In a few days I leave for a long trip to Switzerland and Hong Kong. The Swiss Alps for fun and Asia for work.
In my opinion, I am fortunate to get to travel for work and play. Especially to places that are so exciting to me!
At the same time, I’m leaving my wife and our dog for a month. I love these girls so much and am already away from them quite a bit with such a full life. I already miss them and I haven’t even packed yet. I pre-miss them.
Anyway, it’s this contradiction that I want to explore. My life is full of these opposing forces. Neither good nor bad, that I get to choose from.
I also observe these contradictions out in the world as well. I’m sure you’ve noticed a trend towards Crossfit, Tough Mudder, and ultra-marathons. Folks seem to like doing hard shit.
As a primal people we are bored to tears with our desk jobs and cushy lives. We crave adventure and suffering and the opportunity to prove ourselves out in the wild. We crave more authentic experiences that aren’t so white washed.
But we don’t all quit our jobs so we can pursue these adventures full-time. Most of us continue climbing the ladder of whatever job we have in search of better work with a fatter paycheck. We pursue luxury and comfort to the Nth degree. But we also wake up at 5:00am to attend a class where some trainer makes us bleed out of our eyeballs in the name of fitness.
We’re dying to be wild yet keep ourselves muzzled.
I think this is the stuff that makes life great. There is no “one way” to be. There are always several ways to be and no particular way is the right way.
I want to be in the Alps AND at the same time I want to be watching Stranger Things with my wife or running trails with Josie. I want to fly in the comfort of first class. But when I get to my destination, I want to suffer in the mountains for 14 hours straight. What is that all about?
I used to be embarrassed about this lack of clarity. About wanting to be home when I’m traveling and wanting to be traveling when I’m at home. I felt like it made me a worse partner, or a 1/2 committed vagabond. Even worse, I was scared you were gonna find out. That I was gonna be revealed as a poser. For some reason I thought it had to be one way or another. But it doesn’t!
I can have radically divergent emotions. And just as importantly…you don’t care a bit! To tell the truth, I spent quite a bit of time wondering what YOU were thinking about ME. As it turns out, you don’t think about me at all. You’re too busy thinking about yourself and wondering if everyone is thinking about you.
Well, they’re not.
I guess I want to say that if you’re like me and trying to find the one way to be…give it up. There is no one way in my experience. There are many ways and they’re all cool. Just be exactly as you are. Own it. Your sense of inner peace will let you know if you’re on the right track!
But don’t ever take my word for it. Experiment! Try that shit on for a while and draw your conclusions!
If you liked this story, please click the little heart below. It will help other people read it, and it helps me to understand what resonates with you!