I have decided to JUMP. To do that thing that I have been dreaming about since I got back from the last Camino. I have been at my corporate job for 10 and a half years. I have worked with lovely people and been privileged to have a secure and stable income and be employed by a great company. But over the past few years my heart has been longing for something different.
During my pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spring of 2013, I did something I had never had done before. I drew every day. I couldn’t wait to get out my sketchbook and document what I was seeing. Before the Camino, art was something that I thought I should do, not something I longed to do. This shift was a massive one for me. When I returned to my job, I realized that I needed a change. I needed more than just a new job; I needed to allow myself to become the artist that had been hibernating inside me for the last 20 years.
So I started dreaming. How could I break away? What would it look like to leave my safe and responsible job … and just go? What would it look like to travel for an extended period of time with no agenda? What would it look like to draw EVERY DAY? Could I do this? Was God placing these desires in my heart and my gut?
I waited. I worked. I stayed. I prayed. And the desire to do this crazy thing did not go away. Months passed.
I took my Camino drawings and I created a book. I published it and shared it.
I waited. I worked. I stayed. I prayed. And the desire to do this crazy thing did not go away. 2 years had now passed.
So about one month ago I circled May 2016 on the calendar and I told my friends. “MAY IS IT. I will go in May. I can save enough money by May to JUMP.”
Two weeks ago I was at work and it felt like May was light years away. I asked God for a sign. Was I going in the right direction? Should I pursue this dream? Should I do this crazy thing?
At 4:00 pm that afternoon I had a meeting with my boss. I was told that my job was eliminated and I was a given a severance package. The money that I would receive was just a little over what I thought I could save by May.
I had my sign – loud and clear! It felt like a divine kick in the butt.
So… I’ve bought a one way ticket to Spain. I’m selling all my stuff and leaving Portland for a while. I’m not sure when I’ll be back. I’m going to start by walking another route to Santiago: the Camino Portugués. I intend to draw as much as I possibly can and as a mentor once said…’do the work.’ As I do this work, I am going to see where my feet take me. I am going by myself , but I am not going alone.
I posted this painting on my first blog post on March 11th, 2014. It is fitting to post it again. And I remind myself that sometimes JUMPING and SOARING look like the same thing.
My new book The Art of Walking: An Illustrated Journey on the Camino de Santiago as well as selected prints from the book are all now available through my SHOP page!