Arms Wide Open

Living life with open hands can be a unnerving thing at times. 

Taken in Iceland, along the beaches in 2010, right after Eyjafjallajökull erupted- a mix of sand  and volcanic ash in my hands

Taken in Iceland, along the beaches in 2010, right after Eyjafjallajökull erupted- a mix of sand and volcanic ash in my hands

I am confident that I am called to live life this way, but some days I feel like I’m about to jump off this platform and launch into the air on my first solo flight, not knowing how long I’ll be up, how exactly to get down or even if I’m headed in the right direction.   All I know is that the view will be incredible and that I love the way the salty ocean air feels on my skin as I float through the clouds.  So, I’m trusting that this is the only way to live– to be all in.

The view from the launching pad

The view from the launching pad

It’s not like I don’t have security- I do.  I’m not a vagabond traveler, living off of couches and pop tarts, wondering where my next meal is going to come from and trying to make it on less than $20 a day.  I have a successful Arbonne business that’s allowed me to have utmost flexibility while still making a solid income, something I will be forever grateful for.  I’m not in debt, I have savings and if anything happened and I lost it all, I am grateful to have amazing family and friends whom I could fall back on if I were in dire straights.

It is a different kind of security that I have chosen to forgo: the security of a more conventional kind of life, one that would allow me to better predict the happenings of my future.  A life with more regularity and daily routines.  A life where I would get up around the same time each day, go to work, stay there for 9-10 hours, eat lunch around the same time, go to the gym after work, see some friends, and then head home to get ready to sleep and start the next day again.  A life where I had some certainty that I’d live close to my family again one day, own a home and have a few kids.

My version of conventional, jumping atop the Lisbon skyline at sunset.

My version of conventional: Lisbon December 2012

There are no ‘good or bads’ here, no ‘right or wrong’ way to go about living this life.  I am just realizing that I have chosen a different way, one that is less predictable– and this path has me swinging between a state of confident elation and feeling like a little girl hovered in my twin bed with a flashlight, reading in the dark with a blanket over my head.

People often ask me how I’m doing following the Travelocity Trip Around the World.  “Amazing!!” I say- and how could I not be amazing after winning a free $65,000 global trek?  It forever changed me, and I’m stepping into a new and exciting phase of my life.  I am on my own for really the first time since I was 19 years old, I have my own business and I’m traveling and working to create new things in my life…. and everything is totally, completely, unbelievably open.  I could move anywhere in the world.  I can do anything I want.  I can be whoever I want to be.

IMG_3438

Standing on Arpoador Rock between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Isn’t that exciting?  Of course!  But I have moments where  it terrifies me.  I believe many people stick to their routines because routines are comfortable — and, because they would never want to find themselves in this place where I’m at now:  a place of hopeful uncertainty, where I’m learning that I truly have to let go, open my hands and live in the present.  It’s a forced kind of active daily presence– for the first time, even my planner-mentality can’t predict what the future will hold.

Taken in Iceland

Taken in Iceland

So, here’s to waking up each day and giving it my best.  To opening my eyes and determining what I will create for that day.  To being open to going to new places and to meeting new people.  To opening my hands and heart to new opportunities, new ideas and new travel plans.  To letting go of timelines that often whisper into my ear and to embracing the possibilities for each new day.  After all, today is really all we are promised, isn’t it?

Carpe Diem,

Ashley

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One Response to Arms Wide Open

  1. That’s really amazing you do well with Arbonne…I am also a beauty product review and love their line! Well done!

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