Time to Feed My Soul

Photography and nature feed my soul. Sunset from my last plane trip.

I want to recapture my flow, passion, and zest for life. The truth is that my life is rather dull and has been for much of the last 28 years. During much of the time since leaving Boulder, I’ve been plodding along, finding moments of joy, but no lasting joy, passion, or purpose.

I want to live more fully, passionately, and intentionally. More than anything, I want to make a difference by doing something that makes me feel alive and helps people, connecting purpose to passion. Some of you have suggested writing is my purpose and I’m grateful that you enjoy my blog and find value in what I share here, but it doesn’t feel like a passion or purpose from my side.

Lake Wilson.

So I continue to look for something more. And maybe that is the problem. Maybe this is as good as it gets or as close as I’ll come to a purpose. I remember what flow and passion felt like in my 30s. I organically left my job, bought a VW camper, traveled the country, visited many beautiful parks, and awakened my love for nature. I lived in OR for a year, then explored some more, and moved to CO. I really came alive in Boulder, exploring new aspects of myself; personal growth, healthy lifestyle, sobriety, men’s groups, and satisfying friendships. My new life fit and felt good. Gratitude and joy were routine and organic results of my life, not something I had to strive for. I took risks and bold actions, resulting in joy.

Until I started looking for greener pastures. And then I lost my father, girlfriend, and unborn child within a few months of each other. After these losses, I’ve never really gotten back on track. I had left Boulder with my partner, thinking we would find a new town to live in together. Instead, she left me to sort out her life. By then, I had given up everything in Boulder. After some aimless wandering, I found Fayetteville, AR, and stayed. Not because I loved it, but because I was numb and needed to rest.

I’ve lost my life savings three different times since moving here. Plus, being unemployed and underemployed for most of my 50s has left me risk-averse, and wary of making changes.

I’ve had moments of joy, moments of peace, etc, but no lasting sense of flow or rightness. I’m 64 years old, have never married, nor found a meaningful career or purpose, and don’t love Arkansas. I strive to make the best of it but get tired of settling. I’m afraid to move without having clarity of where and why, along with limited finances. Most of the places I would like to live are much more expensive than Arkansas.

~

Sunset at the apartment.

~

I wrote this post three years ago but didn’t publish it because it doesn’t fit the uplifting theme of my blog. I’m tired of hiding these aspects and putting a false shine on my life online, where it is easy to present our lives however we want. My soul is craving more connection, adventure, and authenticity.

I’ve let go of finding purpose, but have regrets about not trying harder with relationships, moving, and travel. I’m loosely aiming to move when I stop working in the next few years.

There are good things about my life. I have people who care about me, good health, some savings, and a decent job and income. But my social life is lacking and I don’t have deep soulful friendships like I did in my 30s and 40s.  And I can’t seem to muster the effort to reach out to people for friendship or dating. My online friends and blogging community are a bright spot. You have helped me survive the challenges over the last 10 years.

Lately, I find writing and blogging to be a chore rather than a joy. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been fully authentic and don’t have any adventures to feed my soul. I’m considering taking a break or even shutting down my blog. I want to focus more on my in-person life. If I’m going to turn things around, I need to be more proactive about my life with some adventure, companionship, and aliveness. Mostly, I’m just going through the motions of daily life.

Footnote; these are broad generalizations about my life. My feelings and situations are fluid and could shift quickly. I want to feed my soul more with nature, intimacy, travel, and adventure. And take some action despite my fears. If I took action about any of these situations, I might feel very differently about my life. The key takeaways are dissatisfaction with my life, seeing where fear is holding me back, and the need to be more proactive.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and supporting me over the years on this blog.

