Are you stuck in your life?
Do you ever wish you were daring enough to just sell all your stuff and get a one way ticket to anywhere but here? Do you regret some of the decisions you’ve made that have imprisoned you in your own life? Movies like “Fight Club,” “Office Space,” and “In the Wild” are dedicated to people who hate traffic, cubicles, politics and all of society’s hypocrisies. So if we hate being stuck in our lives, why do we keep doing things to make us sink deeper into the despair of monotony?
“One day I’m going to leave and you’re going to miss me when I’m gone.” I’ve been saying that since 1999. Except for a few vacations, I haven’t gone anywhere. I keep making more and more commitments i.e new car and home ownership without any strides towards getting free. Most of my savings are reserved for buying more stuff I don’t need and going places that I plan on coming back from. Why can’t I just leave and go backpacking through Africa, Asia, Australia or even Europe? It would be safer and easier to go backpacking through the 99% of America that I haven’t seen but I haven’t even done that. Why can’t I just get up and go?
We fear change, uncertainty and our own inabilities. We watch Man vs. Wild with absolute envy from our leather couches. We ogle at the Travel Channel on our 50 inch LCD TV’s wishing we were Anthony Bourdain eating some exotic food in Laos. We scorn immigrants for not understanding English without a thought about how brave it must be to move to a country with a strange and difficult to learn language just for a chance at happiness.
A book I read this year exposed my cowardice. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo is a story about a young shepherd that goes on a journey to an unknown land to find treasure. Through the many twists and turns of his journey, he did not find the treasure he sought but found wisdom and understanding. How many of us would dare venture to a strange land with no money just for the experience of an expedition?
The cliche “The grass is always greener on the other side.” is a saying that warns to appreciate where you are and not to idolize everything that’s new. Is this good advice or a subliminal injection of fear? The grass might actually be greener somewhere else. How can I know if I never adventure out? I might enjoy a desert in Saudi Arabia or a marsh China more than the skyscrapers in New York City but fear of the unknown and the commercial trappings of life have kept me imprisoned in Middle Class America.
Is the safety of a mundane life worth the possibility of never being truly happy?