I walked into the Asian store in town to pick up supplies to make pad Thai and a curry. My daughter went off to explore the exotic candies. I have always been grateful for this store in a land that is not oozing ethnic diversity, particularly in the culinary world. They have most things you would need to make your favorite Asian dishes. I love discovering new things to add to my favorites like the herb culantro with its intense intoxicating smell and rich flavor to use in place of cilantro. I have done some cross cultural experiments such as using fresh lemongrass and ginger in matzo ball soup.
The woman who runs the shop is always willing to offer help in making a dish and choosing the best ingredients. She asked me how old my daughter is and was surprised when I said she was 8 as she remembered me bringing her into the store when she was just a baby.
I remembered those early days too, so grateful to find a shop that reminded me of the excitement of travelling to different lands. During that time, I was thankful to truly feel at home in one place and to have my own family.
I loved all my travels when I was younger – living, learning and working in different countries with the romance, adventure, and stretching myself way beyond my comfort level. It was what fed me on a never ending quest for self-discovery, much to the frustration of my parents when I announced via overseas call, I am just not ready to come home yet, and continued on a new adventure. Or when I finally came back home to finish college and months later had to take another time out and answer the call of yet another travel journey. Eventually, I did graduate college and then traveled some more before I came back and took a more traditional job…well sort of, but that is another story for another day. When I have thought about travel over the years since, it felt more like work and I knew it would take way more energy than I could muster.
Photo Credit Alice Popkorn
My nephew Mike has been travelling all over the world the past few years. I keep track of his adventures on Facebook and occasionally we exchange messages and share life philosophies. His escapades often evoke memories of my wandering years. I know that restlessness. I know the urge to discover more and that feeling of being able to fit in anywhere and nowhere at the same time. It is such a different time now than when I travelled. You can update people in an instant with your life instead of making them wait for weeks for a tissue paper air mail letter. You can monitor the lives of friends and families while traveling with the Internet in your pocket.
Something was triggered in the store that day. My love of travel, that has long been buried, started to stir. I know I don’t want to revisit the days of travelling with a backpack and sleeping in hostels. But what do I want from travel now? Who am I now and what experiences do I desire? What would it take for me to get in travelling shape – physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually?
For many of us, the challenge is how to allow ourselves to revisit old dreams. Instead of tossing them away, can we open to a new way they may manifest in our lives? In midlife, our dreams of singing on stage, being a doctor, working abroad, getting married, having your own business, walking the Camino, starting a nonprofit, writing a book, going back to school, having a child, trekking in Nepal, make music, having a farm, living by the beach, running for political office, or joining the Peace Core, may have changed.
The first step is to allow ourselves to feel the desire without pushing it away, without telling ourselves why it can’t happen. The desires were planted in us long ago and now maybe they have changed form. If being a doctor is no longer possible, what kind of healing work can you do? If having your own farm feels overwhelming, where can you contribute to a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm? If your operatic voice can’t hit those notes anymore, what is the local theater producing that you might join? If birthing a child is no longer possible, how can you have children be a part of your life? If a two year commitment to joining the Peace Core doesn’t fit you anymore, what short term international volunteer opportunities are there?
Someone—who never finished writing his book—once said to me, “All the good books have already been written.” That same person recently said the same about music. I don’t believe it. There is a song, a book, a dream inside each of us that was divinely placed there. Have a look back at those long held dreams. They hold a lot of wisdom and may be ready to be transformed into a new vision that will once again give you goose bumps and that little nervous thrill in your stomach. As James Clear says, “There will never be a perfect time to do something that stretches you.” It is the seventh inning folks. Perhaps now is your time for a stretch.
Would you like some support unlocking those dreams? You can join me on June 13-14 in Wausau, Wisconsin for “Living Empowered, Leading a soul led life with the support of the
Akashic Record” Click on the link for more info – https://www.facebook.com/events/1602753060010929/