74 thoughts on “Time to Feed My Soul

  1. Dear Brad,

    These thoughts, to me, are more valuable than any “uplifting” thoughts you’ve felt you must share. And that’s because they’re the real you. It’s perfectly fine to admit to yourself and others when you feel lost. Because so many others do as well. Including myself. Maybe this is a huge step in moving towards the light that will lead you to the peace that you deserve. I understand the urge to shut down the blog and focus on your journey. You know I’ve retreated to a much quieter corner with no regrets. Whatever you decide to do, know that your readers will never forget your kind spirit.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Julie. I’m glad you find value in me sharing the gritty parts. I agree that it’s all part of who we are and important to share and be authentic. I’m glad you’ve found a pace and place that feeds you. I would like to have those, yet I’m hesitant to make any big changes.

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  2. Thanks for sharing what’s going on with you, Brad, and feeling free to be honest. I’m glad to hear that blogging is a bright spot, but I also understand that it isn’t a substitute for face-to-face friendships, conversation, and adventure. And nature, though beautiful and peaceful, isn’t the same as human connection. I hope you follow the impulse to make some room in your soul, despite your fears, for new experiences that will bring you joy. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It takes courage to share and show vulnerability and you have that courage to explore to find what works for you. We are all just muddling along, Brad and all in this together. ❤ always. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello dearest, thank you for your honesty and authenticity here!! I can so relate to the grief part and to getting stuck in that energy once there are a lot of losses coming at you at once… it IS tough healing work to get through something like that! Society just suppresses this stuff. Smile and carry on… and while i LOVE a good smile and am all about joy and laughter, I know that these only (I believe at least) come from a deep place of authenticity once we have fully felt and cleared out our traumas and grief. To heal, one has to feel. Yes… please be so kind and send me a request to join my blog ok? I will put it on “public” again in a while but until then… 🙂 I somehow couldn’t figure out how to send you the invite! I believe in you! Big hugs from Spain 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This a powerful post; you share such insight on life (the good & bad), and also the important note at the end that these are broad generalizations about your life. Authenticity is what you have achieved in your writing ~ and interactions here on WP, and I admire what you’ve done and the inspiration it brings. But I also understand your meaning when you say it doesn’t feel this way on your side.

    Fear is the issue, and it sucks because every one of us goes through this… I hate to throw out self-help for such issues, but I also can’t help. I think part of passion is intentionally putting yourself in difficult/uncomfortable positions, and like you wrote when you were young, “I took risks and bold actions, resulting in joy.” Put yourself out there, even though you will hate it at first – because eventually, it will become a habit. There are hiking, nature, photography, and trekking clubs to be found online, and sign-up and follow through. You have one thing most people wish for: good health. Add to that your kindness, and you’ve won the lottery in life (which starts today for us all, every day); what it takes is often the most difficult, which I know from experience, and that is opening the door and taking those first steps out. You are such a good soul and a good man… And apologize if this comes off preachy at all, but these are the similar words I often tell myself: find something exciting and jump. Yeah, it will suck sometimes, but getting it right just once makes it all worth it.

    Finally, I am thrilled to read this post from you. The honesty is refreshing, and boldness in doing so is a sign you have it in you. Cheers, my friend, and I look forward to riding this journey with you! Take care, Brad!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Randall. Clearly, you’ve been down the road of fear, hesitation, and finally taking action. Maybe I need to practice on little things. Planning a move or world travel seem like too much right now. And none of this is new to me or my readers, but I guess I made it more clear today. I feel weary and slightly hopeful. Yes, health and kindness count for a lot, and no you don’t come off preachy. thanks for caring.

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      • Yes, practice on the little things and then see how much easier it becomes to say, “hmm, looks interesting; I think I’ll give it a go!” :-). Health and kindness can take you anywhere, and you have plenty ~ getting out and just moving is a great way to get a little clarity too. Many thinkers/philosophers have received much of their inspiration by moving (hiking, going on small treks) and only sit down to write out what they’ve already figured out. A little bit of hope and adventurous spirit is all it takes – cheers, Brad, and looking forward to what autumn will bring.

