Scrolling through the old content of this blog has been exciting and a wonderful way to reminisce about amazing times where my husband, Tim and I grew so much. We are still growing in different and also exciting ways as we build a life together in Evergreen, Colorado. We had our first baby girl, Ava, last year. Having a baby really challenges us in different ways. It has caused us to get hyper-vigilant about how we spend our time – making sure it is on what we want in this life. We have been growing more than ever. I thought this would be a fantastic place to share what we are learning. Which brings me to the name of this blog. As I have learned more and grown, I have updated it. It is now its third iteration for good reason.
Name No. 1: Escaping the American Dream
When I initially established this space it was a travel journal of sorts. A middle finger to the establishment and running away to Mexico in an attempt to feel free from responsibility and the usual. It served its purpose well, but as a young woman, I had not quite understood what the “American Dream” really was. To me it was an outdated concept that didn’t really exist anymore. It was — get a job, work every day, travel 2 weeks a year, buy a house you can’t afford, get married, have babies and stay stuck.
I have since discovered that The American Dream is real and still kickin’! It does not look like I thought it did. It is actually much cooler and can be WHATEVER YOU WANT. Let me repeat: whatever YOU want. Seriously. The American Dream is just figuring out what you want in this life, designing it just for you, and getting it. Realistically you can do this anywhere in the world, but I think it got dubbed the “American” Dream because early on it was much easier to accomplish in the States. It was the New World where hard work got you whatever you wanted, and it was not tyrannically run. Nowadays, emigrants establish lives here because it still has the same promise. Even if we were raised here, we still have the same beautiful opportunities.
Name No. 2: Pursuing Comfortable Freedom
Ahh – Comfortable Freedom sounds nice! I renamed this bad boy when we returned from Mexico and started on our first renovation project. We had our sights set on flipping properties and buying rentals to have passive income that would support our continued floating around the ocean or backpacking Central America or whatever. The term Comfortable Freedom served me well, as it was also my personal mantra and goal. I would read and write about it all the time. Only trouble is… what happens when you achieve your goal?
You set a new one! Now that we have achieved Comfortable Freedom in our lives, I realized that term and goal was squarely aimed at the middle. It also means you are not challenging yourself to grow and take risks. Comfortable is nice, but it is not top-of-your-game material. It is time to set my sights much higher, realizing what we are capable of achieving is much more than Comfortable. It is Kick Ass. It is fun, exciting, again WHATEVER YOU WANT! How Fantastic.
Name No. 3: Plotting an Escape
I decided to go wholistic with the name choice and line it up with the url of this blog, which I have always really liked. It has always ignited in me a passion to dream and an idea that there is something else out there. That meaning to me has changed, and I’d like to break that down here.
I explained what this used to mean to me in the Name No. 1 section. It was literally and escape from this actual life. It was going to check out the “greener grass” physically. Now that we had that adventure, I learned that life is what you make it every hour of every day no matter where you are physically.
Even when we returned from Mexico, we still had an escape plan – “Ok let’s flip houses to build a nest egg and buy as many rental properties as we can so we can escape again!” While that ambition has been very fruitful, we realized along the way that running away from the life you’re are building at every turn, does not really work. Even when we were deep in it, we thought “Five more years, and we are done. We are just going to pull the plug and sit down on a beach somewhere.”
What we have grown to understand is not shocking, but it has taken us time to settle into: We are currently living our life, and we better build into it everything we enjoy and want to do right now, otherwise it will have passed us by. So, the new meaning of “Plotting an Escape” is really designing the life you love. Think of your escape. Really imagine living in it, breath it deeply and smile because you know it is yours for the taking. We are still plotting our escape into the life of our dreams.