Off The Fence and Onto The Sea
By Guest Blogger Bethany Rosselit
I know all about sitting on the fence.
I didn’t just sit there for 10 years. I bought a house there.
I was settled down with my family of three, living in a 4-bedroom house in the woods. I had worked in the same job for 10 years, and I would probably retire from it, growing old in that house.
Our life was quiet, and most people would think that we were living the American dream. Perhaps we were… but we weren’t living my dream.
Small town life never worked well for me. Everything was so sheltered, so tiny. I wanted to see what else was out there. I wanted to meet people from all over the world, to explore new places, to travel.
I wanted to show it all to my daughter. I wanted to become something beyond my identity as a “teacher.” I wanted to find new ways to put my talents to use–and even find a place where they would actually be noticed.
This was the mental unrest that ran as an undercurrent during our time living in the house.
It was never right. It was never us.
Prior to living in the house, we had lived in a “mobile home resort,” where people visited for vacations. We held down the fort, enjoying our RV lot with a 12 X 60 trailer on it… our little slice of heaven.
We had only moved because everyone told us we needed a house if we wanted to have children. But now I was starting to question that. Was I now just living someone else’s dream?
We got our first nudge off the fence when we began sailing. We spend our summers living aboard a 29 foot sailboat and exploring the Great Lakes. This nomadic lifestyle was great for us, for our marriage, and for our daughter, who has autism. We loved exploring new ports, and we relished the tight-knit communities at the marinas. It pained us to return to our house on land.
So after that school year, we decided to jump off the fence. We spend three months emptying out our house, and took only what would fit in our station wagon and a small U-Haul trailer, as we made the 1300 mile trip from northern Michigan to Houston.
After a year in a small apartment, we moved permanently onto our 35-foot sailboat, Breaking Tradition. Life here today is relaxing, fun, and much more fulfilling than life in the house had always been.
My journey through emotional and spiritual healing ultimately led me to make these drastic changes in my life and to gain the courage to leave the “secure” life I lived for 10 years, and instead, to live in accordance with my dreams instead. I realized that in my case, that meant quitting the job I had for a decade, giving up our house, and moving across the country to live on a sailboat!
Do you have some fears that are getting in your way, keeping you on the fence?
Here are some important lessons that will help you to overcome those fears and live the life you’ve imagined:
1. Understand that security is an illusion. We stay in situations where we feel comfortable, because we think they are secure. In this day and age, especially, anything can change. Nothing in life is guaranteed, except that you deserve more than to live a mediocre life just because you think it is “secure” or “safe.”
2. The worst case scenario really isn’t that bad. What are the consequences of “failure?” Most likely, the greatest consequence will be a bruised ego. You always have the option to get up and try again. There is always a path, even if it is a challenging one.
3. The greatest obstacles are your own doubts. Fear is a strange thing. When we are stuck, it is nearly always because we doubt our ability to move forward. I was sure I would never find another job if I left the one I was in. Once I moved past my own doubts, the rest was relatively easy and fell into place.
4. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Trial-and-error is how we inherently learn. When you’re creating a new life for yourself or working toward achieving your dream, you will make mistakes. We’ve made plenty! But when you stop assuming that these mistakes mean you can’t succeed, and instead use them as learning tools, the fear of making them will stop paralyzing you.
So what is your dream? If you could do anything, what would it be? Now is the time to take a good look at the fear and doubt that is keeping you on the fence, and to jump off and live your dreams!
Bethany Rosselit blogs at http://onlinetherapyandcoaching.org, where she helps people to get off the fence and realize their dreams through e-courses and individual e-mail, chat, and Skype sessions.
Bethany holds a B.A. in emotional and behavioral disorders from Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, as well as an M.A. from the same institution. Bethany is an online life coach therapist, author, spiritual teacher, and personal development expert. She has studied the fields of counseling, psychology, education, and spirituality. Bethany is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, life coaching, anxiety and depression self help, spiritual counseling and family and alternative marriage counseling.
Bethany helps her clients overcome the negative thoughts that are standing between them and their dreams.
I loved today’s post for so many reasons. It really makes you think. Who should dictate to us that a pretty house, with a white picket fence, kids and dogs running around the yard is what makes a human whole and happy? Who is to say we need to work 80 hours a week, burn ourselves out, live stressed and frazzled just to make money? This post today represents possibility, living free, and living life on your own terms. Throwing what we think is “traditional” happy living, and turning it on its head.
I would really love to know if anything resonated for you today.