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  6. Thank you Brad for sharing how it has been and the reality of this chapter of your life . So many peeps want to hear the positive and only the good… yet much of life is about realigning and adjusting to the reality that presents itself. In that moment we can feel freedom.
    When we ponder about the past and our mistakes or regrets, we keep ourselves there. We become okay with ourselves and life as it now is, we may be ready to take on new possibilities …. And feeding your soul in a different way.
    What do you not know?
    What are you curious about now?
    Allow the mind to imagine and the body to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome to the feeling lost and can’t give a dam club😂🤣It’s really ok to feel your deepest darkness, even to share it, with great friends we have here… built up over the years! I really know how it feels to not want to blog anymore, but you’ll find in a while your passionate drive to be in the world will make you pick up that pen and write! You really have to realise what an impact you have on all our lives here! I remember a few years ago when Tom and would be going to bed and my iPad would start blinging! AND tom would comment, that’s your friends connecting with you! Such a special feeling! So Thankyou for being here, and now we’re here for you! Holding you as you feel all your sadness come and visit you. Just breathe it all in. It’s energy, wanting to be embraced by you, the loving presence you are. Brad our journey is about love, love for ourself which we find underneath all our shit (sorry couldn’t find another word). There comes a time when we just have to be grateful for all our experience and trust our path is exactly as it’s supposed to be! Don’t fight how you feel, it’s time just to love you and soon, I know you’ll feel like joining the world again! Sending you so much love❤️

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  8. Wow, thanks for being so honest and for sharing yourself, warts and all. It does sound like you’re coming to another point of life change, because you’re making the decision to live more purposefully, and I respect you for that. No matter what you do, I’m wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Brad, what a brave, vulnerable and poignant post, even if it was written some time ago, thank you for sharing the realness of your life. It can be cathartic to write, to release and to visualise what we want. Keep striving and sharing what feels right for you. Life can be a struggle and it’s rarely perfect but there’s nothing wrong with wanting more. I wish you peace, love, adventure and courage to follow whatever stirs your soul. Much love from me ❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Stay right here because we all need you and look forward to your posts. 🙂 I think this post was one of my favorites because you poured your heart out and showed us the true you. There’s nothing better than that. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That was a heartfelt share, Brad. You’ve made it through some adventurous and challenging life stuff-a rest was needed! Best wishes to you connecting to people and situations that help ignite your passions! Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Brad, I hope you stick around (selfishly) as I thoroughly enjoy your posts. Listen (and I know you know this) we all go through ups and downs. It’s part of life, of course. I can completely understand not always sharing the downs because the community expects a certain ‘vibe’ from you. But it is YOUR blog. So sharing or not sharing, it’s all up to you.

    I am hopeful you will find those face-to-face relationships that we all crave and need again. We go through all sorts of seasons in our lives, some much harder and purifying than others. I’ve never lost a spouse or significant other but I did lose my mother-in-law (who was closer than a mother to me) and then shortly after that, my son. It was these events which heavily reshaped both my and my then-husband’s hearts and we grew vastly apart, though we kept trying for another several years… I say this to say, while those losses were the hardest things I’ve ever had to walk through, I can clearly say I am a better person in the end, my heart became new. Now it’s been eleven years since then and I am in a really great place emotionally and spiritually.

    This is what gives me hope for you too. The rough patches may scratch you up, but you know deep inside what it is you are missing and needing. You know what changes you need to make. Don’t walk in fear or in apathy. I believe you’ll make the right decisions to continue on into the light.

