By Malia Lane
I received an email from a woman the other day saying she admired my “guts” in getting out there as a solo woman in a 36-foot RV and towing a car, to boot.
She said while she has always wanted to travel like I do, she just can’t imagine really doing it. Besides not having loads of money, she suffers from depression and just can’t make herself take even the baby steps I always recommend. She doesn’t see the point since her past experiences have taught her there’s really no point because she’s doomed to failure no matter how hard she tries. She said she wishes she believed in herself in the same way I do.
I wrote that after full-timing for more than five years I had proven to myself that I could do it even though it didn’t happen in exactly the way I would have preferred. No use in even talking about my many unrealistic expectations.
I went through some hardships at one point in my travels that made it hard for me to sometimes even get out of bed, much less greet the day with any kind of enthusiasm. I indulged a defeatist attitude for quite a while, even thinking about giving up RVing because it was just not realistic or affordable for me anymore. I’m the first to admit that hearing platitudes like “think positive” feels trite and unachievable sometimes. At times I just want to slap people and tell them they just don’t understand the way I feel and the problems I have are so much worse than theirs.
Regardless, when I really put myself in the imagined position of truly giving up my dreams before I have seen even half of what I want to see — I finally decided there’s no chance for success by continuing to indulge the worst side of myself and my most negative thinking. I’ve come to believe that sometimes you really do have to just “fake it till you feel it.” And I do believe the energy you put forth is what’s going to come back to you. I don’t think God rewards those who just lie around feeling sorry for themselves.
SO I SURROUND MYSELF with positive thoughts, whether they feel like pointless platitudes or not. I look at inspirational pictures on Facebook and I meditate on them and what it would mean to my life if I really lived that way.
No matter how much they upset me, storms are bound to cross my path and disrupt what I thought I’d be doing at any given moment. A life without rain is not only unrealistic – it’s not even possible. Life on earth itself would not be sustainable for long without it.
There’s always something you think you can’t do or someone you think is better off or better equipped than you are. Your belief doesn’t make it true. One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Helen Keller. She had more than her fair share of obstacles to overcome. She said: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
And my last piece of advice: Don’t shut the door on people in your life who want to help and support you. I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.