My Mum and Dad looked at each other in that way parents do and smiled, bemused.
I was 6, maybe 7. We were sitting around the dinner table. I was asking them questions.
“So, what would your perfect house look like?”
My Dad: “Well, we’d have a house in the country away from the rough and tumble of everyday life, somewhere with a stream. We would have bikes and stuff hanging around. No television, no locks on the door, people would come and go without having to knock. Neighbours always in and out…”
“Well.” I said “You have a house. So why doesn’t it look like the kind of house you want?”
My Dad reminded me of this story last weekend. He told me that later that night – after they’d tucked me up in bed – my Mum and Dad had laughed so hard about what I’d said. “Well why aren’t we living in that house?” My Mum said wryly. And then they laughed some more.
The house they were living in was fine.
So they stayed in it.
A year ago, my partner, Kristin, and I sat down on the wooden floors of the living-room in our London flat – candles and red wine on the go – and each wrote down everything we wanted and didn’t want from our lives. From the heart. No bullshit. Straight up. It’s an exercise I also do with my clients. Write down how you want to feel. And what you want to do, and see, and be and know and create and stop and start and do more of, and less of. Write it all down. What do you want? Where do you want to go? What do you really fucking want in life?
(Because you can have it.)
I still have the piece of paper I wrote on. I found it last week when I was packing up the living-room. Cardboard boxes everywhere. Packing tape. And rolls of bubble wrap that I can’t stop popping.
We’re moving. We’ve sold up. We’re leaving the UK.
Glasses empty, red wine rings on the wooden floor, we each took turns that night to read out loud what we’d written.
Space and freedom and family and openness and wild trails to run and writing and working for ourselves; not having to answer to someone else – to take time out whenever we wanted – to not have to ask for the afternoon off. To say no. To say fuck yes! To have time: To create, to design, to breathe.
To live life on our own terms. Always.
We looked at each other in that way we always look at each other and smiled, excited.
Excited and shit scared.
(Because being shit scared never ever, ever goes away).
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn.
Germany beckons. A tiny village surrounded by forest. And fields. There’s just one supermarket. The nearest city is an hour away. There’s a barn in the garden. One day, it’ll be a white-on-white studio for people to come, to move, to write, to get clear. There’ll be travel. To Finland. And Switzerland. And Denmark. And France. And Holland. Just the three of us and laptops and WiFi. We’ve both worked our asses off to create our own online businesses – so that we can be anywhere and everywhere and right here (wherever that may be).
I’m also buying a goat. Kristin isn’t so keen. I’m working on it.
Here’s to wild trails.
And wild decisions.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
ps: If you’d like to book some coaching sessions with me, I will be regularly travelling to the UK to continue working with my face-to-face clients. I also coach via Skype! Check out my coaching options here.