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Fishermen. And Things Not Working Out The Way You Want Them To.

A bit more than a week ago, Natalie and I were on our way to Glacier National Park.  It was about 6 hours total out of our way, and cost us about $300 dollars worth of gas to get there.  But we had heard it was an absolute Montana must-see, so we decided to go for it anyway.  The drive was beautiful, and we stopped in a little town called Kalispell the night before.  The next morning we took off for the hour and a half drive to get to the National Park and once we were there, we were told that we couldn’t come in.  Our RV was too big.  And they don’t allow dogs anywhere in the park.

Now, we could have been upset, or mad at ourselves for not checking this info ahead of time, but instead, we shrugged our shoulders and said “Fuck it then.  Off to Missoula.”  We giggled, turned around, and left.

Natalie and I both believe that everything happens for a reason, and that it would all make sense later, why our Glacier trip didn’t work out.  And so after that, we had a running joke.  Every time we’d see a pretty sunset, or laughed hysterically over some random occurrence we’d say “now THAT’S why Glacier didn’t work out,” because had it worked out, we wouldn’t have been at the exact place at the exact moment that said cool thing happened.

So we continued on our journey.  Missoula.  Then Butte, which about 7 hours after we got there, we decided it was just time to move on.  It just felt like the right thing to do, for both of us.  So we left and decided to meet up with a friend in Bozeman, MT, who we had been hooked up with by our friends in Hood River.

We roll into the cute little town of Bozeman around 9:30pm and took our time getting ready.  We walked slowly to the bar to meet our new friend.  And we decided that instead of texting him when we got there so he could come out and meet us (since we didn’t know what he looked like) that we would just be able to tell, in a bar full of people, who the person was that we were supposed to meet.

We walked into The Eagle with a keen eye.  Intuition heightened.  We passed several people before we came upon two guys, who were heading for the door.

“Hi.”  We said.  “Are you our friends?”

Somewhat confused looks from these two strangers.

“Ummm…yeah, I mean, we could be your friends? What are the names of who you’re looking for?”

“Well, what are your names?” we ask.

Turns out these two guys weren’t who we were looking for, but a short conversation ensued, in which we learned that one of the guys was currently in school at my Alma Mater, and both of them were fishermen who were (maybe) going to take us fishing the following day, pending room in the boat.  They took our numbers, left, and we proceeded to find our friends.

The next day we get a text from one of the fishermen, and decide to meet him downtown where he was in a coffee shop writing.  And what ensued was basically three entire days of fun, laughing, floating down the river, rodeo and county fairing, swimming in ponds, country dancing, and hanging out with amazing new friends.  This fisherman was not originally who we were looking for, but exactly who we needed to meet.  It dictated our time in Bozeman, and we now have a friend who I suspect will be in our lives for a very long time. And had we not left Butte at the exact moment we did, or not taken those few extra minutes to get ready, we would have missed meeting him all together.  He would have already been out the door and on his way home.  And THAT’S why Glacier didn’t work out.

This got me thinking to the moments in our lives that define us.  Those moments that change everything.  And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that those moments are usually proceeded by things that didn’t work out the way we originally wanted them to.  If my last relationship hadn’t ended, I wouldn’t be here out in the RV right now.  If we had gone into Glacier National Park, we never would have met our new friends.  And life is full of moments like these, moments that send the pendulum swinging in completely new direction.  I can trace this moment right here, me sitting on a park bench in Jackson, Wyoming, so far back.  Probably 15 years at least.  A string of things that didn’t work out that all led me right here to this moment, right now.

And I love right now.  I couldn’t have planned it this way.  I never would have seen myself driving a 34 foot RV all around the country with my friend and my dog, but it is the absolute right thing for me to be doing right now.  Who would have known?  You can’t plan for this stuff. 

It’s easy to be upset when things don’t work out the way you want them to.  Easy to lament the boy who doesn’t love you, or the job that didn’t come through, or the house that you didn’t get.  But in those moments, just keep in mind that an RV might be being sold at the exact moment you want it, or fisherman might be right around the corner, waiting to show you a good time.

We can’t plan for life.  No matter how much we think we can or how hard we try.  It’s all just a series of moments and split second decisions that change everything.  Don’t be upset when life doesn’t go the way you want it to.  Just follow your intuition.  Leave Butte if you have to.  Don’t be scared.  And see what’s waiting for you when you get to your next destination.

Has this ever happened to you? Leave me a comment and tell me about some of your life changing moments.

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19 Responses to Fishermen. And Things Not Working Out The Way You Want Them To.

  1. Greg Dennis says:

    You know what? No snappy remarks or one-liners. This is absolutely true. From meeting my girlfriend to my business and a business deal I am working on.

    Long story short: a Canadian film company contacted me to be a distributor of their film (I had previously done business with them), and we’ve been going back and forth, but it seems that patience is indeed the virtue, as each time, the deal just becomes sweeter. Also, with the promoter in Green Bay, WI deciding to terminate our handshake working agreement, I got up from it and decided to work on something I had put aside – opening my own promotion.

