I’m sick. Again. I’m sad and useless and for the first time I’m regretting my decision to pack up and leave. I still KNOW it was the right decision, I just don’t FEEL like it anymore. I really wanted to post about the situation, so I decided to share an email exchange I had with one of my closest friends.
In the message the following quote replied to, my friend expressed her desire to join me, because she’s working so hard (which she most definitely is), and that I’m so ‘lucky’ to be travelling. In the email, she also described travelling and pursuing your dreams as “leaving growing up to the distant future”. Here was my response.
I don’t know why people keep telling me I’m lucky? It’s not like I didn’t plan and save and make the decision (the hardest one I’ve had to make so far) myself. I didn’t just wake up one morning with an email that said “CONGRATULATIONS, you have won your freedom and an all expenses paid trip to your dreams” – I had to grow a pair and leave, with not much money and a bundle full of fears and nerves. If it were people [telling me I was lucky] who didn’t have the opportunity to do the same, people with no education or ability to save, or people that had a family to support etc, then I understand that my circumstance is lucky. But for all my friends who could be doing it if they chose to, I don’t understand it at all.
That definitely wasn’t meant to be a rant. I just really don’t understand how everyone thinks I’m lucky? It’s confusing.
Also, growing up in the distant future… don’t you suppose that moving overseas alone, being totally responsible for your life, accommodation, food, and with no support system to speak of is growing up? I’m not sure I agree that choosing to make your own way through the world is any way less mature than deciding to not do what you really want. Though now I have a great topic for my blog to cover 🙂
Right now I’m pretty stressed because I’m sick and broke – fortunately I still have my aunt and uncle, but I’m leaving for my first HelpX gig this weekend. Its really difficult at the moment because I’m feeling horrendous, it was just [my best friend’s] birthday and fathers day [which I missed], and I have to find a way to churn out enough interesting feature content and random lists to actually start making money – you know by now that I’m scared of truly trying anything, so its taken me a while to get down to actually writing the stuff… I’m a woman of many ideas and a massive rejection complex. And right now I’ve been away almost a month, and the reality that I’m not coming home any time soon is starting to set in.
But thank you for my big hug. I really needed it. you should get a lumbar supporty thing for your chair :):) I miss you dearly my [friends name] , and I’m sorry if this email came across as aggressive – my ability to assess tone is severely hampered by my raging headache and exhaustion.
I love you, and can’t wait for you to join me soon.
Now, I know that when my friend messaged me, she truly did not mean anything offensive. But its a common misconception that those who travel are all lucky, or putting off growing up. It’s an alternate path, yes. In all fairness, I believe it should be much more common. But truth of the matter is, it takes balls to leave your home and support system- to leave behind the security of a set monthly income, your friends and family. If you’re relying on supporting yourself through a creative avenue such as writing, where many people have tried and failed, it’s even scarier. I was terrified, and frankly, I often still am. But I’m doing it anyway.
So please. Stop telling me I’m ‘lucky’ to be doing this.
And maybe a more than a little bit ‘stupid’.