I thought I was one of those lucky ones …
You know the type. The people where nothing bad ever happens to them. The ones who seemingly coast through life without a scar to show off or their entire heart intact.
Growing up I thought that would have been the definition of my life. I thought that the stuff you heard about, the bad, the ugly or just the lesser of the good wouldn’t happen to me. I don’t know why I felt so privileged other than the fact I grew up in a good home, with a wonderful family, and with a really nice life.
I’m more than willing to admit I was super naive. However, I don’t blame myself because I hadn’t faced any major tribulations yet. I hadn’t faced heartbreak, loss, betrayal, or any lack of purpose. In fact, I didn’t really have a purpose quite yet.
I now believe that there is no such thing as the lucky ones. I actually don’t believe in luck at all because I think we’re the ones that create our energy and that we can create our own luck through our environment and a solid work ethic.
Life doesn’t discriminate. No one is safe from hurt, heartbreak or reality. No one is safe from those gut checks. No one person is coastable.
As hard as that is to accept, it’s important to understand that that’s okay. That it’s necessary. That without those moments life would be boring, we would be numb to the world and we would never truly live out our dreams the way they should be lived.
It was January 27th, 2014. The day my “when moment” happened. When everything changed. When everything I thought I knew dramatically shifted. It was the moment I now knew I had a purpose, I just wasn’t sure what it was yet besides changing the world in some way, my own way. It would be creating a legacy of my own all while keeping one alive. By making people feel like they are a somebody and connecting wholeheartedly to those humans, all of em. This was the day that my dad unexpectedly passed away. The day that I finally realized what he meant when he said he was livin’ the dream every single day.
This is when the universe decided to test me to my core. To take my dad away, end an 8-year relationship and end it badly, for me to do my best to numb myself, get caught cheating in college, get a new man just to eventually get dumped again, have my spinal issues reach an ultimate high and get back surgery because of it at 25 years old, oh and how could I forget blowing the transmission on my first car.
In the scheme of these things life could be so much worse right? But I am a believer in feeling things as they happen and learning from each little thing. I was confused, lost and ready to start smiling again.
Life continued to show me that it’s not going to be easy, that it’s not supposed to be easy and it’s never going to be easy. It felt like my life had become a series of unfortunate events in the few months following my dad’s passing. So I told myself just as my dad would to “strap on a pair” and keep moving.
Grief taught me a couple of things. It taught me that you can let this piece of your story make you or break you. I decided to let those chapters make me. I did this by facing it head-on and leaning into the pain. This is when my lightbulb moments began happening, and have continued to happen. I would do anything to have my dad back, trust me, but my reality is … I can’t. I have to keep him alive in my heart, to ultimately keep me alive.
Eventually, things started to turn around. They always do. I realized that between the heartbreak and the messiness of my life that I ached for a much-needed relationship with myself. Thank you to the universe for reminding me of this because it’s when the hippie in me came running out of my body full force and I began road-trip every free chance I had.
Initially, the travel began because I was running. I was running away from my problems or at least trying to. Honestly though, I realized quickly that running just meant running straight into new opportunities, new people, and so many new stories. It was “running” that began changing my life.
I’ll never forget one road-trip in particular. It was a road-trip that made me shift and inspired a new life. It was The Grand Tetons in Wyoming. I was staring at these massive mountains, jaw dropped by how small I felt. How small my problems and I were and for the first time in my life I was fully acknowledging everything around me.
The cool air hitting my face, the sound of nothing but Mother Nature, how fast and slow my heart was beating. It’s when I realized there was more to the world than Disney World and that the real world was the most magical place ever. I knew in that moment that if I could lose my dad and smile again that no matter what happened next I would make it.
This new life and mindset shift made me realize that all the thought bubbles I was having for years and years were valid and that I needed to make them come to fruition and that the time was now. That all life is, is a bunch of full circle moments just piecing the puzzles pieces together.
First, I decided I was going to create a movement about livin’ the dream. Livin’ the dream … THE MOVEMENT and THIS would be MY imprint on the world, the impact I was going to make. To remind people that you have to live until the day that you die and not just exist. That my dream is different than yours and that that’s okay. That it’s not your end all be all, the glitz and glam of life but that it’s every single day. That life isn’t that unfair if it’s unfair to everyone, that’s what makes life so fair, unexpected and beautiful.
That movement turned into me writing a freaking book. Now, this was not just some childhood dream of mine. I hated writing English papers in school but I started to write as a coping mechanism. A way that I could physically read where I was and where I was going. This book became my first baby. I poured myself into every word, every page, and every chapter. This is when I knew that changing the world was all about people telling their stories. People connecting with one another and creating an army of humans who share similar passion projects and beliefs of all sorts.
In the midst of all this, I knew it was my mission to connect with as many humans as I could. I had just got back from Iceland, one of the most magical places I have ever been to. I got back to the states to speak at a student leadership conference in Arizona. This is where had my next life-changing conversation happened because it’s the conversation that brought me to my current situation — living in a 2014 Mercedes Sprinter van named Billie.
I now travel full time getting lost and chasing my curiosity wholeheartedly. I chose this life so I could continue to make a movement move — literally and figuratively. To tug at people’s heartstrings and make them feel something so that they too could have lightbulb moments of their own. To chase as many sunsets as I could and to live the dream, my dream.
Basically I thought that living in my van would give me a lot of alone time, it would teach me silence and solitude and that I would start learning a lot about myself by myself. Boy, was I wrong. I have been surrounded by good-hearted humans, connecting with one after another. All of which have been teaching me life lessons, digging deep into who I am and who I want to become.
What I learned from being on the road is that you don’t learn about “you” by being alone you learn about “you” by being around people and then reflecting on that alone. Sure, I do what I do to help others but it’s amazing what you get in return without expecting a thing. I have learned to slow down and literally smell all the roses along the way. That sometimes the best way to live life is simply being simple.
I’m here for you and for this thing called life.
Alexa Glazer is a speaker, author, storyteller, and full-time adventurer. She’s a free spirit with an old soul just trying to make people feel something special. She travels and lives full-time in her van so that she can chase all the sunsets, live life more intentionally and do her part in changing the world. She believes in the type of magic created by storytelling through fearless hearts and human connection. Through words — written and spoken. It’s about creating light bulb moments and making people feel like they can be more courageous.