Living my Bohemian Writer Fantasy (a Couple Months at a Time)

The sale-pending sign hangs outside our house. This leap is getting real!
The sale-pending sign hangs outside our house. This leap is getting real!

Our house is in escrow. Half-packed boxes are scattered in every room. By all appearances, we are moving. Five years in one house is the longest I have lived anywhere. Ever.

It feels good to go through everything and make piles. Keep and give away. We own so much we never use. Going through it all is a good reflection on what matters.

I like stuff. Dresses, jackets, shoes, woven wraps. But I have more stuff than I use. More stuff than I stop to appreciate. More stuff than matters.

My favorite part of moving is finding the person who could use what we don’t. Baby swings, strollers, clothes. The list goes on. For most everything, there is a person in our life or sphere who will put the item to better use. It is like a puzzle.

I have always admired people who leave behind their worldly belongings to embark on journeys, both inward and outward. The story of Buddha fascinated me as a child. I wrote a novel about a couple that leaves everything behind. Maybe I used to be a gypsy. I admit some things are harder to let go than others.

Three years ago, I hoped my future would look like this, but had no idea how to pull it off. The lesson, we can shape the future but it might look a little different than we imagined.
Three years ago, I hoped my life would follow this course, but had no idea how to pull it off. Turns out we can shape the future but it might look a little different than we imagined.

I debated whether to share this story so publicly. Our decision to live with family for a couple months before reestablishing ourselves somewhere new. It is so counter to what most people in our lives are doing. Instead of expanding our square footage, we are shrinking into two bedrooms and a storage unit. It is the kind of thing people talk about in hushed tones, as though something has gone wrong.

That’s the beauty of it though. Nothing has gone wrong. While a baby and an abandoned job were catalysts for change, we have wanted to live somewhere else for awhile. The missing piece has been where. It was the perfect moment to sell our house but an uncertain one to pick what comes next. Add in a desire for a little more community and the bonus of some serious cash saved and it all felt right.

Something deep inside is also calling me home. It makes me feel like a character in one of my own stories, like some deeper, spiritual journey awaits, like having children does not mean your life has to take a prescribed course. Maybe that is all too romantic and in a couple months we will know exactly where we belong. Until then, I am excited to embrace the unconventional, to live my bohemian writer fantasy, to make the most of resources, to rejoin a family structure congruent with the ages… To be without quite so much concern about what comes next.

And, in this little way, I am inviting you along with me. Because I know at least one of you feels called to a life of less stuff, greater simplicity, and a deeper sense of community. A kindred spirit. And, if not, that’s fine too, we can still be friends as long as you refuse to talk about my adventure in hushed tones. After all, that’s the joy of life, it is not one-size-fits-all.

Thank goodness for that.

14 thoughts on “Living my Bohemian Writer Fantasy (a Couple Months at a Time)

  1. Your courage is admirable. We have entertained thoughts of selling everything we own, clearing out the cupboards and taking a boat out on the high seas. Seriously, just drift from marina to marina. It takes a huge leap of faith to embrace change.

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    1. Thanks for the words of support, change is definitely a little scary, but also exciting! I love your vision, life is short, maybe I will get to read about your adventure on the seas in the coming years 😉

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  2. As somebody who has spent his life following the expected path, I applaud your trip down the alternative path. There is nothing to be hushed about in your life choices. They are perfect for you and would probably be right for plenty of others if they were willing to consider something other than the “expected.” A lot more of us could do with a lot less. I know it’s my goal in the years ahead.

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    1. It definitely is not the easiest choice to try the unexpected, but excited to see what opportunities and adventure arise in the coming months. Look forward to reading about your changes in the years ahead!

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  3. I’m so excited about your next chapter, no hushed tones at all! It’s a great plan that will only lead to good things. Comforting and adventurous all at once.

    I also love shedding the weight of things I don’t need. I think I could seriously do that every month and still keep finding more to eliminate. A gypsy life keeps material accumulation at bay…though I do hate the labor of moving it is a great cleanse.

    I remember packing for my summer in Italy and trying to fit everything I’d need in a teeny suitcase and being so frustrated attempting to figure it out. My mom walked in my room and said to me, “In life, Tanya, you have to travel light.” I think that applies to so much.

    Thanks for the post, it was a good reminder. I can’t wait to hear more :).

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  4. ¡Qué descansada vida
    la del que huye el mundanal ruido
    y sigue la escondida
    senda por donde han ido
    los pocos sabios que en el mundo han sido!

    (Fray Luis de León, 1527-1591)

    I think that both, Fray Luis de León and you, are completely right. 😉

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  5. I love this Olivia!! We too are moving next week I have never felt better getting rid of all the excess. Boxes and boxes and boxes have been given away, and it feels great!

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