of course i have a trust fund.
of course i have a trust fund. what else can fuel and finance such dreams as the ones i live?
i get this question everyday.
this is how. dreams fuel themselves. hard work, determination, sacrifice, love, passion, motivation, strength, and committment. thats my trust fund.
i wrote this to inspire the other normal people sitting around too, who think they are just normal and could never have the life i have. and who mabe justify away their dreams by saying that they cant do what i do because they dont have the same trust fund. i am sorry to say that it is time for you to wake up and burst that bubble. because i am no different than you. and if i can do this, then by all means so can you.
i never intended on this attention to my life. and along the journey of the then and now i never really told my story. its all in my book. but not public yet. and my writings are more about my value system and anthropological perspective, about raising my daughter abroad and the incredible adventures and life on the road living my dreams in a beautiful paradise. but i have never really explained my specific road. and from the emails upon emails that i receive about this, maybe its time to explain as a source to inspire. because i am normal. i am not better, prettier, or luckier than any of you. one thing is maybe i am braver. maybe my dreams are bigger or maybe my pull towards the stars is stronger. but i am no different. and anyone can do what i am doing. i choose to kick ass. basically. end of story.
yes i am a single mommy.
i never in a million years thought i would be, and i dont really identify as one, as i am not a feminist or single mommy squadron leader, but just a single mommy who found this place in life because of past events, and low and behold, here i am, facing the world alone with a baby and responsible for a human life. i remember judging single moms before i had river. and now i see that it can happen and to kick myself if i am ever a judger again. we never know what life will throw at us. but that also doesnt make me who i am. i am 1% single mommy. the rest of me is crystal. yeah i have a daughter. and she is amazing. but i am not pro single mommy club. i have just followed the road that laid before me and have ended up here to date. thats all i know. and one day i wont be a single mommy anymore. i have had to rise to the occasion of raising river completely on my own. but its all in how u look at it. when i became a single mom i used it as fuel to make an awesome and amazing life for us, instead of an excuse that life would now suck forever and i could never afford a plane ticket out. i never once thought this. i was excited about the future, and about sharing my dreams with her. so we set out together.
no i do not have a trust fund.
“then how can u live in paradise?”
NO. for the millionth time. i am not a trust fund baby. when you become happy and successful in this world, and say, live in paradise, everyone assumes that you have a trust fund or else it wouldnt be possible. and when you tell them no, they think you are lying to cover it up. i get the craziest emails. i am just a girl with a dream and i dont let anything stand in my way of living my dreams. i have little money. but really big dreams. so big that they take over and come true. i dream bigger than i dont. thats the difference. i give all i can for my baby, and i live the life we live abroad in paradise because that is how i choose to live. i make it a priority, and so i make it happen. when we live the way we believe, opportunites flood our soul. i have always been fine. things are always there when i need them. money is always there because i work hard and it appears. imagine that. work hard, have money, live in paradise. life is too short.
come to think of it, i guess living a life so cool that people only think it is possible to do with millions of dollars is a.. compliment 🙂
two years ago…
i was working in a university, had a huge house, loved to entertain, had a new car, had a nanny, never saw river, and was making my way as a young professional and single mommy in america. the decision i made after my divorce was not to have that be the end of my life, but the beginning. and i used the life challenge to encourage me to get my life back and live my dreams, and to be the best damn mommy in history, to never leave her any room for wants, needing love, or with questions or confusion about anything in this universe. i wanted to grab life and charge it. i wanted to show her a happy mommy. smart, secure, loving, brave, adventurous, available, understanding, and real. which meant, that i needed to be me, the real me, for me, in order to be the real me for her.
before i had river i was a research expedition guide in the himalayas. for 5 years. i was a cultural anthropology professor. and adventure guide, all in one. that was my dream then. and i lived it then. i had always lived abroad. just starting this career and being in director role by the age of 25, i was forced to give it up for her when she was born. ohhhh did i have resentment. and it took me awhile to figure out how to redesign my heart so that i wouldnt feel this resentment towards my beautiful baby, who i was also so in love with. so i made the decision right then. she didnt ask to be here. but she is here. that was my time then, and this is my time to be a mommy now. so, lets get on with the show. and that was that. from then on, after that squeeze, i have never looked back and she became my life.
i say this because, the living abroad adventuring crystal was the real me. when getting divorced and having to support myself by working in america for the first time in 5 years, i got a job at a university and brought home the bacon. and one year turned into 5. before i knew it i was sort of successful, my daughter was old, and i was exhausted.
