Updated: Sep 28, 2019
This is how it happened.
First, we fell in love. I know, just stop following this story now because it's only going to get worse for you if you gagged when you read that first sentence. Actually, first first we used to hang out on my back porch or go on long walks and talk about all of the things - yoga, work, meditation, friendship, childhood, family, politics, pets. We joked about starting an all-female commune. We chatted about the virtues of Party of Five and plans for the future. Let me assure you - none of this whole “change your life, fall in love, live on the road for awhile” was on the radar. And then one day we realized that our relationship had shifted without either of us knowing it. That was that, and suddenly it seemed like if we could be really honest about how we felt about each other, and if that truth telling practice could bring so much joy into our lives, we had to start being radically honest about how we felt about everything in our lives.
That decision led me to see the inevitability burning out. Maybe I was already burnt out. The only certainty I knew a year ago was that this consuming, crazy love for the craft of teaching and my real, heartfelt connections with the community were the only fuel keeping me running the studio, managing employees, and losing sleep over the details that can make or break a business - even a yoga studio - in today's market. It's an incredible thing that this little yoga studio became such a home for so many - myself included. It made the decision to close it really hard as I grappled with feeling both incredibly selfish and overwhelmingly ready to move on, especially as Julie announced her impending departure.
At the same time, Laura's love of coaching collegiate soccer was reaching a critical point. The demanding schedule, school bureaucracy, and her inability to pull the current team together into a cohesive mentality was fast becoming a consistent and heavy source of stress that outweighed her love for the process, technique, and creativity of the game. When she had the opportunity to leave that particular situation in her career, she took it. Suddenly and unexpectedly, we found ourselves looking out onto an open landscape of possibility where we had, for so long, felt the weight of the inescapable. For both of us, it seemed like we had been looking for a window and all of a sudden the whole front door had been blown off its hinges.
Somewhere in this dark abyss of chaos (as it always happens) a spark became a flame. The responsibilities of owning and developing a business from the ground up had taken nearly all of my creative capacity for the better part of six years. Laura had been managing young adults for over a decade and was ready for soccer to be a fondly remembered piece of her past. We both wanted time and space to let life unfold for us, and we both desperately needed the creative freedom to write, express, and experience a total shift in mentality that we had come to serendipitously apart and has been nurtured together.
For me, the process of waking up is undeniably intertwined with the process of learning to love and, maybe even more, learning to let myself be loved; it is an unstoppable force that has changed my perspective from one of trying to create or attain this unknown, intangible something into one of total interest and engagement with the beautiful right now. All of these leavings over the past year - letting go of each of the pillars, identities, and convictions I had been so arduously working to hold together - one by one, in turn, gave way to now, and I finally let myself fall in love with life just as it is. One mid-90’s Astro Van and a pretty loose plan later, our houses are rented, the cats are temporarily fostered, and most of our stuff is sold. We've said goodbye for awhile to my parents, our friends, our wonderful neighbors and the studio, and we're packed for this weird, unexpected adventure. And even with, or maybe because of, all of the unknown, my heart has never felt so full.
We head west first and then south along the coast. We have so many books to markup, skies to paint, essays to write, smiles to delight in, disasters to navigate, beaches to play on and, of course, moments to notice and let pass.
More from the road,