I feel drawn to the unknown. I feel drawn to risk. I feel drawn to uncertain possibility. It is something to which many people cannot relate. Most prefer to live in a predictable, comfortable manner. Human nature? Perhaps. In my 9-5 desk job, I was confined to a five-foot desk, two computer screens, and it felt like there was a sick experiment being conducted on my brain, the work and assignments only allowing about 0.5% of my creativity to do a job to benefit someone else’s goals. 40 hours a week of my life, gone…2,080 hours a year of my life, gone. 87 days a year of my life, gone. So, I quit…
Sometimes my mom thinks I have some type of chemical imbalance in my brain that prevents me from feeling fear or worry when I should. She’s probably right. I had quit a well-paying job with incomparable benefits and job security at a successful and thriving company. It was one of those places that sets you up for enormous success in the future. My family was concerned, rightly so I suppose. They visualized dollar signs and a nice suburban home and I visualized breaking the chains that would release my body and my brain from that desk chair and computer screen.
I packed enough clothing for a five-day span into a backpack and hopped on a plane to Madrid, Spain. This was my plan. I would spend three months backpacking Europe. It sounds like a cliché, that I was on my way to “find myself” or something like that. I wasn’t. I would consider it more of an emergency escape plan and it was my last sane option before I publicly lost my mind in a professional corporate setting.
So, I escaped. I spent time in about 11 different countries. I explored every second I was awake. I spent a lot of time thinking. I spent ample time writing and talking into a recorder as to not miss a single thought. I became creative in ways I didn’t think were possible. I allowed myself to be inspired by small details; details I wouldn’t have had the time or energy to even consider when I was enslaved to my desk and Keurig coffee. I immersed myself into this creative space more each day, with each new cultural experience, and I became impressed with my ability to come up with innovative solutions to problems, to develop intricate ideas surrounding my passions and my purpose for being. I recognized new strengths and weaknesses. I had many sleepless nights, it was taking my brain a long time to adjust to the constant creativity. A lot of my most creative thoughts leaked out at 3am. I brought a notebook and pen to bed each night, as to not disturb my fellow hostel mates in the middle of the night by jumping out of the top bunk to grab them. I couldn’t turn my brain off. It was like a dog that had been caged for years, only to be let free into an endless field.
One thing that became overwhelmingly clear to me was that I embody the opposite of the natural human state as was aforementioned in the first few sentences in this post; I want, or I guess my mind has programmed me, to live the opposite of a life that is predictable and comfortable. You may be able to relate. If you’re unable to relate, I simply want to open your eyes to the possibility of living a life contrary to this human nature I speak of. Read next week’s stream of consciousness as I explore more of the ‘why’ behind co-mads.