2 years ago i took river and the nanny on vacation to cozumel for christmas. when i was there i loved it. i went home and emailed 2 schools on the island just telling that i am alive, and here is my resume, and if hell ever freezes over, look me up. yeah right. shoot for the moon. i mean who doesnt want to live in paradise? bet they get like 50 resumes a day. and i wasnt a teacher. i was an anthropologist. a researcher. a college professor. but i didnt care. i wanted to do whatever would enable me to get to paradise. i wanted to help others learn. i wanted to be a part of the bigger picture of life. i wanted to show my baby the world. beauty. difference. challenge, learning. and adventure.
3 weeks later i was sitting in my office and got a magical email. i will never forget. i thought it was a joke. one of the schools emailed me and said they wanted me. but there was a catch: i had to be there in THREE days. hmm. i thought for a minute (just a minute!) about all of the… stuff! three days!? could i do it? i could have scared myself off by justifying to myself 5 million reasons why i shouldnt do that or why it would be impossible. and then i could keep sitting at my desk bored out of my mind with my life, and continue on, discontent inside. or i could do it. and never have to wonder. never have to dream. for that moment i was staring my dream right in the face. and i wouldnt back down. i stood strong. and i won. ‘yes,’ i said.
i hung up the phone in utter disbelief. about what was happening, about how my life was about to change, about how i had good karma! and i got up and walked upstairs to the Department Chair’s office and told her, ‘I quit.’ ‘What, why?’ she asked. ‘i am moving. to Mexico. Saturday. To go live my dreams.’ I said. And i walked out, with the biggest shit eating grin I have ever had before in my life. So fucking proud of myself. that i had just stood society in the face and said, “I dont need you. I need myself.’ 🙂
And so the 3 days went as you can imagine, in a blur, and of course, in my socialite style, included 3 going away parties in 2 days, wine, packing parties, and my share of tequila. and, i got it done. my house, car, nanny, stuff, friends, family, and life. i figured it all out and got on that plane on saturday morning, with my coffee in one hand, and my daughter in the other. because i wanted it.
and we set off on this journey.
two years later we are still alive. and thriving. writing about a life unknown to most, and desired by all. finding successes in different places now. like writing. like adventure. like love. like yall. like life. like time. presence. the earth. like happiness. from the inside out. and not the outside in. any longer.
and little river is just so amazing. living with no fear, bilingual, sunshine freckles, the warmest heart, amazing mind, and fabulous spirit.
we are best friends on an adventure.
i teach kindergarten abroad. and she goes to school in the classroom next to me. and i write. we have lived in mansions and we have lived in cuartos. whatever the opportunity brought at the time. we have had a purple tricycle with a basket and a poodle. we walk. we bike. we dont have. we dont want. and we dont expect. in redesigning our life, it is amazing to see what you dont need. we have some bags. a tent. some cool shit from india that i trek all over the world. some tapestries and photos with glittery fabric sari frames that make us feel at home. lots of photos of us everywhere. baby photos. happy photos. incense. some toys. my university plaque. dive gear. sunscreen. 2 laptops. cool jewelry from 50 countries. each other. and our dream. all we need.
IT IS A PRIORITY.
so you see, its amazing what you can do with a life when you really want to.
and i am not sure about other globetrekkers. i am not sure about their trust funds.
but i am sure about mine.
and i am also sure that, had i had one, i would not have had the perspective shifts and realizations of life and the world that i set out to gain by leaving.
so. please dont look at me as different or better than you. look to me, that is fine. but dont sell yourself out with laziness and justifications that you too cant tackle those dreams and be happy. it has nothing to do with money.
and a trust fund is just that. money. it doesnt make us happy. and it doesnt even make our dreams come true. we do this. we are responsible.
and my dreams are bigger than any trust fund would ever be.
your dreams are yours. your demographic doesnt stop you. your wallet doesnt call the shots. you do. and only you.
go be happy. dont make excuses. think of me, flailing around out here. how i did it. if i did it without excuses, you can do it too. if i did it NOW. you can too. if i write about it all in an awesome way… you can… wait no. that parts mine!.. and i can do that for you.. all day long.
now, go. and make life happen.