I’m oftentimes “accused” of the following:
a. Having my head in the clouds
b. Not knowing if I’m coming or going
c. Being a dreamer
d. Not giving a fu*k
e. ALL OF THE ABOVE.
Okay, fine then. I opt for e. ALL OF THE ABOVE.
MY PHILOSOPHY (for what it’s worth):
WHY I am HOW I am…
There’s a quote –from Patrick Swayze as Bodhi, in “Point Break”—that pretty much sums up my attitude toward life:
What’s the matter with you guys? This was never about the money, this was about us against the system. That system that kills the human spirit. We stand for something. We are here to show those guys that are inching their way on the freeways in their metal coffins that the human spirit is still alive. – Bodhi
And then there’s another, by Teddy Roosevelt, That well encapsulates each moment –when rebounding from yet another ass-kicking—where I find the resilience to try again:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
At the risk of being repetitive, there are many groupings of wise words that have kept me going, capturing a feeling, or a sentiment, right when I needed to hear it. There are others still, that have kept me on my path to living life my way.
Here are a few of my own :
- There’s a Jimi Hendrix lyric that poses what perhaps is the only question worth asking: “Are you prepared to be free?” Not from responsibility, necessarily, but free from external oppression and internal fear. In everyone life, it seems, there is a time, or period of time, in which this question is posed, and then addressed or withdrawn; one’s habits changed or solidified, one’s dreams realized or rejected.
- I can see that my inner world has never really changed; that for those of high spirit, a LIFE WISH can at times bear an uncanny and sometimes, terrifying, resemblance to a death wish
- To pull the reins on your job, your career, all for a little taste of fantasy? After cooping up the spirit for so long in stiff-paged textbook or chained to a desk, when “it” finally breaks free – IF it EVER breaks free—it shakes the whole foundation, like waking up with a dream intact, or falling through a keyhole you never thought existed
- I think of my urge to travel, or just TO DO, as an acceptable characteristic of an authentic lifestyle. Romantic, to be sure; foolish, possibly; escapist? Probably. A dreamer who pursues irregular but nonetheless intrepid dreams of dubious value to the social order, my mind flaming with an extravagant narrative.
- I surge into the waves of time, fascinated by the billowing soul of man and his dream. What imponderable excess baggage we travel with on this trip for old bones and flaccid skin. Why ever let it be boring, or ordinary?
- A life of bravery begins almost by default when you first find yourself oppressed by a low and unforgiving threshold for being bored. The only deliverance for this, for the explorer, is to throw himself off a cliff into the boiling waters of crisis. And then, to the best of his ability, to have fun.
- I tried to imagine him as he had been some two and a half decades earlier, a 25 year old man carrying a briefcase, dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit, stepping aboard the commuter train to work, arriving in Manhattan in the glummest of moods, believing he had traded his “real” life for a half-hearted commitment to virtues that read like a checklist of the American dream –social status, upward mobility, material comfort—but were somehow entering his system tilted, knocking him off balance. It wasn’t a promotion he was hunting for, nor a bigger house or expanded IRA portfolio, but a resurrection, some kind of life in which he could breathe freely again. Now replace with Boulder, scraping ice off one’s windshield, and peddling lamps and furnishing accessories to Salt Lake City design firms.
- I know what I’m doing here, on this remote outpost, geographically and of the mind. I know how to take care of myself –even how to enjoy myself—but I can’t quite explain to myself why I’ve come here in the first place, what I’m looking for. Perhaps it’s only a rehearsal for my final voyage. Or maybe it’s an act akin to a never-ending engine overhaul, lubricating the machinery damaged by life’s inevitable grinding down of the romantic dream.
- How is it to be cut loose of the bonds which a life of the norm prescribes for us? To be possessed of the skills and tenacity that will always stick enough money in our pockets to get by, with a powerful and abiding sense of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. To do what suits us and what most often makes us happy.
- Whatever your resources, the world is yours to the exact degree to which you summon the fortitude and faith to step away from the convention and the orthodox and invent your own life. There is NEVER a good reason to make your world small.