Monday, April 26, 2010

Pioneers Transformed

I wonder if there are other women who have walked the same path I'm on in the journey to happiness, contentment, and fulfillment. You see, I am really an adventurer and a pioneer at heart. I like the unknown and chase the unachievable.  So I have become a crusader of sorts for those I walk with now, and hopefully an inspiration for those who follow. Always looking for the next experience,  new discovery or a fight for a justifiable cause.  I also like the word revolutionary.  Just the sound is invigorating!  But instead of a shovel, a brush, or even a sword, my toolkit is a laptop and experience, growing years of it, in fact.

With toolkit in hand, a good cup of coffee, and the inner strength of a small army, I look back to press onward.   For instance, I would love to “telescope” into the past to view the lives of many before me. I want to understand the daily struggles they faced,  both personal and public, to make their mark on the community around them. What was enough for them to be really happy and fulfilled?

I guess for some, their struggle was simply a fight just to see another day. Life for the early pioneer woman, if you want to call it so, was often a troubled existence in deplorable conditions, amidst disease, and fraught with starvation.  However, I believe in their eyes those hardships were worth the price to be able to raise their children, and watch as future generations carried on the dream to conquer and prosper in the new land. Freedom was the goal.  Freedom from government and freedom to worship and live as they saw fit.  For the earliest pioneers, I suppose those ideals were enough. A lasting genealogical legacy. 

Did later pioneers possess a burning desire to achieve something greater?   I believe so.  For many, their desires led them on a journey to become more educated, gaining more awareness and a deeper understanding of the often tumultuous changes going on around them in their still savage land. With the continued exploration of their new homeland, the world was literally getting bigger by the day! If they were to continue to prosper, they had to keep forging ahead. Time never waits.

Many years after the major land exploration and conquest had taken place, and people settled into more day-to-day life, I believe the pioneers began to  yearn for more.  For many women, in particular, I suspect many questioned whether there was more to life than just being an everyday mom, a token plantation wife, a kept mistress, a backroom accountant, or a slave to another's dreams. 

If they were even remotely like me, these female pioneers whose ancestory was from vastly different countries and cultures had to be united by a central dilemma.  Whether spoken or not, I suspect many were afraid they would walk the hills of their new homeland, build families, attend functions, build a few friendships, but never really leave a lasting imprint for future generations. What, if any, were their enduring accomplishments?  Would anyone remember their name?   Am I alone in my wonderings?   I  really don't think so. 

Known as a savvy business pioneer  and acclaimed author, Martha Stewart, wrote in her book, “The Martha Rules…” that we should "bake the cake someone will want to eat," and "write the book that someone will want to read." Sounds simple, doesn’t it? I sincerely believe that many women want to pioneer a new course,  trying new things and really enjoying the sunrise to sunset of their lives. However, due to a lack of personal focus or encouragement, they find themselves paralyzed by their social or self-imposed to-do lists, forcing  personal dreams and life goals in the background while life passes them by.  I know--I've been there for a very long time.  So after lengthy soul searching and much heartache,  I've decided to get off the carousel and the horse that society told me I need to learn to ride to lead a content and fulfilled life.

I am going to take Martha's advice on this one.   I am going to get creative and whip up something new, write a new chapter in my life.   I am after all, a pioneer transformed by my choices minute by minute and year by passing year.  As I travel, I am going to write about my journey in this simple blog. 

 I hope that as I write, others might join me by reading, commenting, and growing right alongside with me.  We can try new things, consider new ideas, and build bigger dreams.  I don't want to undertake this journey for self-recognition, but for self-correction. We all need a "compass" to gain our bearings and set a course in a new or more determined direction, wherever our dreams lead.   Maybe this blog will serve as a compass of sorts for all of us. 

These days, we may not sail the open sea, wear corsets, or picket for the right to vote, but we are pioneers. We are transformed by those we know, read, or even dream about. The wilderness is now more figurative-- it is in our mind where we consider the obstacles and opportunities we can seize or ignore. 

What about you?  Are you desperate to forge a new path? Not a less curvy or bumpy version, mind you, because they are often the most scenic!  The most beautiful path is one which becomes a colorful tapestry of experience even through the muddy, dirty parts of it.  Forging a new path requires grit, strength, and pure determination.  There is a cost.  But with a rewarding journey and view in sight, I am determined that we can and must live more abundantly every day, in every way.   So then, are you in?