Advice Happiness Life

Reality is a choice

August 20, 2021

Over the past several months, I have felt a push to share more from my heart. To give the world content that feels meaningful, important… purposeful.  I’ve thought back on the writers I have been so inspired by in my life, those who have challenged my way of thinking about and reacting to the world around me. In spirit, I’ve thanked those figures who have forced me to contemplate my life and what I want from it, and to challenge my beliefs about what is possible.  

I have learned to live from a place of possibility, deciding on the experiences I want to have and then finding ways to make them a reality – not questioning whether something is “realistic” for me. If a genuine, exciting, pulsating, desire to experience something comes to me, I consider it a reality. That impulse was given to me for a reason, and it is my duty to bring it to life.

Reality, after all, is simply the product of our decisions and beliefs about what is possible.

Let’s talk about “reality”

The misunderstanding of reality is perhaps the greatest cause of limiting beliefs. Most people think of reality as some unwavering construct – an unmovable external force. Nobody escapes reality, right? Reality is thought to be the crushing, obstructive way life happens to us. When people say things like “The reality is…” or “Let’s be realistic…” what they’re really saying is “I don’t believe that can happen.” Misunderstandings about reality often kill possibility.

The cultural allegiance to “reality” is so deeply engrained that it takes some real doing to undo. Our beliefs about reality are programmed from childhood. When someone else does something incredible or magical, we reason they must have some sort of special stuff that we don’t – that their unmovable reality is just better than ours… that they must be lucky or privileged. 

What’s interesting is that we celebrate visionaries throughout history. Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Oprah, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs – all people who were by no means privileged or special. They were simply individuals who refused to let other people’s notions of “reality” dim their vision. They decided to create their own reality, holding tight to their dreams until they materialized. Reality, to them, was not a steel wall but a soft, malleable puddy, theirs to form as they pleased. 

I once had many blocks in terms of what I thought was realistic for myself. Like most people, I was indoctrinated into societal norms and expectations. When I was in college, I wanted to be a lawyer – not because I had any passion for the law or judicial system, but because I thought being a lawyer was an impressive path to take. I assumed I would get married, buy a house, have children, and magically balance a high-powered legal career with the titles of super mom and dream wife – all on two hours of sleep each night. 

But somewhere along the way, I realized those “dreams” weren’t things I truly desired for myself. Rather, they were my programming, the expected path to an impressive life that I had blindly bought into. 

So I went on a journey to try to figure out what was going to bring happiness to my life.  If a picket fence, legal career, baby diapers and diamond ring weren’t for me… what was? What was it, I asked myself, that would make me feel excited to be alive? I let myself try on different ideas for size, experiment with my life path, mess up, retreat, and try something else. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was allowing the creation of a new reality for myself – one that would be uniquely mine and pleasing to me. I wanted my reality to be fun, fulfilling.  I didn’t want to spend my life half asleep, wearing the ball and chain of others’ expectations for my life.  

When I decided to travel and live in an RV, I didn’t know if I would like it.  I didn’t know the first thing about RVing or towing or campgrounds or any of it. I had no idea what living in a 20-foot, slideless travel trailer would feel like, but I was down to give it a whirl! So, I went all in. I got rid of all my stuff, transitioned my life to the road, and figured out things as I went. To me, the worst that could happen would be trying it out, realizing it wasn’t for me, and then going back to living in a house. If that happened, I’d just buy new stuff and transition back.  I wasn’t worried about resources or how I would make any of that happen – I just knew if I decided to make a pivot, the things I needed would appear. 

Driving off the lot with my first camper – towing for the first time ever. Credit: mom.

Fast forward a year and a half, and I was over it. Living in approximately 100 square feet of space with a 65-pound dog was…tight. I wanted to take a break from travel, so I rented a house, bought new stuff, and put my camper in storage.  I didn’t chide myself for wanting a change. I had some incredible experiences in that little travel trailer, and I emerged from that nomadic period as a new, refreshed person. Now I wanted a house with a yard and some stability for a while.  So I did that, knowing I could very possibly decide I wanted to go back to travel, again.

After two years in a house (still RVing in the summer), I decided – you guessed it – I wanted to go back to living in an RV! From the experience in my first camper, I knew I’d need a bigger rig if I was going to be comfortable. I had to resist beating myself up for wanting to change…again.  I simply thought, well the house was fun, but now I’m ready to travel again.  Simple as that.  I sold my stuff, bought a bigger rig and truck, and took back off. 

A muchhhh bigger rig….

I wasn’t stopped by the anxiety of learning to tow a much bigger rig. I wasn’t worried about resources. I wasn’t worried about anyone’s approval of my lifestyle decisions. Yea, there’d be things I’d have to figure out, and sure, some people would probably think I was weird, or running from something, or avoiding reality, or whatever else. The beauty of it was, none of that mattered to me. Call me weird (I am!).

I’m now seven months into life back on the road, this time with a much roomier setup, and I love it.  I LOVE IT. I’m so happy I made the decision to do this. If and when I decide I’m ready to settle down, I’ll happily do that. It’s just a conscious choice to pivot my reality. Nothing more. Here’s a glimpse of what my reality included, over the past seven months…

I’m not hampered by notions of what’s “realistic,” I am propelled by them. And you should be, too.

I love knowing that my life is dictated by my desires rather than limiting beliefs about what is possible for me.  I may not know how things will unfold, or the exact path to a vision, but I know a path exists and the resources I need will appear along the way.  I live in faith, from a place of possibility, and my reality is fun and exciting, easy to change and shift. 

The ideals I had for myself in my early 20s were never realized.  I never went to law school. I never got married. I never had children. I never bought a picket fenced house. I took an unconventional path, but you know what? I’m an unconventional woman. My life is different and I’ve created a reality that aligns with who I am, not what society expects of me. 

Reality, dear friends, is yours to decide.

Now, you may be wondering: But how can we create reality within the confines of our current world? With Covid and lockdowns and mandates and red tape everywhere, how do we still create lives of our choosing?  

Stay tuned, I’ll cover that next.

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