As far back as I can remember, a sustainable, autonomous life was always what I envisioned for myself.
My mother lost her parents and all four grandparents between the ages of 9 and 11. Fearing an early death of her own, she made sure I knew by elementary school that life was more than making a living; it should be an expression of who I am.
After 16 years of trying to manifest that expression in the real world, I’ve learned that:
Life is an experiment.
Everything you do is representative of what you believe.
In order to live your best, most authentic life, at some point, you’ve got to let go of the given map and make your own.
Making that map alone helps no one.
Of course, I didn’t always know these things.
In his 1931 book, Epic of America, James Truslow Adams coined the term “American Dream” and defined it as:
“not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman [can] attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position,” in which we can grow to our fullest development unhampered by class. (214, 318)
Two hundred forty-two years into this American experiment, this dreamed social order “developed for the benefit of…the simple human being of any and every class” is not the reality I've seen visiting family members in trailers in rural East Texas. And education and hard work no longer gets Americans to their fullest development; the landscape has shifted. I began to see this while applying for jobs my senior year in college, just months after September 11th. This truth was cemented when the Great Recession hit, just five months after I got my master’s degree and moved to New York City.
For years, I stumbled alone in the dark, compelled by the suffocating fear of an unlived life. Eventually, I felt my way into a lifestyle that made me happier than ever before.
And that joy shows. People constantly ask me, “How do you do it? How have you created this life that you love—full of passion, connection and peace—with no job? How do you support yourself?”
I created this blog to be a map that answers those questions and, more importantly, to see how useful my map could be to others. I don’t want to be an exception in a world built “for the benefit of classes,” but instead an example for people of every class to attain the fullest stature of who they really are.
My focus here will not be starting, growing, or automating a business, but designing and creating a fulfilling life. Every month, I will post about:
using and overcoming our fears,
passion-based, need-balanced living,
and building communities that support “human beings of any and every class.”
If you want to learn and grow in these areas, come with me on this journey. Read. Keep me accountable. Ask questions. Share your support and ideas. If anything found on these pages sparks a hope, a fear or a ray of joy, let me know. In return, everything I’ve learned and will learn on this journey will be here for you. Together, I hope we can harness our individual power and build communities that begin to change our social order into something dream-worthy.