The year was 1999
I spent the summer with two childhood friends on a road trip traveling across the country.
This incident of conversation happened in Wyoming.
I could feel the wind fast and hard against my face.
The beating of of the hot sun penetrating my skin.
There it was… The most beautiful scene I had ever imagined. It literally took my breath away. (which doesn’t happen often)
The mountains were capped with snow. The lake, crystal blue and the trees were so colorful and vibrate….I was no stranger to the outdoors, but this was different. It was so surreal.
It was like a scene from a movie….
And I was cruising right towards this magical view helmetless on the back of this badass Harley with my new friend Jack. He resembled a cross between a hells angel – with his leather jacket, long gray hair and Santa like beard – and Jerry Garcia – with his stocky stance and big belly.
We traveled alongside his companion, a Native American man, who earlier had taken us up onto the hillside to burn sage and cleanse our spirits. This was an experience totally new to my friends and I.
We were about to pull over and snap a couple of pictures when I asked my new friend to keep going. I excitably asked him “How fast can this thing go anyway?” (yes, going way beyond the legal limit – sorry mom.)
That was the moment. The moment the entire course of my life changed. Something magical transpired and I…
I let go.
I spread my arms out wide as if I were flying, leaned back with my head towards the sky and closed my eyes.
I felt a feeling I’d never felt before. It was this surge of energy that overtook my whole body. It was, as if, I felt the blood pulsating through each and every vein.
I felt alive.
More alive than I had ever felt. My soul woke up from a long rested nap. I had no idea what the heck was going to happen next and I didn’t care.
There I was, without a helmet cruising at speeds I don’t even drive in a car with a seat belt on.
And…with a man I had only known a few hours, but trusted with my life.
I was in complete surrender. Not only did I let go of the trusted security of his waist, but I let go of my control. I let go of trying to make shit happen and allowed it to just be.
I had no worry, no question and no doubt. Nothing else mattered except that exact moment and what I was feeling.
I was overcome with a rush of excitement, the thrill of this daring adventure and yet a knowingness that everything was OK. I was ok. I felt at home and I felt free.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that feeling was going to be a feeling that would drive me every day of my life. It would become my own definition of freedom – Feeling secure in that crazy place and a willingness to be ok with the randomness of your own life adventure… whatever it brings.
It took another 2 years before I would drop everything, quit a high paying successful job with big promises and move solo across the country.
With only what fit into my tiny convertible, I arrived in Wyoming a month after I left everything familiar to reclaim my stake in the area that awakened my soul a few years prior.
Of course, then as the story goes, it’s not a happily ever after tale where I tell you as soon as I moved I felt free.
That didn’t happen.
And it wasn’t that easy.
I spent another 11 years searching for that feeling again and trying to live my life in the moment as much as possible.
I have travelled to over 25 countries for months at a time with just my backpack and a lonely planet as my guide. I skied 50 days a year. Summited every mountain I could. Took up Paragliding, river rafting, rock climbing and the list goes on. I felt free in those moments.
But in the times of stillness, I still felt lost, confused, and doubted every decision I made.
I felt guilty about my adventures. I felt I had to somehow justify my aliveness to my family and friends. I wondered if people judged me or thought I was reckless or worthless because I didn’t have one of those “real” jobs.
I kept quiet when I was being disrespected when all I wanted to do was scream and yell how I felt. At times, I followed the crowd because I didn’t want to make waves. I did a ton of other crap that I hated because I thought I was supposed to. I always tried to do all the “right” things even when it meant I was sacrificing my soul.
Thirteen years later I found myself stuck at a dead end job working my ass off in a bar with no chance for advancement, a owner of a condo that had me $135,000 upside down and a busted back that left me immobilized and turning to alcohol to numb the pain.
I always felt called to be doing something more, but scared shitless to answer the call. Hell, I spent so much time looking outside of myself seeking security and acceptance that I didn’t even have a clue as to what it was anyway. I just knew I wasn’t living my true potential. Sure, I looked as if I was having the time of my life. But something was missing. What was it? I couldn’t quite figure it out.
I hated the thought of getting to the end of my life not knowing.
Clearly the universe and my body were trying to tell me something.
It was time to listen.
Which lead me on an adventure to reconnect with myself and rediscover who Carolyn was. Hence, what has brought me to me to where I am now. Embracing the rebel with a cause I am. Honoring my body, trusting my intuition and being divinely guided by a force from within myself. (My inner badass as I like to call her)
I don’t feel guilty. I don’t allow my inner game critics to stop me anymore. Yes, I’m still afraid, but I use it as my motivation now. And I feel free.
Because I’m want to be transparent – Of course, I still have down days but I get through them a whole lot easier now.
Instead of still seeking out a new adventure or daring feat that forced that same free feeling I had all those years ago I’ve learned a few things along the way that I want to share:
- Freedom is yours – Whenever and wherever you want it. It’s not a daring adventure or the ability to travel any time you damn well please. It’s a feeling that comes from within and once you feel it no one can take it away from you except you.
- Surrender. Let go of who you think you should be start believing in who you are right now.
- Listen to your body and pay attention to synchronicity. – Your intuition and the universe (divine, god – whatever works for you) work in harmony together. That goes for the good and the bad.Ya know that saying “When it rains, it pours.” Allow the goodness into your life. Know you deserve it. Stop trying to control everything and pay attention to what’s right in front of you right now.
Empowering your unordinary life,