Matt and I were standing in the middle of a hotel parking lot in what seemed to be a semi-sketchy part of San Jose. We had just come out of the Sierras the night before and stopped there to sleep in a real bed and use indoor plumbing. We were tired, mostly broke and had no real plans in front of us other than the plane we were catching out of San Francisco a few days later. We left that parking lot and headed north up the California coast with the few dollars we had left as I triumphantly declared we were on to the next adventure (even though we had no idea what that adventure was) and it just sort of became our mantra.
Yesterday Matt left his job of 5 years to take a job that is going to help feed hungry people in the Dayton area. He took a job that required a pretty hefty pay cut. He took a job with very little vacation time. But he took a job that will make him feel like he’s helping people in need. He took a job that will make him feel good at the end of every day. And while I could sit and freak out about money or the changes that I’m sure will come over the following weeks, I keep repeating “on to the next adventure” over and over in my head. It was my mantra 4 years ago and it’s my mantra right now.
I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in social norms and what people think the next step in life should be. Get a good job. Buy a house. Climb the corporate ladder until you’re old. Buy bigger and better things that you don’t have time to enjoy. Retire. But sometimes you have to take a step backwards in order to move forward in life. You have to shed some layers in order to grow new ones. I truly think this is the best thing that has happened to us in a long time. We are able to re-prioritize the things we feel are important and the things we feel we “have” to have. We can live a little more simply and feel a little more free. We can lessen our load and travel a little lighter. I don’t know if this path will be a short jaunt or a long journey, but I’m looking forward to our future and the adventure that awaits.