Freedom. Freedom from a rushed and chaotic drive to work. Freedom from an hour-long lunch break that you can barely fit your errands into. Freedom from spin-class on Tuesdays and Body Pump on Fridays. Freedom from Bridal & Baby Showers on Saturdays and then drinking your “Oh-Shit-its-Almost-Monday Anxiety” away at brunch on Sunday. Freedom from doing the same thing again next week.
If being scared in a new place and having the excitement of not knowing what tomorrow holds makes you a happy and passionate person, why continue your cycle? You reach a certain age and you begin to realize your personal happiness is something to take seriously. Life’s just too short. I’m not talking about the Xanax/red wine induced happiness. I’m talking about the finding-something-that-makes-you-feel–alive-and-doing-it-constantly happiness. If mortgages and wedding bands don’t excite you…find out what does. You can break the mold. Personal happiness is what matters, not having your life fall neatly into place and in line with your Facebook newsfeed.
Here I was, 5 years out of college, and I still had no idea what I was doing with my life. I had a good job, a great boyfriend, friends, a social life – life was pretty well-rounded. It just wasn’t all there. So I stood in the shower, where I do all of my soul-searching, and asked myself: What makes me happy? I quickly realized that it is chips and queso and shortly after deciding I would go to Little Mexico for dinner, I began to think harder.
So I then asked myself: What could I do all day, happily, and with fervor? What could I do day in and day out and not care if I was paid for it? I narrowed it down to writing, taking photos, and planning vacations. God do I love researching every last detail about a city. I could spend 10 hours a day making elaborate travel itineraries for imaginary trips. I always find myself turning a simple, small event into a weekend-long adventure. Then comes the documenting – internally writing Yelp reviews, captioning photos in my mind, trying to capture the essence of a place in every way possible.
…Now I was on to something. I had narrowed it down. I knew that commitment made me anxious. I knew that routine bored me. And I had just come to the realization that planning and documenting travel is something I could do happily every day. It was time to start really putting the wheels in motion to change the course of my life. 5 months later, I was asking my boss if I could work remotely. 6 months later, I was sitting at my dining room table, mapping out my 2-year tour of the United States. 8 months later, I was staring across my backyard at a newly purchased Coachmen Leprechaun Class C Recreational Vehicle. I was free.
When I hit the road, every day will be an adventure. My meticulously planned trips will no longer be few and far between and when PTO permits. They will be weekly, even daily. Rather than speeding to Gold’s Gym after work to ensure I snag a spot on a fake bike to spin through a series of fake hills in a dark, sweaty room with strobe lights, I’ll be hiking at sunrise and kayaking at sunset. I’ll be exercising, except the view won’t include a lady with a mic’ed head piece. My workday view will no longer involve a lifeless cubicle. My mornings will no longer involve a backed-up toll and mascara all over my rear-view.
I will have escaped the routine that so underwhelms me. I will have deserted the lifestyle and life-direction that sends me into a panic. My home is now where I park it. My neighbors are changing weekly. My favorite restaurant is going to depend on which state I’m in. Rent is going to be paid at Exxon. My nightly TV show will be happily replaced by new landscapes of towering mountains and deep canyons. There are no white picket fences in my near future and I am okay with that. Sometimes it’s okay to stray from the script.
“Everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.” –Tom Wolfe – The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test