In Transition

Monday, January 24th, 2011

This is why people don’t do this.

I think that a lot lately.  This is the not fun part of turning your life upside down.  This is the part of change that sucks the most.

This is transition.

And it blows.  I’m constantly faced with all of the things I can’t have or can’t do, and it’s easy to lose sight of what I will get to do soon.  Yes, I will get to travel around the country and see all of the things I’ve wanted to see.  Yes, I will get to spend an extraordinary amount of time with my husband and children.  Yes, I will enjoy a sense of freedom that is rare in this culture of stuff and debt.  Yes, we made this choice because we believe it will be better.  Best.

But I can’t buy art I fall in love with when I see it.

I have 22 purses that I have spent thousands of dollars on that I will now need to sell for pennis on the dollar.

And my shoes.  Oh God, my shoes.

And that might sound stupid and superficial, but it’s so much a part of normal that I can’t help but feel deprived every time I bump up against another “I can’t.”

I can’t buy this.

I can’t make that.

I can’t keep those.

The sacrifices we’re making to have the Big Fat Dream, both tiny and monumental, seem to be right up in my face constantly.  And The Big Fat Dream is still vapors in the distance.  It’s hard to soothe the jarring discomfort of reality with vapors.

And then the doubts creep in.  Discomfort is such fertile soil for doubts to take root in and blossom into ten-feet-tall nightmares.

What if…

What if we fail.  Look stupid.  Hate it.  Resent each other.  End up broke and broken.  Give up everything and get nothing.

What if all of the doubts that people drop into your brain in passing are, in fact, really great reasons not to do this.

You will get tired of each other.

You will spend your life savings.

You will end up with children who have no sense of home or security.

You will wish you had just stayed the course.

But it’s too late.  We’ve already jumped off the road most traveled in enough ways that getting back on would be harder than just heading towards the vapors.  We’re between one side and another, in the middle where there is more anxiety than adrenaline.

We’re in transition.

And it blows.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Miss Britt, Rachel. Rachel said: RT @missbritt: Brand spankin' new blog post – In Transition http://bit.ly/hdO9Wv [...]

  2. Avitable says:

    People have done this. Families have traveled from the tip of South America to Alaska and not only lived to tell the tale, but thrived to tell the tale.

    You’re not going to fail. Sure, you’ll occasionally get sick of each other, and then you’ll take a little break, take a walk, and be fine. You’ll earn money writing that will pay your bills and your savings will stay the same. If not, that’s what they’re there for. What are life savings if not to spend on a dream of your life? One year of travel will not take a sense of security away from your children. It will expand their horizons and give them greater appreciation for everything.

    If all you take away from the next year is the fact that you managed to travel the entire United States with your family – if that’s the ONLY thing left from the trip (which it won’t be), it’s still a tremendous success.

    You won’t fail.

  3. Megan says:

    Living your dreams is hard. That’s why so many people don’t do it.

    Hang in there.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Thanks sweetie. I keep telling myself that – and I actually debated writing this post, but I wanted other people to know that it’s not all sunshines and roses either.

  4. mel says:

    What you are doing is brave. Yes, you are taking a chance to do something spectacular. I can’t find anything negative to say about sharing your dream with your family. Follow your heart and the “what if” will be silenced over time. I think that’s far better than the potential of looking back and saying “should’ve, would’ve”. I’ll pulling for you.

  5. FireMom says:

    Girlfriend, ignore people. The doubts they throw at you are not about you and your family. They are about that person, their issues and their family’s issues. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. Every time I make a big change, someone says, “Blah blah blah.” And for awhile, I focus on that blah. Until I realize that they’re projecting something onto me that they still haven’t dealt with.

    However, even ignoring people doesn’t make transition fun. It doesn’t. I’m there with you, in my own way, and I just kind of want to curl up on the couch and cry today. I think I might a little bit. And that? Is okay too.

    Know that you’re making the right and best decisions you can for your family at this time. Know that no one else is privy to the inner-workings of your life, mind and heart and therefore can’t really know if what you are doing is right or wrong. And know that you will make it through this transition and be okay on the other side. You will.

    Sending love and strength today.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Oh my God, yes. I need a good freaking cry. I’ve been pushing it back for days because I’m afraid it means I’m “wrong” or something – but YES.

  6. Poppy says:

    I keep seeing you say “I want to back out of this.” Do you really mean that? It’s certainly an option. But instead of being excited for the journey I keep seeing you say “I don’t want to do this” and that’s… disconcerting.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Hmmm… it’s funny that you’re reading “I want to back out of this.” , because I’m definitely not saying that.

      The thing is, backing out of the trip IS an option, of course. But there are things we really CAN’T undo at this point. It’s like getting married – you can get divorced, but you can’t go back to not ever having been married. Same with being pregnant. There are some really big steps we’ve already taken, especially financially, that we can’t undo.

      And I still believe it’s for the best, but blowing up some of those bridges and looking back and realizing, yep, blown up, is kind of scary!

