Designing a Life You Don't Want to Escape From Part 2 - The Resistance

Part 2 in our Lifestyle Design Series. If you missed part 1, you can find it here.


Before we get into the rest of the story, we would be remiss not to point out the duality of the universe we live in. You can’t have an up without a down, an in without an out, a positive without a negative. You can’t change this. You can’t change human nature. When we decided to move and began putting things into motion, there was resistance. People would say things like: “I like to vacation there but I wouldn’t want to live there.” “The schools are terrible in Florida.” “They have a HUGE drug problem there.” “Don’t you think it’s unwise to just quit your job and have nothing lined up?” And on and on and on.

It was scary. It really was. We want to make an effort to get this point across. We are rational human beings with control issues just like you. We don’t do well with grand plans and no details just like you. We don’t enjoy the unknown just like you. The whole idea made us...well, queasy.

But we did it anyway. Why? BECAUSE OF REASONS!

It’s been said that to achieve a goal, to push past the resistance, you have to have a goal worth failing for. The goal was to make better. To expand our lives. To have a life worth living. One we didn’t want to escape from. To choose every detail in our lives with the express purpose of making them better. We can’t think of a better goal than that. I think that’s a goal worth failing for.

And so the resistance continued. In fact, it compounded and multiplied exponentially. I went two months without a job. I haven’t had a period of unbroken employment since I took my first job at 12 years old. Sure, I could have taken any old job to make a buck. But I didn’t want to settle. Once I did get the job, the schedule was awful and I was on call all the time and working in the middle of the night, etc. Guess I jumped too soon. No time for blogging and diving. Ben’s job lined up quickly but wasn’t what he was really looking for either. High stress, no mental bandwidth for blogging or diving. Just awful.

The home buying process. This was a huge step for everyone involved. Remember that cute little duplex on the beach that was too small? We fell in love with it and decided to buy it. Without using a realtor. We had never done that before. Also, Ben had never financed a house before. It’s a long, painful financial rectal exam. Ouch.


Why was this such a critical and soul churning adjustment? My family of four plus dog was downsizing from 3,000 square feet to 950. Ben was taking his household from 1,600 down to 950. Time to purge. Everything must go!

Ben kept his Indiana house and found a renter. Normally, this would be a headache but somehow this was the smooth part of the process. With the crazy schedules, calls in the middle of the night, roadblock after roadblock with the financing, arguments with the seller, having your entire life packed up in a storage unit, and three adults plus two kids and a dog sharing 950 square feet (we only got to use one side!) things were extremely stressful. Just the day in and day out stuff grated on everyone’s nerves. There was a lot of emotion and anger - along with a lot of apologies. Ben and I quit eating. Not because we wanted to, mind you. The entirety of the situation left us so nauseous we couldn’t stomach anything. We each lost 10-15 pounds. Some days were so bad, we couldn’t do anything but stare at the palm trees and wonder if it would eventually all be worth it.

Now, keep in mind we can walk to the beach and have toes in the water in about 3 minutes. During this time, we made it to the beach maybe twice a month! It was easily the hardest adjustment I’ve ever had to make in my life. Everything was different. The people, the driving, the work pace. Everything was foreign to me. The stress was comparable to the nine months I spent in Iraq. Not quite on the same level of course, but close enough to recognize it.

Using only one side of the duplex meant the other was being rented continuously throughout the process. We weren’t even sure when they were moving out. The washer broke. So now there are trips to the laundromat. Can’t use the washer next door. The seller is in and out moving stuff when we aren’t on the best of terms. Constant and never-ending stress. Waiting for the next phone call. The next text. The next shoe to drop.

The resistance to our changes was stronger than any of us expected. But that’s the way of the world, is it not? Any time you move in a new direction or chase what you really want, there’s going to be some work involved. You can’t have the muscles without the heavy lifting, the sunshine without the rain, or the light without the darkness. See you next week...