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The First Day of The Rest of My Life

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“Always leave someone better than when you found them.”

I am a rebel.

I have always believed that rules are made to be bent, challenged and often broken in the right situation. I also now realize that unless you understand all of the rules, you should tread cautiously where rules affect other people. “Big Picture” kind of things.

 

You know…. like the butterfly effect or ripples on the water. The things you do, affect others whether you are aware of them or not. I have always tried to help others. Often times tried to mold people into what “I thought of who they should be”,  I now know that it is not my job or my business. Just as it is not your job to instruct others or me for that matter how to create my own experience on this earth. HELPING people is usually done with the best of intentions, although it’s not our place to interfere.

No one ever said to me “Annette, you can travel the world.”  But no one ever told me not to either! 

If someone had told me when I was 25 or 30 that I was going to travel all over the United States, live in different states or make friends in literally all of the 50 states. I would have laughed. I started very young and had a daughter at 16 years old. I would not change that except I wish I had taken the time to enjoy it more. I worked hard and often worked three jobs to provide the life I thought my daughter needed until she was 13 and left to live with her dad. I’ll share that story later. I never had time or money to travel. I had taken a couple of business trips for work but had never really traveled.  My first plane ride was about the age of 30 to Seattle for work. I did not know it then but that would set me on a path of travel for the next 20+ years!

I was not raised by travelers. I was raised by typical, American born & raised, salt of the earth, hard-working parents. I was taught to believe if you work hard, and get through the hard stuff there are rewards like family,  retirement and restful days by the fireplace in the dead of winter when the snow falls and it’s too cold to be outside.

My parents did everything they could to prepare me for life. I learned to do laundry, clean, split wood, change oil and all of the things a young person should know. I fought it every step of the way because I was a dreamer and had my own fantasies of how life should be. I would spend an entire afternoon laying in a field of wild grass staring into the sky pondering the meaning of life and imagining what the cloud bunnies and Fluffy white dragons really meant. I wondered if angels were telling stories with the clouds or if there even was such a thing as angels. I was creative, talented, gullible, stubborn, and like most 16-year-olds, I was smarter, or so I thought,  than everyone I knew.

As the curtain falls on 2019 and opens on a fresh new decade, the year I will turn 51 years old, I realize how much I did not know. I learn more every year, but I feel like there is so very much more to learn.

I have learned so much about myself, the human condition, life and still feel as if there is so much more to learn. I am a wanderer, a dreamer, a lover and friend to all. I feel so deeply, yet feel so free most days. I yearn for travel, unconditional love and the freedom to walk the beaches of the world often alone, but frequently with my old and new friends.

The one thing I am sure of as I embark on the next decade 2020, is that anyone who tells you they have it all figured out is not nearly as enlightened as they wish to believe.  I am learning to understand that those who speak the loudest often have less to teach you than those who listen. I am learning that my inner voice is right more than it is wrong and my GUT feelings are something to listen to. I have always overthought things, and often ignored my intuition and gut feelings about people, situations and institutions. I have acted too quickly, and frequently thought too long on a topic and missed out on the rewards. I have chased love and I have run from it, only to find that the love I seek most comes from within. Life is too short to spend your free time with things that do not improve you or make you happy!

Travel is one of those things for me. There are so many places on this earth I need to see, hear, feel and experience. I am not only walking into this new decade with my blinders off, but I am also running toward new experiences and joys that I have never experienced.

 

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My photos map needs a lot more spots on it and my heart needs a lot more new experiences!

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