      I feel like I have said I’m excited for the journey. I AM. But I’m nervous, too. There’s room for both inside me it seems. :-)

  7. Amanda says:

    You are a great inspiration to all of us who want so bad to have the dream and take the steps no matter how scary they may be. I know without a single doubt that you will do great things while on this journey. Will you have bumps in the road of course, you will be scared, and you will have so many emotions that there are days you will doubt yourself. Remember when you moved to Florida and all the what if’s came out just before it was time and look at how great that has been for your family. You and Jared are wonderful parents and soul mates who will succeed in all that you do. I wish that I had half the courage you have! I don’t know how to post on your site so that is why I posted it here.
    FYI- If you need storage for the purses and shoes my closet is open. I have to tell you though I will borrow when you’re not looking :)

  8. Mandi Bone says:

    I am a visual person so I print out pictures or print out articles and post them where I can see them. When I was learning to walk again I had a picture of the castle of Walt Disney World almost everywhere so when I got into the “walking is to hard” mindset I would at the picture to remind myself why I was working my ass off.

  9. Liz says:

    Wait so will these purses be sold in the Orlando area? Where loyal blog readers can come help finance your dream while feeding our own purse addictions?

  10. Lisa says:

    I think being nervous is natural. You don’t know exactly what lies ahead, and with that uncertainty comes doubts. I totally get that. Also, people tend to project their own fears on someone they think is doing something that they’re not sure they themselves could do, however unknowingly.

    You’re on this path right now, and while you don’t know for sure what’s going to come up, you’ve thought a lot about it and you’re pretty sure you can handle the not-so-awesome parts. And if it turns out you really don’t like it, there is nothing set in stone that says you can’t find a new path that’s right for you.

  11. karla porter says:

    I think this is such a fabulous idea and I wish you nothing but great things for it. I think Megan, above, summed it up perfectly: Living your dreams is hard. I finally started living mine last year and it was so worth the journey.

  12. Janelle says:

    What if all those things do happen? You do what we all do, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    I assume when you and your husband were first married, you were broke (most young newlyweds are) and you made it through that to where you are today. You can do it again if need be.

    Your marriage was broken. You guys fixed it. If you get broken again, which I highly doubt, you will fix yourself again. You have the tools that you paid good money for to not get broken again.

    The security your kids need, comes from loving parents. Not a house with wood and nails. Think of all the military families that move all over the place. Most of those kids grow up as well adjusted adults who are no worse for the wear.

    If you spend all of your life savings, you will earn more money. There is always money to be made by hardworking capitable adults.

    Your fears are valid. And should be discussed. However, This your dream!

    I do have one question and it is probably too personal, but I’m gonna ask anyway… What about healthcare? That was only question when I read about your plans, “what happens if they need the doctor/dentist?” not at all my business though, no need to tell me!! but that was my only “what if” question. The rest that you mentioned above, you will be able to walk through that and come out the other side just fine.

    • Miss Britt says:

      It’s not too personal at all!

      We already pay for healthcare on our own because neither of us have an employer, so no employee benefits, so we already have a budget for insurance and were sure to work that into the trip budget. As for actually FINDING healthcare if needed, I guess we’d just rely on referrals? I don’t know. You bring up a good point though that maybe we need to get each of our updated medical records on a flash drive or something to take with us.

  13. Janelle says:

    And I agree with Mel. The what Ifs will be silenced over time by just doing this!! It’s the only way to shut up the what Ifs. Because what is the alternative? I think the worst what if in anybody’s life is ‘what if I just don’t…”

  14. Allyson says:

    I understand. I live in transition. I’m always, “Well, when I move into that house, or when I’m single, or once he admits he loves me, or once the holidays are over, or after the birthdays, or when I lose some weight….” it seems I’m never at the NOW I CAN DO whatever. I hate transition, and yet, it seems that I never get to the other side without jumping off to the next thing. And somehow, it’s painful for me to see the numbers in my bank account go up, without spending it all on stuff I tell myself I need… but not until this next project is well in hand.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Living permanently in transition would suck ASS. I actually think I did that for a really long time and it was important for me to find a balance between the transition periods that come with working towards something and the living in the moment… uh… moments.

  15. the muskrat says:

    Money is easily replaceable and so are things. But memories with special people? Can’t be replicated and sometimes shouldn’t be deferred!

  16. Momma says:

    I agree with Avitable.
    It seems like you’re doing everything properly in order to follow the dream. You’re thinking it through, doing your part, the next step has to be one of faith. But, you’re right. Some days you wonder if it’s the right thing. And people can be so unkind in their response to your plans. But, don’t you think you’d regret more NOT going on your adventure, than regret that you’d gone on it? What an amazing life to live, your own, not someone else’s ideal. How can spending more time with your children not be a wonderful goal?
    And, it’s YOUR choice to do this, sell everything for pennies on the dollar; you’re not FORCED to do this. Because, THAT sucks!!!!!

    • Miss Britt says:

      Yep. I absolutely would regret NOT going.

      You’re right though that I need to always remember that this is a CHOICE, even the low points are a choice.

  17. Faiqa says:

    Dr. Seuss called it the Waiting Place. It sucks. I hate it, too. But, I think it’s better than not having any place to go at all. If that makes sense… Also, I read something the other day that was to the effect of “the number of irreversible mistakes that you can make is very, very, very small.” Something to keep in mind.

