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Building a Map For Your Life

Aaron McHugh

Two years ago, we started building a map for our life. As I write this, we’re back in the same 500 square foot apartment at 9,000 feet below Mt Princeton where we began our life reboot. My memory is crystal clear now. I remember the fear of uncertainty, the exhilaration of adventure and the grief of telling our old life goodbye.

Looking back I can see how brave we were. We sold everything, packed up the remaining archives into a one-car garage and headed back to the vestige of safety-Young Life’s Frontier Ranch. We were banged up. I was taking a pocket full of anxiety medication every four hours, my resting pulse was ninety-two beats per minute, our marriage was connected by a thread and our daughter was pissed we took her away from her friends.


Yet we knew that if we stayed in the life we knew, it was a guarantee of our demise. Beginning here, we started with a map on the wall illustrating the possibilities of our new life. I remember writing, “1200 sq. ft. and $1,600.00. We want pet chickens. A garden. Work Less. Live More.”

I think my wife and daughter were too traumatized to write much on the dream board then. But we started with a blank sketch pad and hung it on the door near the bathroom as a faint flag of freedom in our fluid story.

Rob Bell writes about the blinking cursor of our life-pulsing-asking us to write something, something new, something worth living. As the cursor blinks at me now, I feel empowered to brave the frontier of the next forward step.

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