I'm sitting in the Las Vegas airport on a long layover on our way to Lima, Peru. The past few days have been a whirlwind; I reunited with David after his month away, moved out of our home for the past year and said goodbye to friends and family. It was a lot harder than I expected. This trip to Peru has been my guiding star since October of 2015, and it feels surreal that it's actually happening after so many months of envisioning it. During those months of dreaming I didn't think much about what it would be like to leave San Francisco and all of my friends there. I thought about it (as I tend to do) as a checklist: quit my job, sell all of my belongings, move out of my house, and buy a 1-way ticket to Peru. THEN, I believed, my dream journey would finally start.
By glossing over the checklist with the end goal in mind, I was missing a critical piece to this journey, which is the transition period. The process of leaving initiated a shift in everything around me - my frame of thinking and perceiving, my relationships with others and my relationships with my physical things. In our garage sale we met many neighbors, including the ones that lived below us that I had never met beyond a passing ‘hey’ during our year of living on the same property. By leaving I developed a deeper connection with the people in my life, and forged new connections with people I hadn’t met before. It made me feel a deeper sense of community, which was not what I expected when I envisioned leaving the city. It made it harder to leave.
While the status quo is comfortable and easy, there is a depth of connection that occurs in the transition period that can only be reached during massive upheaval, it seems. For me, saying goodbye to my coworkers first, then my physical things and then some of my closest friends allowed me to reach that depth. I felt pained saying goodbye and not knowing when I would see my soul tribe again. I wondered if I was insane to leave behind such a great, comfortable life. I hated the process of moving out and being forced to examine all of the physical things I had accumulated over the years that were now weighing me down. And yet, I did it. I sold all of my things, condensed my life down to 2 backpacks and am now on a plane to Peru, where my life beyond the next 2 months is completely unknown. All of this transition forced me to be present during massive discomfort in a way I had never experienced before.
While sitting in a food court in the Las Vegas airport, I befriended a woman named Faye. When I shared my plans to go to Peru for a yoga teacher training and continue traveling from there, she became excited and started shining. She wished me luck and walked away, only to come back a few minutes later, sit next to me, and open up about her deepest desires to write a book called 24 Hours. She used to work in the hospital ER room where she watched people ‘expire every day,' and she also mentioned a near death experience she had in 2008. She shared her belief that no matter how hard we try, or how much we push or plan, we never know what will happen and this next 24 hours could be our last; nothing we do can extend it. Seeing so many people leave their lives had a profound effect on her, and she was writing 24 Hours to include inspirational wisdom and highlight people’s stories about what they would choose to do in their last 24 hours of life. By reading about other peoples' dreams for their last 24 hours of life, she believes people will be encouraged to reflect on their own lives in a deeper way. I was very inspired by her, and a little curious as to why she sat down and explained her dreams to me in that moment.
I later realized that by living my own dream, she felt inspired and wanted to share her dream. She felt more comfortable opening up to a stranger that also is following a dream, and by sharing her dream out loud she received more energy and encouragement around it. She left me with a lingering reflection on what I would want my last 24 hours to be like. I know that inspiring and encouraging others to live out their deepest truths, like what happened with Faye, would be the greatest blessing I could receive in my last day. Using Faye's logic that any day could be our last, I can now use this as another guiding star; to have a goal of inspiring and encouraging others to live their deepest truths every day.
As I write this conclusion I’m sitting in my hostel in Lima, Peru, after 24 hours of traveling into this new phase of life. While this journey is very much a deep soul searching journey for myself, I will be sharing it as much as I can with the hope that by sharing my truth on this journey, it will inspire you to live your truth too.