    Hugs and much love for you,
    Your blogging friend in Alaska,
    tara

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Tara for the deeply heartfelt share. Clearly you understand. I’m glad you’ve healed and grown from your loss and pain. I know I’ve become more compassionate, but also more hesitant after so many loses over and over. I hope I can break out of my ruts. I appreciate your care and your support. Big hugs… 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The first thing that struck me when reading this post was when you said ” I’m afraid to move without having clarity of where and why, along with limited finance”….You might be waiting for a very long time thinking that way Brad. This time is asking you to put down comfortable and dependable and pick up risk in order to venture forth and discover a new you…If you’re going to break out, break out all the way!!! Good luck my friend, it’s tough especially now…Have faith in you and go for it. Good luck….VK ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So, so grateful for your vulnerable strength dear Brad, as it helps me to know your beautiful soul and the richness that is all part of who you are. This is a gift you give us all…and it extends both in understanding, as well as supporting others to honor their journeys too. You’ve been through some really tough things and also some really beautiful things. I can understand how hard it is to make the next moves or even find the reasons and motivation for them. The tough has a way of closing our petals and wanting to protect us. But a flower you are nonetheless, and those petals I can feel curling toward the sun. This share reflects that to me and you’re right to want to feel your passion and experience greater connection and what ever else speaks to your soul. Even if it isn’t to blog. Blogging could have been a version of mourning, healing, and way to move energy. It could also have hidden silver linings. I don’t want to place my impressions upon things, as this is your journey, and you get to write it the way your heart desires. You have great insight on your take aways. I’m just really honoring this share, this space you’re in, and the embers that are glowing within you right now. I also honor the choices you decide and believe it or not, I have had/and am having similar thoughts about taking a big break or completely stepping away. The presence of being and experiencing the here and now in person stuff is so valuable and we never know how many more tomorrows we have. That said, I’m also super grateful for the online world, as it has the ability to connect us with soul friends and family we may never have had chance to know and there are gems of heart wisdom that find us in the exact moments we may be needing them. It’s also a great channel for creative energy in any and all versions, which I feel is vital. So for now, I look to ways of where I can create the right balance that works for me. I’m still figuring that out. And is why my last post I shared, I said would be the last for at least until I return home in October, so I can feel that out more, while I am experiencing deep changes, and feel what balance nurtures my soul the best AND feeds the connective threads to others through that heart channel to the highest. I think that when we stand in the expression of who we are, as you have, that is purpose. Purpose doesn’t have to look like anything grand, or perhaps our definition of grand could use some revamping, as being who we are each day, bringing our uniqueness to anything we do/touch, and connecting with others through that heart channel is truly grand in my opinion. Big hug of love to you. Always your friend ❤

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  15. Your honesty is a huge step in making the steps you want/need, Brad. This is why I love teaching creative writing classes. One of my writing rules is “BE HONEST (otherwise the stories are just not good). And “DON”T THINK” when you write. Just let the pen flow. So many of my students over the years have “found themselves” just by writing stories – fiction and non-fiction, that come from deep inside them. That’s why blogging is so great too. We open ourselves to strangers, who no longer become strangers, and we find ourselves as these new friends find out who we are. YOU are a beautiful soul. I know that from your posts, your photos, and your yearnings. I have felt purposeless before (I think most of us who are empaths feel that at some point in our lives, or all of our lives!) and a very wise man once said to me emphatically “The most important thing is to BE. Just BE, and you are a purpose in the world.” These words helped me so much, and I hope they help you, Brad. YOU, your being, is a beautiful thing. Embrace who you are, and then take those steps being confident that YOU are BEing, and that’s huge.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Brad, I am sorry you are feeling so lovely and demotivated. You are living in a pretty place and that does help, as does corresponding with people on line, but it doesn’t replace companionship. It seems you are lonely. I hope that you will go ahead with your plan to find more interaction with people. Perhaps there are clubs you could join to meet some new people.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you so much for sharing this reality, Brad. You don’t have to be uplifting and positive all the time. What huge losses you had in a short time! Healing is an ongoing process. It seems to me that when we get into our 60s, security competes with desire for adventure and unfinished business. All those things are valid, and balance is good. You’ve been to a lot of places I want to go but my husband’s job and having pets seem keep us from traveling much right now. Retiring? and maybe social security, will give you more options, and you don’t have big ties that would keep you tethered. I believe you are getting ready for a new phase in your life. Keep exploring possibilities and imagining ways to feed your soul- both near and far – and they will emerge. If you step back from blogging, I hope you’ll drop in with occasional updates. One thing I know for sure is that you are take beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words of support and encouragement JoAnna. Yes, I have flexibility and freedom, but not the resources to retire or pursue many of my dreams. As you mentioned, I’ll have to balance security, adventure, and finances. Thankfully, photography & nature feed my soul. take care.

