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I’d like to address something I encounter almost daily. I brush it off most of the time because it’s a big ol’ can of worms.

I often hear the phrase, “Wow, you’re so lucky.”

Or “It must be nice to live so freely.”

Or “I wish I had a job like that.”

Or,

Or,

Or.

To be crystal clear, I have innumerable blessings in my life and was born into this wild world with a good hand. I practice appreciation and gratitude daily, and try to avoid taking things for granted. If you spend any amount of prolonged time with me you’ll inevitably get a dose of my constant state of wonder.

And why not?

This planet is magical, in all it’s pain and pleasure, beauty and destruction, magical. Period.

But luck? Nah.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” This quote is attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca, and it resonates in a big way. In my limited life experience, I think it’s true.

Here’s the thing about the “it must me nices” and the “I wishes”: this lifestyle was my plan from day one. In biz speak, I had a very clear “why” when I decided I didn’t want to use my brand new master’s degree and instead go out on my own with a camera.

What was my why?

Time. That’s all, and that’s still all. I wasn’t happy being accountable to the calendar, the clock, and the standard 9-5 with very limited flexibility. Of course I still have to work, and I probably put in more hours on my own as I ever did teaching, but it’s on my terms.

It’s Monday morning and I’m writing this from a cozy flat in Paris, just down the block from the Eiffel herself. I had coffee with one of my dearest life-long friends and snapped photos of her one-year-old daughter being silly in the bathtub. Now that baby is napping, I’m carving out a few hours to “work”…but it doesn’t feel like work very often.

I’m ready to make a little corner of the world home again.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I wish when people uttered those phrases I mentioned above that they heard themselves clearly, or believed life can change relative to their circumstances, and for the better. Because if you’re saying things like “I wish” then I encourage you to look at the reason why.

Families sell everything and bicycle with their kids and dogs across the continent; people quit their jobs and start small businesses, or go back to school, or write that novel, or buy RVs; folks leave relationships to start new lives and families with someone new.

It happens all the time.

I am genuinely happy and at peace most days, and I love the life I’ve created. My lifestyle is absolutely not for everyone. Many people find solace in the schedule that I found restrictive. I get it, and no judgement on whatever is working for you.

But listen to your words more often, to your heart, your soul, your intentions…because it’s not your choices I take issue with, it’s:

Complaining. Complacency. Refusal to recognize that your life experience is 100% up to you and your attitude and perspective.

Harsh?

Maybe. But my heart actually hurts when I have these conversations. When I see people stuck, or lost, or just going through the daily motions sensing they’re off track but unsure of what to do about it.

You can start where I did when I was in the same boat.

So…

What is your WHY?

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