    It’s truly amazing what happens when you don’t even think about it. The multiverse truly has a cosmic scale where everything balances out eventually.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Greg…I know, right!? I was thinking about your situation with this too. Even really annoying things that happen, in retrospect can be the best things possible for us. Life is so amazing like that!

  2. You ladies are so cool! it is a blast watching your journey! Yes sometimes one door closes (or a national park won’t let you in) and you end up in such a better place because of it!

    Tracy

    http://www.tracymatthewsnyc.com

    • Sallyhope says:

      Tracy!! Thank you so much! It’s so fun to be on this journey and to get to share it with you guys. And so true about one door closing and another one opening. You rock mama. Thank you for being you!

  3. Hawk Mazzotta says:

    Thata girls! Seein some beautiful sites and experiencing wonderful things! Keep chargin!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hawkers…thank you so much for all your continued support on this here journey. We’ve been checking out trucks based on your suggestions and we know what we want. THANK YOU! You know we’ll keep chargin. We can’t not!

  4. Hey all the best and enjoy your time. A big lesson for me right now. I walking by faith, trusting, believing and wanting to really get down to doing what I love which is writing and reading for myself and my children.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Girl I love that you said faith and trust. I feel like those are huge themes in so many people’s lives right now. First you must know what you want, then have faith that the right things will show up, and trust that it’ll all work out. You got it. I can’t wait to hear about your journey.

  5. Emma says:

    Wow! That’s so synchronous, I just blogged something similar about not making plans because life is meant to be unplanned, an adventure!
    I really see the interconnectedness of things so much more than I ever have. Chance meetings, chance ‘adding friends’ on facebook which leads to new direction in your whole life.
    This is what makes life magical.
    Your trip sounds awesome!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Yeah girl!! So glad we’re on the same page. It’s so true that life IS an unplanned adventure, whether we choose to believe that or not. I revel in the randomness of it all. So glad we randomly ended up here, talking about this. :)

  6. Another subtle yet powerful message, beautifully written as always, about all the awesome things that arise from letting things go! You rock Sally!!! Feel so blessed to be able to share this journey with you. Thank goodness for the zillion things that did not work out in my life because it led me to THIS … right here, right now, adventuring and inspiring all over the U.S. with YOU! Big platform and ripples of inspiration spreading far and wide …. BAM!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Miss Natalie…oh how lucky I feel to be on this journey with you. All your love and support and partner in crime-ing. I couldn’t have made up a better scenario. So glad our random moments led us to this. Onward, my dear.

  7. Oooooh weee, did I need to read this post. Damn girl. It’s a hard lesson for someone who “plans” for a living! :)
    I love your lessons of letting go, releasing control and just going with the flow. Reminds me to pay attention to these moments in my own life, ’cause there are for sure plenty!
    And how amazing is it that every seemingly insignificant little moment or “chance” encounter sets our life on a new course, a new path – forever. It’s so cool and really inspiring to realize that it does, all happen for a reason.

    Have fun out there on the big, bad open road girls (+ coach)!! xo

    • Sallyhope says:

      I hear you girl!! I used to think of myself as a planner too. Or at least feel some safety in the thought that I “thought” I was planning. But the more I’m out here, the more I realize that planning is futile. It’s a lesson we get to learn over and over and over and over again (it seems).

      Love you lady. Hope our moments have us crossing paths again soon. I will let you know next time I’m in the bay.

      • Greg Dennis says:

        Stephanie,

        I’m TOTALLY with you on the planning thing. I am not really one for surprises. I like to have everything planned out to the tiniest detail. I don’t think planning is futile as Sally said, but I do think there ARE times when planning just doesn’t work.

  8. Sarah E says:

    Frustrating events can often lead to wonderful adventures on the road. When our alternator failed us on the side of the freeway about 45 minutes outside of Madison Wisconsin we were pretty miffed, but thanks to AAA and the Samba (VW) website things took a magical upswing. AAA put us up in a sweet hotel right in the heart of the city and bought us dinner and drinks (trip interruption…look it up!) Then to our surprise, in the morning, we woke up to one of the most awesome farmers markets I have ever been to right outside our door (free cheese everywhere). Later that day we made our way to a small town about 30 minutes away where this wonderful young couple and their menagerie of pups, who answered our plea for VW help, set us up with a new alternator, dinner, wine, more cheese, and a place to crash for the night. We stayed up till very late drinking and laughing, and I saw my very first lightning bugs!! Was one of the best days on our whole 2 month trip, and we would have missed it if our bus never broke down.
    Keep on rockin ladies, sounds like you are having a blast and learning some nice life lessons on the way =)
    XOXO!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Girl this is EXACTLY what I’m talking about!!! All those amazing things that happen by NOT planning. By things NOT working out the way we want them too. You could have never planned for this. So amazing. I love this story.

  9. Mark Cobb says:

    Another GREAT message Sally about being present.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Thanks Mark! I feel like I keep learning this lesson over and over again. What’s the statistic? Something like it takes 27 times of hearing something in order to actually understand and believe it? :)

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