Thursday, January 2, 2014

Get Lost in Your LIfe - Guest Blog Post


Once upon a time in the land of Nod there lived a little girl named Chelle. She went to bed every night with the stress of her day and felt like her life had reached a breaking point. She did what every rational person should do. She quit her job, became an unemployed nanny for the summer and biked to her heart's content. 
Photo By: H.M. Wild
How does this story end? 

It doesn't. It was just the beginning of a new novel, series..a trilogy!  I had originally had the intent of writing a blog post on the art of crafting. After much thought, cleaning and purging the house of unneeded items and seeing an inspirational video, I decided to advocate a happy life

Photo By: H.M. Wild 


If you all can afford to take a few weeks off, months or even years to focus on yourself, do it. I urge you. I can tell you that I honestly felt lost. In that lost feeling I had the courage to try new things and rediscover what it is that I want from my life and what kind of person I want to be.
Photo By: H.M. Wild 

It's a ripple effect. Yet most of us are so consumed in the motions of day to day existence that we forget to live in Now.  Two weeks into my un-employment I was denied Unemployment benefits for being honest on my application. 
Photo By: H.M. Wild 
Surprisingly I was ok with that. I knew my savings would not last forever but I had this renewed faith that everything would be ok. I discovered biking. It wasn't new to me but I had never cruised around on the trails by myself so I felt so independent speeding by shady characters on my bike, my pocket knife strapped to my leg. My trusty mom van died a few weeks later and biking became my transportation. 
Photo By: H.M. Wild 
In that small act of strength, I had the courage to leave many toxic relationships behind. This in turn prompted me to also leave behind bad habits and negative thoughts. I was waiting for my loneliness to kick in, it didn't. I found a new comfort in spending time alone, something I had long avoided. 

Photo By: H.M. Wild 
Over the course of  a few weeks I felt more like me. My self doubt dissolved and I became (Finally!!!) comfortable in my body, my style, my art and my thoughts. I no longer felt like I wanted someone else's life. I wanted the one I had and have.
Photo By: H.M. Wild 
I can tell you that everyone will have a different experience and that is the beauty in it all. Your life is like a huge treasure chest. Experiences, people, memories and every second we are living  the treasures. 
Photo By: H.M. Wild 
I leave you with an inspirational video that has resonated with  me today and  I am sure for the long run. It is of Narayanan Krishnan who has founded the Akshaya Trust. 

I wish you all a New Year filled with discovering You and the beauty in this one life we have. 

- Chelle Gonzalez 
Photo By: Basilio Gonzalez III
Bio: Chelle is a full-time Mama whose main job in this world is raising her son to be a happy human being who is giving and kind to others.  Her passion is self-reinvention while channeling her creativity into numerous fashion designs, art, and crafts that repurpose and upcycle ordinary every day objects and turn them into something extraordinary.  You can find Chelle roaming the trails of Anchorage and re-discovering her inner child while photographing her adventures from a unique one-of-a-kind perspective.    Follow the link to Object Runway to check out her unique creations.   E-mail: qipaqproductions@gmail.com


And now a message from Honey Mama: 

The moments of indecision my husband and I shared during our journey home were also peppered with surprising moments of inspiration and hope. Chelle has been "that person" who delivered many of those much needed moments of inspiration and hope. I continue to be in awe of her boldness, willingness to try new things, and drive to do good in this world and illuminate the dark corners and spaces, bringing light and life where it is needed most.  

Photo By: H.M. Wild 
Chelle has taught me to TRY whatever moved me and if failure is at the end of the road, then the blessing is the experience and the lessons learned.  We used to work together in corporate cube land we worked our way up from answering phones to managing programs, budgets, and events.  

While going to school, pursuing our degrees and trying to find sanity in the few moments we had during the busy work week.  We both enjoyed the ability to serve Our People, the Alaska Native population, and enjoyed so much about what we did as professionals. But personally we were struggling.  We both share that wanderlust in our souls - the need to explore, try new things, and ultimately do what people are least likely to expect. 

Corporate cube land was not a good fit for either of us - it was like trying to fit two ever-changing life forms into one tiny cube and it just wasn't the right fit for either of us.  We each left the organization for our own reasons.  Chelle went on to more corporate work, sampling what else was out there in search of fulfilling work that promoted doing good, helping people and making the world a better place.  
Photo By: H.M. Wild 
We managed to stay in contact via Facebook and over the past five years since I became a full-time student and stay-at-home mama Chelle continued to inspire, motivate and encourage me, often in subtle ways.  I asked her to do a blog post knowing that whatever she came up with would be spot on.  I would like to thank her for her willingness and enthusiasm in putting this post together and sharing it with all of you.  

