getting lost in the blue mountains.

there is something about boarding a jet plane that excites me.  the freedom that comes in being up in the air, knowing that any worries or troubles are being left behind, locked firmly on the ground.  it’s the fact that any stress has just rolled off of me.  i love melbourne but it has been six months – it’s time for a break.  just some time and distance.  a chance to reconvene with myself, my thoughts.  it’s not a far journey, just escaping to the blue mountains outside of Sydney to go hiking.  to lose myself in nature.  and i’m not looking for much, nothing in particular…just a little bit of clarity….

clarity #1: what i want to be when i grow up.  i have been struggling lately, as recent entries have indicated, with my choice to pursue fundraising/development as my profession.  at a moral crossroads professionally for the first time in my life.  wanting to make money for myself rather than others but only so i can help others philanthropically.  i have been mentally accusing myself of ‘selling out’.  i know , i exhaust myself even.  it’s just that i want to do so much good in this world and i was convinced that you need to have money to do so.  that is until i read a statement by henry spira, a middle class American who never had much money but still willed and influenced his time and talent to benefit multiple causes, people and issues about his purpose in life he said:

“…one wants to feel that one’s life has amounted to more than just consuming products and generating garbage.  i think that one likes to look back and say that one’s done the best one can to make this a better place for others.  you can look at it from this point of view and what greater motivation can there be than doing whatever one possibly can to reduce pain and suffering?”

and so this is why i have chosen a path in fundraising – to ensure that those that can are investing in good causes to reduce pain and suffering.  and as for myself, well i may never have the money to make a financial difference in the world but i have the will to try and make a social – even moral – difference.  and that is where my riches will lie.

clarity #2: getting lost in a small town.  wandering the blue mountains – katoomba to leura – there is calmness, a sense of simplicity has been restored.  perhaps it’s the politeness of shop owners, the curiosity of the locals or the quaintness of the main street or merely being taken back to my roots – the nook of a small town.  used bookstores, fresh bakeries, organic cafes and a tavern where everyone knows your name.  yes, i could easily get lost here.  it’s this remoteness that i will look forward to when its time to retreat, to grow old.  for now little towns like these tucked up in the mountains are warm serenities where eventually i will want to spend my days.

clarity #3: life is about creating opportunity not having a definitive plan.  by nature, i am a compulsive planner – steadfastly keen to know what is happening at a precise time.  spontaneity is an adrenaline rush for me and until recently something i didn’t let myself feel enough.  being lost in the mountains reminds me how much i prefer the exhilaration of not knowing rather than the mundane feeling of anticipating what’s next.  a plan is slightly important but it’s not essentials.  ambitions are what propels us forward, not a scheduled to do list.  i am still learning to let go, struggling with the concept of not being in firm control.  but i am realizing that you can still have direction in life without a plan.  that it’s about applying my ambitions, inspiring life options and following my instincts, my intuition, to lead me towards happiness.  life isn’t meant to be lived conventionally.  it’s meant to be lived organically.  not a meaning of obligation but meaningful fulfillment.  and so, this is where i am at right now, building opportunity – seeking options in life, not living according to a plan.  after all, isn’t that what choosing your own adventure is all about?

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