I just caught myself about to text the following question to a nomadic friend currently travelling around Asia:
So, when are you coming back to reality?
I stopped before I'd finished the question and tossed my phone aside, disgusted. What was I implying?
Did I think 'reality' meant a settled lifestyle? A stable job?... a mortgage?
Had there not been a hint of disapproval in that question?
Wasn't there an implication that travelling didn't count as reality and therefore not as valuable? As if stepping outside your country is something you must only do briefly before knuckling down to a nine to five job.
I know people with huge salaries and yet they can't take more than a couple of weeks off a year. Did I consider their reality more sensible?
No, of course not.
While researching travel writers I stumbled across dozens of websites by digital nomads roaming the world without any intention at all of going 'back home'. I felt impressed by their entrepreneurial spirit and their ability to live with uncertainty. It wasn't what I wanted necessarily, but it did present me with another version of reality.
I had surprised myself, I suppose, by that nearly formulated question. It appeared, despite my irregular writer lifestyle, I still veered towards the standard idea of what 'real life' should be.
Dream too big and people will tell you to 'get real' and want to give you a 'reality check'. But just because they are conditioned to think one way, doesn't mean you need to submit to their fears and limitations. It doesn't mean you have to submit to their version of reality.
Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray - Rumi