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Are you defaulting or creating?

This is a big week for folks living their dreams, at least in my world. Ya’ll know about Amy moving to Amsterdam, obvs. I have another friend who’s getting ready to fly to the Pacific Northwest to start a new chapter in her life.

In her case, you should know that she is from the NW, her folks still live out there, and all her children and her husband love it there too. They’ve spent many happy vacation hours hiking, visiting Seattle, or strolling the wild Northwest beaches. Given all that, on the surface, it doesn’t seem like a sea change in their lives to make this change.

On the other hand, all three children were born here in Vermont and lived in the same house up through college. Two of the kids were musicians and participated in our youth orchestra. Their youngest is a soccer phenom. Her husband has been the pastor and leader of a local church for 25 years. He is deep in his community and has been part of a multi-church team working with the most vulnerable populations in our area. She has been on multiple boards, served as co-pastor and taught at our community college. All that is to say that they have identity tied with Vermont.

I’m not attempting to give you their family resume, but I want to be clear that this is not a family with a light grip on their community. They have really lived here, and have a vast network of friends and associates in the area - so it’s a big deal to make this decision to leave.

Along with you, I’ve been along for the ride with Amy as she has moved in the direction of her dreams. But being up close and watching my local friend close up her home, go through the process of saying goodbyes and packing up or giving away all the detritus of five lives lived in one place for many years has left a different imprint on me. She has experienced much sadness and there have been many, many tears.

Change is hard and it can be stressful, even when it’s good change. Even when you manifested the change your very own self. That’s not news, right? But I feel like it’s worth looking at in terms of pursuing dreams.

The tears, the stress, all the complicated pieces of taking apart a life and then putting it back together somewhere else, isn’t this what keeps us planted? Aren’t these the things that keep us from pursuing our dreams? Yes, there is fear of the unknown and what the hell is gonna happen if things don’t go according to plan.

But before the fear, I think plain old inertia gets in the way of moving and shaking our way to a future that wasn’t predictable. Adventure is not predictable.

All of this is on my mind, because after years of talking about relocating someplace new and sunny and more expansive than our brave little state, we’re thinking about it again. So, I have been confronting my own inertia. But now I’ve begun imagining what I would really like my life to look like; what the weather is; who I see everyday and what would bring me joy. I’m thinking about outcomes, not roadblocks. I am bringing this quest to the retreat in Costa Rica in May. I have the questions swirling around in my head now, and that means I am beginning my retreat NOW.

“The tragedy of life is not found in failure but inertia. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little. Not in you living above your means, but below your capacity. It's not failure but aiming too low, that is life's greatest tragedy.” -- Benjamin E. Mays - longtime president of Morehouse University

Many people have expressed to Amy that they are so inspired by her big move, but she wants you to know, she is not special. In truth, she’s just unwilling to treat her fears as if they are more important than her dream. She’s been unwilling to accept the default life. Please join Amy and I in Costa Rica to take on your own inertia and choose to create your own big adventure.

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