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  18. By virtue of your feeling safe enough to unveil yourself/your soul so fully in this space may be testament that this is a place (blog place) you may wish to stay. “My soul is craving more connection, adventure, and authenticity” is what we all feel I think. As long as we’re alive we are always seeking more. I think because we were not created to die anything that is antithesis to living pushes us to want more. We were also not created to be alone so wanting connection is as natural as breathing. I pray you find peace and calm to HEAR clearly what steps to take. 🤗 🤗 ☮️ 🤗 🤗

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  19. Hi Brad,
    I am not sure what happened as I was writing here, so if you see an unfinished comment prior to this one please ignore and delete.
    I wanted to say, first thank you for sharing how you really feel. So many feel like you do, including me. I do have my moments of feeling unsure about the future and wanting a more meaningful purpose in life. Seconds, it takes gusts to share such details, and it feels like a positive turning point.
    It looks like you reinvented yourself a couple of times before. It is exciting to see where you will end up next and what adventures unfold.
    I would hope you would continue with this blog, so we get to visit. Perhaps you just need a break. Listen and follow your heart. And know that all your friends here are rooting for you.
    Sending love, blessings and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love your blog and I’m applaud your honesty. I’m in a very different situation than you, but I too struggle to find my spark. While writing and photography are good for me and I enjoy them, they don’t entirely feed a part of me I’ve currently been eating to repress (mainly loneliness and a sense I’ve lost my identity under my responsibilities).

    As others have said, I am rooting for you. Do what feels right and please feel open to share all of it. May the answers come as you sit by that beautiful pond and consider yet another reinvention. You inspire me and I’m glad we’ve found each other through blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you for sharing your authentic self Brad! It’s scary and hard to do that, as you know that’s a lot of my blog post – being vulnerable. First I want to say I’m so sorry for your losses! I don’t know the feeling of a losing a parent, but I truly know the pain of losing your unborn child! Prayers and healings go out to you! I also pray you can find joy and peace again, it’s there we just have to push ourselves to find it or recognize it when we do. It does seem nature, God’s real beauty brings you some joy. I’d say push forth with that, one day at a time. Be present in each moment, so you can have the chance to see and feel everything that He’s giving you! You’re never alone! 🙏🏻

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  22. This is such an courageous honest post dear Brad… Finding the strength to reveal inner thoughts and feelings, Kudos to you my friend.. The pain and difficulties you faced in your loss, has left a deep and lasting impression at your core…

    So to publish these deep feelings right now is also a very good sign, for it means you are giving voice to those inner feelings of loss, sadness, grief and loneliness.. As you release, deeper healing begins.. Even if on the surface we don’t always see our symptoms, which can often keep us stuck within the same patterns, for fear of rejection, more grief, and heartache.

    You have always struck me Brad as a very kind, gentle soul, who tries to please others more than you please yourself… Many too are feeling that call to withdraw, and retreat into their shell and shut off even further.. I too if you remember didn’t blog or communicate for 5 weeks, I learnt a while ago, that we need to put ourselves first once in a while.. We are worthy of rest, of caring for ourselves and nurturing ourselves.. For We are searching to find ourselves!…. Pulling all our shattered pieces over the years and Life times, back into wholeness.. And that takes some doing Brad.. For all manner of our past crops up to shake and rattle us to our core once again as we finally release it as we learn to let it go, forgive and heal our inner wounds..

    So dear Brad, follow your instincts my friend… Nature is your go to healer… as is mine… I am happy you are in a much happier place within dear Brad…
    Sending continued hugs as we each find our various pieces of putting our true soul selves back together again..

    Much love 💜✨

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