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Pioneers: I’m Leaving…in a Covered Wagon

Thoughts on change and making dumb decisions

I’ve always been fascinated with pioneers.  They left everything behind, family, comfort, and safety on whispers of things far away.  I often wonder how could they be so sure that those whispers were true?  How could they leave everything with no guarantee of success?  In their covered wagons, miles and miles away, consistent trouble and turmoil in search of a promise fostered by their dreams and hearsay.

Was it worth it?

In my own life I have handed down stories of these risks like old woven rugs. My great grandmother agreed to marry a widower 25 years her senior in Norway. He had 4 children back in Minnesota and wanted a good woman from the Ole Country.  She agreed to marry him after a short period of knowing him, partially because she had a disease that her doctors said would be cured by having a child but also because she had heard tales of America—and its possibilities.  Brita left with her sister on the boat and headed away from her mother and family–never to see them again.

What is this spirit?  Where does it come from?  I find myself daunted by a job change or the selling of my house and my ancestors left everything with no waiting period…they just went.

When did we become so afraid of tomorrow?  When did we begin to view life as a financial portfolio that only decisions that are mapped out and have collected data and can guarantee us results are worth doing? What if it’s just the right thing to do, in your gut you know it is right. Possibly years down the road, as you are old and grey, you can reminisce: that was right.

We have become a people unwilling to follow our instincts, or follow something greater that guides us and leads us into the unknown.

One man’s courage is another man’s unwise decision. One man’s dangerous risk is another man’s adventure.

So I sit here, trying to reconcile this tightrope of life we all walk along. We’re trying to balance risk and reward, safety and needed change, familiar and possibility.  I don’t have the answer–I just see those I love struggling with this balance.  And my gut tells me–go. It’s time to pioneer.  It’s time to find a new frontier.  No prospectus needed.Image

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