In a Uhaul moving cross country

This morning, we got in the Uhaul and started our two day journey to our new home, Austin Texas.

In April of this year, Mark and I traveled to Africa. Ghana put into perspective how lucky we truly are and how little we truly need to be happy. Our trip to Morocco connected us to the idea of what it means to really live. We talked alot about the lives we were leading and if all of our choices were ones that we were making on an intentional level or if we were just letting life lead us.

I remember the night we sat alone in the middle of the Sahara desert. I was scared to go out of the tent area where our groups were and into the darkness where I saw a large figure move (which we later found out was a camel that wandered off that night). Normally I am the gutsy one and he is the cautious one but that night I felt nervous going out in the wide open together. Mark took my hand and said that he really wanted to do this and so we started walking. I secretly loved that he was taking the spontaneous adventurous lead. We made our way to a hill top where we laid back together and looked up at the stars. I could tell Mark was in a different place mentally. He seemed free, happier and more joyful. We talked for an hour in the desert on the top of the hill, underneath the stars and both agreed that we wanted to redefine what living really means to us at this very moment in our lives. I remember feeling like we had broken fierce grounds by speaking on a deeper level of possibility, where we are and where we want to be.

He left the next week to go back to work and I stayed in Paris to meet my mom. When I returned home, Mark told me that he can’t keep working in a job that “sucks his soul” as he says and that he wants to really live. I was all in. We decided we were going to move somewhere that feels right and we chose Austin. Even though Mark had never been and I had been on the south side once, (rebels!) we feel like Austin chose us. We researched many towns that appealed to us and this one just felt right. So we started taking the next step. And then the next. And the next. Soon enough, we put our house on the market,  created the slogan Austin by August, started clearing “things” from our lives, took a trip to Austin to find our future home and then our house sold and everything just unfolded.

We will roll into our new home on August 1st.

Not only did I fierce forward for me, Mark and I fierced forward together in one of the biggest ways we ever have. We made a decision that felt right for us, we joined arms and we followed our heart all along the way, right into the heart of Austin. I’m so proud of us. Mark left his job of 10.5 years in corporate america today. As we hit the road, we will look to the open road in front of us as a new frontier. One that we can build and grow on and most importantly, feel connected to because it came from us. I’ve lived in Indiana most of my life and as I follow my heart forward, this new path takes me farther away from my family but closer to where I feel I am called to go. It’s not easy making big changes. Just recognizing that you want something different in your life is a big part of the journey and for years mark and I kept saying, “How could we move?” Mark’s job was a safety net but with that safety net came 10 hour days and working every other saturday which meant less time together. With that safety net came him not feeling satisfied in what he was spending most of his days doing. In that safety net came us putting off what we really wanted to do because of the fear of losing that safety net. And then we went to Africa and saw how big the world is and felt how much more living we wanted to do. We got real with our desires and the reality of our mortality and decided the next step was to follow our hearts this time. We cut the damn safety net and we drive forward, fiercely in our Uhaul into a new horizon. Some of it unknown, most of it up to us to build, grow and nurture. I feel freedom in jumping. Because that’s what Fiercing Forward embodies: living now and taking the leap!

As much as this is a story about Mark and me, it’s a message to you. I want to say that in this journey, I have reconnected to what it means to truly Fierce Forward in one’s life. To sit down and really connect to how you feel in your life, within yourself. Are you happy? And what makes you happy? What do you want in your life? LISTEN. This is your compass. Follow your heart and take the next step.

I’ve spent so many years not listening and then I recognized what I was sacrificing by doing so…Life.

Know that anything is possible. Decide that you can have anything you want. DREAM BIG. And do it now, because this life is just one. Even though I some might say I haven’t technically eaten the fruits of our labors by experiencing living in austin just yet, for me, the journey getting there IS the fruit. Just like the journey to changing anything in your life. Transformation begins with you. At the heart of you.

Stop waiting. Stop waiting for Monday, for something to happen to you, for a more convenient time to do what you really want to do, for when you are in a better place…fucking do it man. The time is always now. Decide what you want, put a fierce face on and take one step forward. And as the path unfolds, just keep taking the next step.

p.s. thank YOU. Thank YOU for reading, for your support and love and for taking this fierce forward journey right next to me.

Fierce Forward ya’ll,

Leave a Reply

11 Comments

  1. Kristen Hower,
    You are too sweet! Sending you so much love babe.

  2. kristen hower

    You are my spirit animal, Ashley!!!!
    I love reading your posts. I wish you both the best :) xoxo

  3. Simone,
    There’s something about nature connecting us to our most aligned selves! This is so cool. We too are downsizing. Mark and I LOVE what you said here:

    “Taking care of our souls instead of our stuff.”

    I hope this move brought you JOY. ONE LOVE BABE.

  4. Jenni

    Such an incredible story! It takes a lot to do what you both are doing….but you will never regret it! Move forward with confidence and enjoy life to it’s fullest!

  5. Mel

    You are amazing!! Thank you for sharing your journey!!!

  6. Remelie

    You truly are a warrior and fierce AF. Thank you for your courage and teaching me how to find my fierceness, which I work on daily. Hopefully I will llet go of what holds me back and live life fully as I wish- by my design. Look forward to seeing all your posts on your blog! xoxo 😍✌

  7. Remelie

    You truly are a warrior and fierce AF. Thank you for your courage and teaching me how to find my fierceness, which I work on daily. Hopefully I will let go of what holds me back and live life fully as I wish- by my design. Look forward to seeing all your posts on your blog! xoxo 😍✌

  8. Sarah Kassimer

    So inspiring once again! Thank you! My husband and I have been discussing leaving our safety net and doing something similar. We just need to get my health stable and then I believe it will be our time to head west. Thanks for the nudge and I am wishing you, Mark and the kitties an amazing journey!

  9. Deb Johnson

    Congratulations on such a fierce move! I have been kicking around this very same thought for a long time, but never put a plan into action. This just may be what I needed to hear today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Much happiness to you both on your new home and new adventures. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

  10. Jennifer Starcher

    <3 <3 <3 My husband & I often feel "too old" to make any significant changes (we're early 40s)…but, it's really never 'too late' to make a change. It's really just fear. Thank you for the reminder that it CAN be done. You just need a little dream, a plan, and some faith. Best of luck on your new adventure & safe travels!!

  11. Simoned

    Standing ovation from Green Valley, AZ, where we decided to leap to and land. We, too, had a conversation under the stars (in Illinois) and came to the same conclusion about finite life. Who were we living for? Why were we there? Are we happy? What brings us joy? Well, today we hike in the Santa Rita Mountains which sit right behind our amazing new home. We downsized to a 1/4 of what we had accumulated and moved into a much smaller space–freeing us up to spend our time in joy and peace–taking care of our souls instead of our stuff. Happy Trails to Austin and Beyond!

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