Because I have to.
It’s as simple as that. And a bit more complicated. I’ve been talking about taking some time off and attempting to re-focus my life for a long time. Years. Perhaps as long as a decade. After that long even your own self-talk becomes pretty fucking cheap. At some point the rubber has to, quite literally, hit the road. I’ve come to that point now. The date is set. Money saved. Plan planned. Or, to be more precise, lack of plan; planned. Yes, I have goals. Five of them, actually:
- Slow Down
- Build Things
- Focus on Photography
- Create the Future
But the goals are more like guiding principles. The point is to chip away the structure of things a bit and see what falls and what stands. What feels right and what feels wrong. I’m giving myself two years. In some ways it feels like an awfully long time. I predict the reality of it will go by rather quickly. Hence the first principle; Slow Down. Take more time to enjoy life. I’ve been in a cubicle for 15 years now. I want to spend more time outside. See more sunsets. Notice the weather more. Use my hands. Which brings us to principle two; Build Things. My father was, and still is, quite the handyman. A diesel mechanic by trade, he did everything himself. And quite often I was his little helper. I hated it when I was a kid. I wanted to play with my friends and goof off. But as I’ve grown older I’ve really come to value the skills he taught me and I’ve begun to notice the intense satisfaction of fixing and building things myself. I want more of that in my life.
Then there’s the art. My photography. It’s the only creative endeavor I’ve stuck with since I was young. I really love it. But I never feel like there’s enough time for it. Art school was started, but a paying job got in the way of completion, and, while I don’t regret my decision, I do feel that I could benefit from more time behind the lens and more time in the field. I want to see what I can create when all the time limitations are removed and I’m completely free to seek out inspiration. Have you guessed how the next principle fits in? That’s right; Travel. No better way to get inspired than to see the world and capture what I see. Lot’s of road tripping, for sure. I’m thinking a nice little pop-up camper for my truck would do the trick. I’ve always wanted to explore the NorthWest, the NorthEast, the South, Texas . . . you get the idea. A smattering of international travel here and there when I can. Brazil, Paris, Greece, Croatia, New Zealand, India, Japan. The list goes on and on, and I certainly hope the traveling will too.
Through it all I hope to find the passions that will lead me into my next phase of life. A phase where the future becomes exactly what I plan it to be. I’ve always believed that the quality of one’s life is determined by the effort s/he puts into it. I put a ton of effort into the jobs I’ve worked. I got promoted. I got paid well. It was really comfortable. But there was no passion. No expansion of consciousness or creativity. Maybe I was just in the wrong line of work, but quite simply, it just never felt right. I believe that if I put all of that considerable effort towards the things that give me joy I will discover the ways to continue down that path and Create My Future.
Like I said, it’s pretty simple. And a bit complicated. But it is my life and I’m going to live it. Here goes everything!