Anaïs Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

Thank you, Caitlin, for that quote.  It has really spoken to me through the past 6 months.

My friends, it is time for me to level with you. 

It was with reluctance that I embraced the “American Dream.”

It was with reluctance that I put down roots, here in this subdivision.

It was with reluctance that I incurred the debt, through this house, this yard.

We were told that we needed a larger place, to raise a family.  We were told that we needed a yard, in a good neighborhood.  We were told that our small space wasn’t enough.  We were told that we needed my secure job, in order to adequately provide for a child.

We don’t fault the people who told us.  But we realize now, that in believing them, we were wrong.

In the summer of 2006 I first danced with the wind.  In 2011 I came to know it as my partner, and Moonraker as my soul.  In 2012, I knew that we were forever changed, by our experiences.

I told you that we had yet to see how profound this change was.  Now I know.

Through our experiences on the water.  Through the encouragement of friends, especially one who asked me what was keeping me from reaching my dreams (I answered “security,” and I have since learned that security is fake).  Through loving and receiving unconditional love (as all love is unconditional).  Through experiencing survival mode and deciding that I Will No Longer.  Through all of that, I have reached my decision.

I will no longer.

I will no longer be owned by my possessions.  I will give it all up–my house, my mortgage, and all that will not fit into 100 square feet.

I will no longer sell out in order to survive.  I will live so that I do not “need” a large paycheck.  I will be able to do what is right–and that is to do right things.  And that is all.

I will give up my house

I will give up my job.

I have spent the last month applying for positions in Texas, on the water.  After a 12 minute Skype interview, I was offerred a position in a school out of Houston.  Last week, I left Michigan for the 11th time, in my life, and flew for my 3rd time.  I had already accepted the offer, over the phone, but I saw the city and that made it real. 

We will empty our house, and keep what fits into our LeSharo motor home.  We will repair Moonraker’s engine and begin our decent down the Mississippi.  We probably will not make it this year–one should never hasten the journey.  We will pull out where we end up, and take the LeSharo to an RV lot.  We will live there, until we can bring Moonraker down to us.

We will not live in a house again.  Technically, we will be “homeless.”  But in reality, we will be free.

I will work, and we will save up, for our ocean crossing.  Now, we are citizens of the world.

Now, minimalism and decluttering have become real.  They are no longer games we play, to stay busy in our unhappy lifestyle.  They are vehicles that will help us to achieve our dreams.

We are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.  And I invite you to join us, on the journey.

44 thoughts on “Blossom

  1. Yay! Bethany – I wish you all the best and I am excited to read about your journey! This is so awesome – for you and your family! Not to mention – it’s so encouraging to wannabe minimalist sailors like myself! “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” Jimmy Dean – not only makes sausage but also has a fewer words of wisdom! 😉

    • Adjust your sails…but always make sure that engine is running as well–sometimes it’s straight upwind!

  2. Good for you! I have some friends living aboard in the Houston area and loving it. I am happy to connect you when you’re ready.

  3. Wonderful, heartfelt piece and I wish you all the very best on the next stage of your life. Enjoy the journey to Ithaca!

  4. I am so excited for you and your family! I am envious too! Left feeling “stuck” here in mid-Michigan, you are an inspiration. I will follow you on your journey. Then- someday, someday……. I too shall break free! Good luck and may God bless you every step of the way!

    • Good to see you here, Michelle–don’t be a stranger! This crowd will convince you to sell your house and move into an RV, in no time… 😉

  5. That is awesome! I am so happy for you that everything is working out. And you could sail to Florida from Texas 🙂

  6. Congratulations! This is so awesome. I’m jealous. We’re planning to sell our house when all the kids are gone (the youngest will be starting high school in the fall) and slowly getting rid of stuff so by then we won’t have much left.

  7. Bethany:

    You and your lovely family will be missed here in Michigan, but I understand your ephipany and it will be amazing to follow your story! Congrats for being able to shake the bonds of consumerist slavery! Good luck!

  8. Yay! Yay! Yay!

    I am so excited for you all, and possibly a bit envious. Aaron and I have been talking about our future plans, and the modifications they are beginning to get. It will be interesting to see where we end up when the time comes!

  9. So happy for you Bethany – you seem so confident about your decisions which you explain so well. Good luck to the three of you. Be happy. Claire xo

  10. Well congratulations on your new job! it seems to have somehow been the catalyst for a whole new interesting story about to begin. You have been waiting for this moment I think! I’m glad for you that it has come. Ready to live your life your way! I’m sure mountains will move for you now the intention has been set. I will be listening in with interest! All the best Heather X

  11. Right after 09/11 my husband and I sold everything we owned including our house and traveled the country for 1 year in an RV. I absolutely loved it, my hubby not so much as he missed having a garage, etc. We then bought property and built a beautiful home however, I still miss the RV. The house is a lot of work even thought it is basically new and we have to work so much just to pay for it and don’t get me started on weekends consumed with yard work. Unfortunately my hubby and I have decided to end our marriage and I am seriously considering moving back into an RV. I have been going through my belongings and have decided to sell what I can on Ebay or Craig’s list and what I can’t part with (yearbooks, etc) I will put in storage. I think I will rent one first in an RV park and see if I really like the lifestyle as much as I think I do. You’ll love it and congrats on your new job.

    • A lot of people I know, have fallen into a minimalistic/nomadic lifestyle after a divorce. It’s a difficult situation–and I’m sorry that you’re going through it–but it’s also a chance to discover and re-invent yourself. Keep us posted on YOUR journey!

  12. Oh my, this is such fabulous news. I think I am most joyous about the fact you are in such a decisive point in your lives. You know exactly what you want and don’t want, will do and won’t do. It is exceptionally inspirational.

    I wish you great joy on your journey, and look forward to reading all about it.

  13. Oh, I love this and I’m excited for you and your new adventures. You’re so courageous to break out of the mold of being owned by your possessions. I’m happy to see you didn’t buy into the hype and are following your dreams.

    It reminds me of another fellow blogger I came across who sold everything and left to explore the world with his family and has become quite successful. His name is Brandon Pearce. His site is “Pearce on Earth” at

    I’ve only read a little of your site so far and already I’m inspired. I wish I had known to follow a dream like this when I was younger and cut loose from all the expectations. Problem was I didn’t know a dream then that I wanted like you.

    I’m looking forward to reading more and getting to know you. I’m so glad I found you.

    • I found my dream and made this change, because my situation became so unbearable (especially my work situation, which I will not elaborate upon in public) that staying put became much more frightening and risky, than leaving it all behind. It was through suffering that I found my peace.

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