Looking back at the the prologue, the first entry I posted before starting to live out any chapters, I noticed that I wrote about the idea of “letting go”. I wanted to let go of control, and of planning my life in a detailed way. The goal was to learn to trust and to watch life roll out in an organic way. I was curious to find out if it was possible to be guided by instinct or inner direction, (or in my case my friends) while at the same time be able to continue to make distinct and direct decisions for myself. Through trusting my friends and trusting the process and also by addressing my resistance and fears, I do feel that I am just starting (after six months) to understand the balance that is needed for this to happen. Maybe with another six months practice, I will be able to utilize these lessons to help me move forward.
During the past nine months, I have been living on a boat upon Spa Creek in Annapolis, MD living as fluidly as I could taking each month as it came written for me, one day and challenge at a time. The Living Chapters guidelines that I set up for myself, pre-project, somehow made this floating lifestyle seem much more manageable. The rules and outline of the project gave me a distinct structure that I have been following as closely as I could. If I found myself doing something that seemed a little out of the ordinary or questionable (like jumping rope in the airport in Boston or hanging out in an isolation chamber) I could point directly at the project outline for an answer to why this was happening and it just didn’t seem that strange anymore. I was accomplishing a task rather than making an “odd choice”. And even though I have been asked by external sources to do all these tasks, the self-created guidelines reminded me that it was my choice to follow through with them whether I liked it or not. I sometimes even chose to elaborate on them.
Deciding to live on the boat before Living Chapters began, was in a sense creating a space and such a guideline to start out this adventure: giving myself a physical structural reason to live without excess belongings, a place to create new habits, to adjust to a more simple life style, and allow myself financially to continue working part-time only. Somehow diminishing my living space and eliminating the excess stuff, opened up new opportunities and new ideas. This choice brought me personal freedom and time to explore different ways of living. I feel that the process of living out these chapters openly is doing this as well.
Living on water, has been the closest that I have been thus far to the physical realization and feeling of “letting go”. I have enjoyed floating and respected the dwelling for its practical, simple, and independent living. The boat itself as a home base has kept me strangely grounded in these changing months. Like the rules of the project, it has given me a structure for being here, and it has held a place for me in Annapolis. But as the seasons shift and winter arrives, I have decided to depart, drift away from the dock for a bit and metaphorically sail south. It is time to practice letting go just a bit more and take on the spirit of “saying yes to what life throws at you”. I have been given the opportunity to try out a new living situation and have decided to take it. As of the end of November, I have abandoned ship and will be floating between staying at homes of friends and loved ones for this reflection month of December. And although sad to leave “Morning Star” and the marina in general, I am excited to see what the warm air of the new year will bring. In January, I am taking a hiatus from my job and will be setting up camp on a tropical island for a while. So in the first few months of 2014, you will find me living out new chapters on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Exactly what will manifest there and how long I will stay is still unknown. Only time and possibly the next few chapters will tell.
Just finding this blog today? Read more about the Living Chapters project here.