It isn’t always easy believing in yourself, much less “the process.” Waking up the morning of May 17th understanding that I no longer had to call anyone my boss, other than myself, was the single most terrifyingly exhilarating feeling I have ever had as a professional. By lunch, I realized I was scanning my emails, checking my voice mail, and almost in a weird way hoping someone called from the corporate world. One week later and I am happy to report that I am typing this post from the Grand Canyon. Whether or not the Sober Voyager survives, and it will, because I believe in you just as much as I believe in myself, I learned a great life lesson while marking off my second state, Alabama.
Trusting in “the process” is a fairly vague term. I would loosely interpret “the process” as hoping the wind is forever at my back, gas in my car, going down the exact road, at the exact time as a potential influencer in my life. That person then would magically be heading towards the same destination, looks over, waves, proceeds to look me up on Instagram and then tops it off by sending me an email. Remember, I am in a van for the next 48 weeks! For anyone not living in a van I would describe “the process” as understanding that it is important to accept where you are in life, today, and making the most of it. My GPS doesn’t always take me down the correct roadway, but so too is life. I am learning each and every day that it is more important to get to your destination rather than arriving on time.
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. (someday) is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way” – Tim Ferriss, 4 Hour Work Week.
Gulf Shores Alabama, home of Hangout Fest, was my second destination on my 50-week journey. I danced, laughed, potentially embarrassed myself while dancing, but who cares, and for the most part it was another music festival, just like all of the rest of them that I had previously attended. So, what’s the purpose of this post? Alabama made me a believer in “the process.” When I purchased my ticket almost 6 months prior I already knew that I would enjoy the performers playing. I knew there would be beautiful people from all over the south running around the beach enjoying a weekend away from reality. I knew there would be tasty spicy pie, and more glitter on kids than a 2nd grade art project. What I didn’t know was who I would be staying with, where, or who I would meet. I honestly didn’t even know if I would even enjoy a festival alone. This marked my very first weekend alone, on a journey to meet others.
Scroll back two paragraphs when I described “the process,” in my own words. Well, it happened. Almost in the that exact order as I jokingly made up. There I was, cruising down the highway, window down, jamming to some house music in my van. Then, out of nowhere, three girls pull up next to the me and start waiving. The egotistical me would have loved to say it was because I find myself a solid 7, but that clearly was not the reason they were waiving. Deep down inside of me it was confirmation that I was going to meet new and interesting people, strangers with amazing stories doing amazing things all because I was willing to get out of my comfort zone. I knew they were waiving because of the van! “The Process.”
I you need further proof that good things happen to those who are willing to have the most difficult conversation, make the most challenging decisions then look no further than my trip to Alabama and decision to live in a van for year. Those same three girls found me on social media, called me 4 miles down the road and asked me to join them on a podcast when I come through Nashville. Not even 24 hours later a good friend contacted me letting me know he found some last-minute tickets and was coming down to Hangout. It turns out he was staying with three strangers from Atlanta that he found on Reddit. By the end of the week I shared genuine laughs with not strangers, but new friends. I was able to share my story and listen to theirs. I made memories that will last a lifetime. We ate ice cream during a hurricane and we joked on SIS.
In the end, I learned that all of the things that I already knew where going to come true, did. What I came to realize was that my favorite memories where not of the things that I had already seen or done, they were of the things and the people that I had not yet met prior to leaving for Alabama. I am walking away with three new funky cool girls in my life doing amazing things in Nashville. I am walking away with three new friends. Three of the most caring, loving, supportive and genuinely good people I know doing awesome things in Atlanta. I am writing this post not because I am sitting in a cubical, answering emails from clients or texting my boss. I am not saying that you should live in a van for a year or just up an quit your job. I am saying that if you have an itch to do something in life, then just do it. Believe in the process and something will happen! The alternative is not to believe in anything, then you can just live your life like you have each and every day prior to today. This post is just as much about life as it is about my recovery. I simply just have to believe. I must trust in "the process" work the steps, focus on today, and keep moving forward in life.