  18. DeannaBanana says:

    Britt? I can tell you, from experience, that ‘losing’ everything and being forced to start over is nowhere near as painful as it sounds. Sure, it sucks and it is harsh and raw, but still, not as bad as it sounds. It’s doable. And freeing, actually. Being free of all of those things whether by accident or by design is actually very empowering and teaches you exactly what you are capable of. So, worst case scenario? You are still calling the shots, babe. You will be just fine even if you go for broke after a year and start over after that, AND you will have had the opportunity to spend the year doing all of the things you are currently dreaming about. Try and remember that, when you cannot quite bump the dreads.

    Besides, who better than to recreate your future self than you, when the next year has flown by? Who KNOWS where you will end up! How exciting!

    • Miss Britt says:

      “ritt? I can tell you, from experience, that ‘losing’ everything and being forced to start over is nowhere near as painful as it sounds. ”

      Big happy sigh. This is actually really comforting to hear from someone who I know had to do it and NOT by choice. And that freeing feeling you’re talking about? THAT is one of the biggest reasons we’re doing this. I want to be free of the burden of all the STUFF we carry around.

  19. Connie says:

    Transitions are a difficult change but that’s all a part of what change is. Yes, it certainly blows, but the uncertainty of it all is part of the excitement and adventure of starting something new.

    You should be proud of yourself for chasing your dreams, I definitely am!

  20. i love your honesty and knowing i will always find it here at your little corner of the internet.

    that being said, there is not a doubt in my mind that the journey will be spectacular and that if you should encounter a few bumps along the way, well…you will best them with flying colors. every ounce of me knows this because i know you and jared.

    i hated seeing the word failure in your writings. in my eyes failure is not an option because the only true failure is making the choice not to wake up in the morning. should something not go exactly as planned it will in no way equal failure.

    i love you lady and i

  21. naomi says:

    I agree with all of your previous commenters. The cool thing about making a choice, is getting to make DIFFERENT choices, as a result of your original choice.

    that made no sense … moving overseas (HUGE choice, that I often question, cry about, stress over, kick myself for and curl up in a ball over). But the cool thing is that NOW, we get to make choices about being content (that I never would have gotten the opportunity to do before) … make positive choices about how to teach our children about the world (NEVER would have gotten that chance) …. get the choice EVERY day on how to better my marriage in a sea of expat divorces and affairs ….

    You said it best somewhere in your replies … that even the low points are a choice.

    (AND …. yes, you should have written this post … it’s great that you’re sharing your journey and choices with the rest of us … and for the most part it is all bubbles, sunshine and jealousy from those that can’t imagine themselves making that leap …. but underneath it all is going to always be that “oh shit” feeling of what have we done … and I’m grateful you’re sharing that part too!!

    (end blab…)

  22. Rachael says:

    you will never miss the shoes. or the purses. it will just make it easier to make a choice every morning. and I love shoes and purses, but did without a bunch when I lived in Angola for 3 years. yep, never missed ‘em. transition does suck tho…I remember thinking if I just get everything packed and on that plane I can finally breathe.

  23. Rachael says:

    oh, and one more thing….our shipment of house goods that are being sent home from Luanda…all that stuff I thought I needed??? Well, let’s say I wouldn’t mind if it got LOST along the way. Same thing with all the crap we put in storage before we left. soooo over the excess. less is so much easier to take care of.

  24. Since I live, work and travel full time in an RV I have some idea of what you are facing. I totally get that part of seeing Art you can’t own, not being able to keep a treasure you find, not collecting things you want. But what helps me is an old dieting tip. The best part of a donut is often the smell. And you can have the smell. Soak it in, enjoy it…but leave the actual donut. That’s what I do when I come across wonderful things that just can’t fit into my lifestyle. I soak them in, enjoy them as much as I can and then leave them for somebody else to own. They get to store and dust it, and they have to eventually have to get rid of it…because that’s how it works.
    So go out there, soak stuff in and move on.
    Tina
    P.S. Photos don’t take up room. ;-)

  25. Laurie says:

    I’m jst saying that if you need someone to store your shoes and purses for you while you are out exploring the world, then I am your girl. I should probably ask what size you wear.

    But seriously? Based on what you have said, I am pretty sure the experiences and memories you are going to have as a result of this transition are going to far outweigh a few (or a lot) of your possessions. I know that it doesn’t seem like that now though. I was the girl who sat on the floor of my empty living room over a pile of purses that I had to get rid of when my husband and I moved in together prior to our wedding. So I know it is hard, but other than remembering that I threw a giant fit? I really haven’t missed those bags and have replaced them. You will too.

  26. cora says:

    Have you considered stroring some of your belongings (like your beloved purses and shoes, and things that are too large to take with you, but too sentimental to get rid of)? It might make the transition easier if you knew that you could hang on to some of those things.
    Seems also like you are trying to do everything at once. Babysteps; start with the USB-cables, cuttlery etc and work your way up to the shoes.
    Good luck! I wish I had the courage to do something like you. I’ll work on my little dreams in the meantime. I’ve got time…

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