During our journey through life we will encounter forks in the road. Two paths before us where decisions need to be made. One path may be clear due to being traveled on so often and the other less traveled, over grown with lots of obstacles. Which would you choose? These decisions may shape the next week or perhaps the rest of our life. Whether we want to believe it or not we are all dreamers. Some of us hope for those dreams to come true and others manifest those dreams through action. We all have the ability to live out our wildest dreams; so long as we are willing to let go and be fearless.
On the 4th of January I am setting out on an adventure that I have been dreaming about since I was a little boy, I am going to set out across the United States on foot. I will be starting in the Grand Canyon and heading East along the southern states to Florida and then up the East Coast to New York. As of right now only a few friends and my immediate family know about my journey and they all have the same questions. Why are you doing this? What do you hope to gain from this trip? What thoughts are going through your head, are you scared at all? In my heart and mind I know the answer to these questions; but when they ask it is hard for me to verbalize. I am much better at putting my thoughts and emotions into words on a screen or paper. I have one friend in particular who I have been talking to about this trip for quite a few years now, and I brought it up to him again on the 12th of December. This particular time was the breaking point for him. He told me to stop talking about it and just do it! At that very moment I committed to myself that I was finally going for it. The days preceding lots of thoughts and emotion where going through my head. The thought that was most dominant was, even if I lived to be 100 years old, if I did not make this journey I would be disappointed in myself. Disappointed because I am always pushing my friends and family to live out their wildest dreams; but if I am not practicing what I preach then it is not genuine encouragement. I want to embody Gandhi’s words, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Truly, the only thing that would keep me from making this trip, or anyone from making radical change in their life is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of what others might think, fear of failure. I am the one who creates this fear in my mind. I am also the one who is able to face and conquer these fears head on. We all have the power and ability to overcome the obstacles fear presents. First and foremost I am making this journey for myself. I like many others have been living with a destination mentality always looking at goals as an end result. I have never really known how to live in the moment. My travels are very loosely planned and continues to be a growing snowball of ideas. The trip is going to take as long as it takes, the purpose is to be present in the moment and in my thoughts. Through conquering my fears and living with the true freedom that going your own way provides. I want to promote and inspire true individualism through knowledge of self as well as acknowledgment of our souls purpose in this gift. In a country that has a schematic to life I find it hard for people to acknowledge or aspire to their true individualism. Throughout our early life education you are told what plan will best suit your life and bring you happiness. As you grow up you see everyone around you following this same life path and you begin to think to yourself, if everyone around me is doing this then it must be the right way. I have struggled for a long time. Going to college straight out of high school, then going after a good paying job, then getting married and settling down. If that works for you and you are truly happy that is all that matters; but for me that plan doesn’t really work and I know it is not the key to my happiness. It is much easier to fall in line with everyone else, there is comfort inside the lines of conformity. How does one create an individual identity in that type of scenario? In North America we have the freedom to live this true individuality; but a lot of us forsake this freedom because of fear. Our ego holds us back because we so desperately crave the approval of our peers. It is also this same fear based ego that causes us to judge those who are living their true individual freedom. We are all made of the same infinite energy and light, a lot of us, myself included mask that light and energy to make those around us feel more comfortable and at ease. The sooner that we realize that we all have the same amount of power and that we are all endless possibility the sooner you will start to see no advertisements for antidepressants. It is the constant measuring of self to others that takes the power out of your hands and overtime weakens your spirit. If you realize that you are truly an individual with your own light to bring to this gift of life then there is no reason to measure yourself to another thus eliminating ego and taking judgment out of your consciousness. We all have paths to choose in this life and I am trying to raise awareness that no one path is right for everyone and that we can all achieve happiness and a true love for life by listening to our hearts and not being afraid to follow them, whatever that means for you.
I have been searching for a way to have a positive effect on the world and I want this journey to be the beginning of that effect. I am going to be living very minimally camping and living off of what I can forage in the areas that I am traveling in. I also plan on offering labor/help along the way in exchange for a meal and in joining people at their dinner table we can share stories and ideas. I am going to implement survival skills that I attained through my training as a United States Army Veteran. During my term of service I received cold weather training during a 90 day field exercise in the mountains of Germany. I also learned basic emergency medical training and became a certified combat life saver during my deployment in Iraq. Technology provides the ability to connect with people around the world and I fully intend on using that ability. People will be able to follow my journey through social media outlets such as Twitter @MatthewsJourney, http://www.facebook.com/matthewsadventure, Instagram(MatthewsJourney) as well as a personal blog soulsjourney2012.wordpress.com . I am not saying everyone should quit their jobs and take to the road; but I am saying that the world is in need of change and that there is a need for personal and societal growth of consciousness.