There’s this thing called money. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Some say it makes the world go round, or is that love? Anyway, the m-word, I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. Probably because for most of my 31 years I haven’t paid much (read: enough) attention to it. I’ve struggled paycheck to paycheck throughout my adult life, and carried the same weight during my childhood years when my father struggled as a single dad—pay check to pay check.
So recently, even though I enojoy all the freelance work I’m doing, thoughts of ONE, full time, steady job have been taking up the majority of my fantasies. I’ve been questioning my lifestyle, where I want to be in the next ten years and what I need to do to make those dreams come true. All answers seem to be leading me into a deep dark forest that is across the river, around the bend, and a little bit to the right of where I am standing on my current fluid path.
And as I look into the darkness of the forest and wonder what I’ll find inside, I keep walking in the same direction from which I’ve come the past seven years. I continue to plug along, waiting for the loud bird call, the shriek of nature that can not be ignored.
This week, something happened…something that took such little effort, yet made three people unexpectedly happy for a few days, if not more.
It started with a back and forth on the BootsnAll message boards with my favorite BnA writer, Philip Blazdel. He recommended to me a women’s travel book that had really moved him. It was Kite Strings of the Southern Cross: A Woman’s Travel Odyssey by Laurie Gough. Of course I was very familiar with the book because of my work at Travelers’ Tales, and had met Laurie a few times both in San Francisco and Chicago. Philip had found the book in the UK on a discount table, and after reading it, bought ten copies to send to his friends around the world. When I heard this, I told Philip that I knew Laurie and would love to introduce him to this writer that was inspiring and amazing him.
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And so I did.
Philip and Laurie have exchanged some emails, and their connection has begun. But here’s the beauty of it all. Philip’s writing inspires me. Laurie’s writing inspires Philip. Laurie, a tremendous past supporter of my writing journey, and I are now in touch again. And now my stories and projects have inspired her to get her traveling legs walking again…or atleast dreaming of the next adventure.
It was such a simple yet meaningful circle.
My head, ridden with the heaviness of the superficial burden of money, was lightened by the connection. Faith in life and my small contribution to sharing the world with others, strengthened. I’ve always liked connecting people to their dreams, and in this case it was one person’s literary admiration. A good reminder that it’s not all about the paychecks…alternative stabilities can come from the heart.