In my twenties, I stopped living. I didn't die or anything, but may as well have.
I had gone through a nasty divorce and a series of bad relationships followed. Actually "bad" is an understatement. Some of the dudes were straight up assholes, and not even the good looking kind either. Seriously... but we'll save that story for my interview with Oprah. So after all of that, I was a single mom working a full-time (and then some) job.
I had all of these big amazing goals and dreams even then. In fact most of my twenties were riddled with the feeling that I was living an unfulfilled life. I had a list of things that I wanted to do but I'd say things like "When I have more money, more time, when I'm re-married, when I lose ten pounds, when the kids are older, when I have a better job, a bigger house, until I know more, am more, or have more." I was so completely full of shit and fooling myself completely. I was delaying my life "UNTIL", probably as a result of having made a few mistakes (I later learned that there are no mistakes) earlier in life that paralyzed me with fear.
When I was 26 and twice divorced with two kids, I did something incredible. I resolved that for the year 2007, I was going to live and be happy no matter the circumstances. I didn't care if I ever found Mr. Right or had the money or felt "ready". I gave myself permission to live and be free from circumstance. Dammit, I was missing out on my life, joyful memories, my kids' childhood and who knows what else. I'd always wanted to swim with dolphins and go to Mexico, so I refinanced my house and booked a trip for the three of us over the week of Valentine's Day (always a shitty holiday for single people).
For the first time in my life, I felt free, but it was short lived when my old friend Fear came for a visit.
"Oh my GOD", Fear said
"Are you really going to go all by yourself from Bentonville, Arkansas to Cozumel, Mexico for an entire week with a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old?"
"Hell yes I am. And we're going to have the time of our lives!" I said.
And we went and it was, indeed, the trip of a lifetime to swim with dolphins with my kids and sail and build sandcastles and snorkel. We sat on the beach, sailed, danced, played games and enjoyed life just as it was in that moment. It was beautiful.
So what, my daughter got sick for a day and puked red Icee all over the dolphin encounter patio, that's a memory too, that she has since forgotten... but I never will. Beyond booking that trip, something else amazing happened. Within a matter of weeks, I also met Mr. "Wright". Seriously, does it get any funnier than that? My husband and I met on a business trip after I'd resolved to just live my life with no expectations and no excuses.
So by letting go and deciding to live in spite of the "untils" and "whens" I got more than I ever imagined. So what about you? What are your excuses for not living your life?