of people there is on the planet. Never have I experienced a large group of people who are so eager to help out one another, that they literally clamber at the opportunity.
One boat in particular had an older gentleman that was so intrigued by us. In the course of us staying in one spot for about 5 days, he would repeatedly come and find us on the beach where we were camping, just to chat and ask us questions. The last day we saw him, we had paddled over to his boat, as he had told us that he had some food and stuff that he wanted to give us before we continued on our journey. We paddled up to his beautiful trawler and he stood above us with his hands on the railing.
He was a man that appeared to have everything. A beautiful boat, nice things, an easy life. But when we pulled up to his boat, he looked down at us with the most sorrowful eyes I think I have ever seen, and said, “Boy, did I ever live my life backwards. I worked my butt off my whole life so that I could retire and do what you are doing now. But never once did I consider that by the time I retired, I would be too old to do the things I wanted to do in my twenties. You guys are really doing it right.”
I get chills even now when I think of this experience in my past. The regret in his eyes in that moment, pierced my soul. It subconsciously became a marker of how I have lived my life, and I believe was instrumental in helping to shape the person that I am today. It has made me fearless in trying new things, with re-inventing myself when I feel like it is time, with always moving forward, and never regretting my decisions in the past.
And so, as we move through this phase of our lives, we will not look back. We will not regret. We will launch out into the world completely open and vulnerable, BUT safe in the knowing that whatever is out ahead, is far more exciting than what we have left behind, and NO MATTER WHAT, our lives will be better for it.
And let’s not forget the most important thing of all:
A house, is simply, just a house.
Our lives, and what we put into them, is everything!
** Thanks for reading! This is part of a larger group of blog posts about us letting go of all of our possessions to go traveling. If you would like to read from the beginning, click here.**
To learn about where I have previously traveled, click here.
To see my blog post menu, click here.