Someone, Somewhere Thinks Your Journey is Beautiful

As we travel through our lives, we sometimes come to a massive fork in our path. Sometimes the path splits do to forces beyond our control. Other times, we take a dramatic turn because we want to.

Because we need to.

Taking in the sunset at The Park in Cairo, Egypt. Photo by me.

We take the drastic turn because we fear where our safe, predictable path may take us. Sometimes we hit the brakes, yank the steering wheel to one side and hold on tight as the wheels tip into the air and fight to touch the ground again.

In those moments, we feel alive! Our hearts race, our vision is clear and our being is at peace- in the midst of the chaos. Deep down, that inner voice, that inner-child, knows we’ve made the right decision. We feel it, in the depths of our being, that connection to a source larger than us. We understand that this radical shift will take us closer to that source- yet we can’t articulate what we’ll find on our journey.

And if someone is looking in from the outside, they may see our radical shift as just that. Radical. Without grounds, without purpose- radical for the sake of being radical.

Our friends and loved ones may not understand our inability to justify ourselves in a way they can comprehend. They may doubt our choices. They may judge our decisions. They may question our sanity.

At this point, we are speaking a foreign language. Our loved ones simply do not have the frame of reference to understand us. We’re speaking gibberish and it scares them.

Hopefully, if we’re lucky, they will understand that this need for change, this need to evolve, this need to touch something greater than ourselves is just who we are. It’s the path we’ve chosen- the journey we must undertake. If we are lucky, our loved ones will step back and just accept that we must travel this path, with all its vines and vistas, and they will not try to understand the how or the why. They will just accept what is.

If we’re unlucky, our loved ones will judge, they will protest and they will try to crush our plans and dreams. (I’m not speaking from personal experience here- I’m speaking from observations. My family may object or question at times, but they understand and accept- eventually) What breaks my heart is to meet a person who was in the process of yanking the steering wheel off-course yet kept on the safe track because someone questioned his dreams. Someone shot down the possibilities that he was about to embody. Someone shattered the path we was about to travel because of jealousy, fear or ignorance.

And he let them.

Do we have to justify our radical shifts? Do we have good retorts when someone mocks our decisions?

I had coffee with a friend recently and mentioned that I was going carless once I left the beach and he laughed. He said, “It’s like that phase, in the 80s, when everyone thought it was cool to be gay.” I just kinda looked at him. I didn’t know what to say. We were walking away and he said it with a laugh and that’s just the way my friend is, he’s a good guy and open minded (remember, I’m in South Carolina right now). I just shook my head and rolled my eyes at him. The comment stuck in my head though, I didn’t have a good response. My reasoning is beyond his comprehension. And I don’t know if it’s worth having the conversation.

I feel as though I have two worlds sometimes. I have my “virtual world” where I connect with real people who are on the same page as me- in thoughts, actions and lifestyle- and I have my “real world” where I interact with people from all walks of life, and only a handful of them actually understand me. When I mention things like, “gas at $5 a gallon soon, can’t wait to ditch my vehicle and walk everywhere” or “yea, I’m gonna go off-grid soon because I think we’re in for a rude awakening as a society and I want to be self-sustaining” people look at me like I’m on crack.

It would actually be less shocking if I took out a crack pipe and lit up in front of them.

I get it, I’m on the East Coast and people don’t think this way. Most people in the East (most- not all) think that the lights will always be on and the gas their SUV guzzles comes from a magic fairy in the sky. (Or the don’t mind bombing the hell out of some other country to keep their car running) Rarely do they stop to consider that the whole circus might come crashing down. Or that their consumption habits might want to be curtailed if they’d like their grandchildren a chance at a livable future.

I’m hoping in the coming year or so to merge my virtual and my real lives. And I’m doing this by making radical lifestyle shifts and surrounding myself with people who don’t think I should be committed for purging most of my belongings and walking to the market.

And hopefully, you also have the core people close to you who will allow you to take a radical turn and embrace you as your journey unfolds. Hopefully you’ve found your balance and touched that inner space with the loving support of people who get you. While they may not be traveling the same path, or even understand why you are walking that way, they will embrace that this journey is your life.

And if not, find the community that will help you turn that steering wheel. They exist. Somewhere, a community exists that understands your motivations and the journey you have chosen. They understand because they made the same choices- for the same reasons.

Somewhere, someone is waiting to connect with your journey. Somewhere, that person is waiting to celebrate all that you are and all that you will become. Somewhere, there is a person who doesn’t think your radical journey is insane.

Someone, somewhere thinks your journey is beautiful.


  1. Pat McDonough says

    I am always touched by your insight and wisdom. Glad to hear you will be hoofin’ it soon! Better for the heart, don’t you think? I must keep paying the high prices to run my boats in WA and AK, but the path from the beach has a great hike to a berry picking patch! Also, digging clams there, oysters, Dungeness crab and jumbo shrimp all compliment the anadromous salmon for that subsistence lifestyle you speak of. M-M-good! For those of you still contemplating this connection Crystal keeps touching on??….a great book by Julia Cameron titled The Artist’s Way will help you tap in. You mentioned doing yoga soon, Crysatl?? My wife LOVES this and it helps in many ways. As far as your friend’s comment about gay in the 80’s??….he must just not be paying attention in life, or he would not have said something so inept. The invitation to visit in Alaska is still open….remember that! Foot passengers board the AK Marine Hwy ferry system in Bellingham, WA as walkons quite frequently. Keep on keepin’ on!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Pat! I’ll look you up when I make it to Alaska! And yes, the Artist’s Way is fantastic! I read it many years ago and still refer to it every so often. Take care!

  2. says

    I am just catching up on your posts and this one so resonates with me. So well put and I’m so thankful there are like minded people out there even if they are mostly in my ‘virtual’ world. I think now that I am finally embracing my journey the people around me will embrace me whether they agree with it or not. And if they don’t, they probably won’t be in my circle anymore anyway. I would love to connect with you again in the ‘real’ world…we met briefly in Durham and Chris Guillebeau’s book signing.

    • says

      So glad the article resonated with you, Melissa! Yes, people will choose their positions as you travel through your journey, but the important ones will see that your path is your true calling. Those people will be there for you and embrace the person you are striving towards.

      Would love to catch up! I’m in SC now and will be floating between NC and VA for he next couple months. Track me down on Twitter ( @crystaldstreet ) and we’ll grab a coffee sometime! Take care!

  3. Tina says

    Thank you! This was exactly the type of article I needed to read! I feel less crazy now. And I have never owned a car in my life (which is not so crazy if you’re from Europe, where gas is at over US$7 per gallon right now). ;)

    • says

      Your Welcome! And thank you, Tina, for stopping by! You’re not crazy and glad the article you feel a little less mad! Unfortunately, we built our country away from the urban areas and villages here in America, so that damn vehicle is almost a necessity. Almost. If I lived in Europe I would have never bothered with a car! And at that price, I definitely would be walking everywhere! Take care!

  4. says

    Absolutely! Count me in as one of them. I know exactly how you feel, and although I committed to my path a long time ago (with all of the crazy family stuff), I still have more hard turns to make to keep getting closer to the me who is me.

    I’d love to keep the conversation going.


    • says

      Thanks for stopping by, David! Just keep traveling down that path, take the curves as they come and people will support you, even if they disagree at first. Good luck and keep me posted on your adventure!