One thing I would like to add regarding the post is in response to what Chelle wrote:

 "If you all can afford to take a few weeks off, months or even years to focus on yourself, do it".  

Firstly, I cannot agree more with this statement, BUT the reality is you will NEVER be able to afford it, justify it, or otherwise convince yourself (or your understandably worried parents) that following your bliss, taking a break, and finding your own rhythm is what is in the best interest of yourself, your family and ultimatley society. 

In order to "afford" this lifestyle we gave up...."everything", and it included giving up a whole lot of ego and a redefinition of what a good life meant to us.  We honestly and respectfully listened to well-founded arguments and concerns from friends and family, even though we knew that this was just something "we had to do".  We lost thousands (and thousands and thousands) of dollars on the sale of our house (through realtor fees; but we were lucky to re-sell our home above what we purchased it for, which in one way of looking at things meant we "broke even" and in the end it didn't matter, because we may have "lost" the money, but we didn't lose the lesson.  

My husband quit a job he enjoyed, working for a company that always treated us like family.  We left behind good friends, family, and (for me) an active running and triathlon community, in addition to future professional employment prospects.  It felt like we were running away from Our Life, but in reality we were running Home.

It wasn't an easy choice, but we knew it would NEVER be the exact right time, unless we won the lottery - which wasn't going to happen since you can't even buy a lottery ticket in Alaska.  When opportunity knocked, we answered the door and it was a little like winning the lottery, because of the opportunities that fell perfectly into place in such a way that I am still unable to comprehend how it all went down, because it feels like divine intervention.  
Photo By: H.M. Wild 
We jumped in with both feet then shook in our boots for a while until we found something we'd never really had before - faith.  Then we just did it, despite all the unknowns and liabilities - you know the two kids under age 6, and our three four-legged children, all of whom were solely relying upon our ability to provide them with a warm dry place to sleep, healthy food to eat, and a happy home life.  

In order to pull it all off we buy in bulk, eat at home,  and don't have cable or satellite or Netflix (to list a few "sacrifices", which have actually been rewards because we are learning to live a life we can sustain - a life that fulfills us and gives us purpose.  We are becoming part of this wonderful little community (population: 104), and that has been the most rewarding part of the journey so far.  

We needed this place and in some way it needed us too.  We repurpose everything we can and up cycle things in ways that align our actions with our values.  In town we had these "ideas" but found it very hard to "live our values".  

Many people are able to do this while living a city life and to those people I have the utmost respect. 

 That was not the case for us.  Moving here, some six hours away from Anchorage in one direction and Fairbanks, another six hours away in the opposite direction, has forced us into walking the walk, instead of just talking the talk.   I'll elaborate more on "how we are managing to pull this whole thing off" in the future, but for now I wanted to use this opportunity to put this out there and share what I have learned.

"Sometimes you just do things." - Scott Jurek 

and when I am having those "dark night of the soul" moments I remind myself:

"This is what you came for." - Scott Jurek

Did you enjoy the photos in this blog post? Many of them (by: H.M. Wild) are featured in "The Best of 2013" photo album on Facebook.  Check it out, "like" it, love it, and pass it on!  


Happy New Year! 

Cheers! 

- H.M. Wild 


Lie In Our Graves
Dave Matthews Band 

When I step into the light
my arms open wide
when I step into the light 
my eyes searching wild
would you not like to be
sitting on top of the world with your legs hanging free
would you not like to be OK, OK, OK

when we're walking by the water 
splish splash me and you taking a bath
when we're walking by the water
come to my toes to my ankles to my head to my soul
then I'm blown away

when we're walking by the water 
splish splash me and you taking a bath
when we're walking by the water
come to my toes to my ankles to my head to my soul
then I'm blown away

I can't believe that we would lie in graves
wondering if we had spent our living days well
I can't believe that we would lie in graves
wondering what we might of been
I can't believe that we would lie in graves
wondering if we had spent our living days well
I can't believe that we would lie in graves
wondering what we might of been

would you not like to be 
would you not like to be
I can't believe that you would not like to be
would you not like to be

ok, ok, ok,
ok, ok, ok,
ok, ok, ok,
ok, ok, ok,
and we dance away

Honey Bearskins Rug - Running Wild and Free in the Snow; Photo By: H.M. Wild