Running with Scissors
I’m done sayin’, I’m done playin’
March 16th, 2017
It’s not been a little bit past a month and I miss home. I’m not homesick, but I have had thoughts about how much time I have left, and I can’t help noticing a slight desire in the back of my mind for the time to tick by faster so that I can be home.
But I reflected on that a little bit more. Why do I miss home? What do I want to do at home that I can’t do here? I’ve been doing the same stuff that I did at home: eat breakfast, go to work, come home, watch Netflix, and go to sleep; so why go home if I can just do it here? And see that, there, was the problem.
On further introspection, I realized that I want to go home because there is always a promise of something better. In a far away, distant land, I can imagine a whole new life for myself, probably not unlike all the settlers and immigrants throughout history, seeking out a new land in hopes of something better. Yet, I had said the exact same thing before coming to Korea: “I’m going to be a brand new me! Tim, your brand new life starts now! Prepare to live without fears, inhibitions, or concerns about the outside world!” Here I am, living the same exact life I had in America.
I think I finally understand the phrase “running away from reality”. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t running away, because I felt I had many options back home. I was escaping the trap of suburbia and the rat race, and doing something most people would be terrified to do and following my dream of travelling! But I realized that it isn’t about what other people are scared of. To me, moving across the world is easy. What’s hard is making the small changes, the changes that have become so deeply ingrained within me that it takes all my strength to extract this one, tiny aspect of my personality — my fears, my inhibitions, my limitations.
And so, I realized, I hadn’t travelled. I had only physically moved from point A, to point B. I think travelling isn’t about how far you go. The most important thing, is for the mind to travel, to experience new stimuli that then influence, and encourage growth and movement. The physical travelling simply allows us to be in a new place, where our new environment presents new stimuli and perceptions that can be interacted with and then develop brand new experiences that can never be experienced before.
So while I’ve moved my body 6,683 miles, I am no more interacting with my new environment than I did when I was back home. I realized that you can eat, work, and sleep no matter where you are in the World. Nothing had changed, apart from my environment, and so nothing was gonna change in me.
So, I’ve realized that the only way to really travel, is to change who I am as a person — to no longer seek out comfort, predictability, stability, and routine. It’s hard to admit that I am someone that longs for these things. I think some people who know me would be surprised. But, I believe it is just human nature to desire these things. We see this in our desire for careers, our habitual morning routines, and the search for long-term relationships. It’s so difficult to live a life that is truly spontaneous and to have the mental fortitude to face a life that is constantly changing, but I think it’s this thrill that really makes life meaningful and exciting.
I’ve said this before, however, and I’m all talk. I’ve travelled across the World to experience a whole different way of life, and I still managed to find comfort in less than a month. I’m a shit-talker — so what makes me think that I will suddenly change after 22 years of bullshitting myself? Well, the first step, is to set goals and stick to them. One thing I decided to do, is to try to discover a new place that I want to go, every week — that can be across the country, that can be out of the country, but it can even be, across the street. Anything new where I can experience something different.
However, travelling also means, interacting with the environment, not just exploring it. So, once every other week, Kyle and I are going to set ourselves up on random activities. He wants to focus on goals that we fear, like trying to pick up random girls on the street (Were not that scared of dentists, but absolutely terrified of pretty girls). I also want to focus on goals where we simply are active pursuers of experiences, like trying live octopus (oh God help me I’m scared). And you will see! Because we are going to record everything and put it online — for real this time.
It took me to travel 6,683 miles to realize that I was full of shit. At least now that I know that, there’s no running away. It’s time to face myself, for who I am, and decide how I want to live my life. If I’m going to run, I’m gonna run with scissors — like a bad ass.