About 6 months ago I was wondering what the hell I was doing in an office, working the hell out of a job I felt no emotional connection to, stumbling from day to day without any sense of purpose or direction beyond “Eat, sleep, work, repeat”.
And now, here I am, everything I own precariously held in an airline’s possession while I wait for the longest flight in all of existence at Heath-row.
What the hell am I thinking, right?
I suppose I should be called mad for what I’m doing. I left a perfectly stable and prosperous job, which paid for a standard of living that at my age is pretty god damn enviable.
But it’s not enough is it?
It’s not enough to wake up comfortable. It’s not enough to wake up each day looking forward to a weekend that’s as inevitable as the sunrise. It’s not enough to have 2.5 holidays a year before retreating back to a 9 – 5 office where nothing. Ever. Changes.
So is that why I’m running off to Australia with nought but some cash and a handful of pants? Running away from the responsibilities of adulthood?
No. Not running from. Running to.
Because if there’s one thing I have learned since leaving university and becoming an “adult”, is that no one in any career I have seen so far fits the criteria for “responsible adult”. They all fit the criteria of people winging it at high velocity to keep a roof over their heads and a standard of living that is believed to be “not awful”.
But doesn’t it feel like just taking the easy way? For the last 6 months I felt like I had no responsibility. Sure, I had a role to fill and tried to do it, but I held no responsibility for my own life or growth. What was I doing in that office? And what am I living for?
I’ve felt like I had surrendered a part of myself to serve a standard of living that really, wasn’t working for me any more. I wasn’t satisfied with being where I was because it wasn’t really what I wanted to spend my days doing.
We have a certain amount of time on this planet to do stuff. I don’t care what stuff it is but ultimately if we’re here we need to make the best of it for ourselves. That’s kind of what freedom’s about right? The freedom to live, to find out what the hell you like doing and, you know, doing it? (also – without being a dick in the process would be nice).
I have no idea what the hell I’d like to do but I figured out that it wasn’t what I was doing.
So now I have a year, a backpack and some money, not to mention a big fuck off country to figure out what I want to do.
And if I don’t find an answer, then at least I gave it a crack. That alone will be worth the journey.
The funny thing about sitting here and waiting for this god awful flight (I’m losing a day – Sunday the 28th August is never coming back and I regret whatever I wasn’t going to do that day already), is that I am not nervous.
Every moment before something big I always had a worry – “is this right for me?” or “Is this going to work out ” or even “Will this shirt make me look a bit weird?”. It’s quite a pleasant and re-assuring feeling that I haven’t got that doubt.
This feels like a natural progression for my life, one that I have made a conscious decision to go for without fear or doubt. OK, maybe a little doubt about my choice of shirt but aside from that, this feels like the best decision I have made. Time will tell of course.
I wonder if I’ll say that in a month’s time when I’m sharing a hostel with strangers…
I’ll leave this post with one of the most inspiring songs I’ve ever listened to. It summarises the way I feel right now – the sense of possibility I have opened and the beginning of a new day, a new era of my life.
It is a reminder of the responsibility that I have dedicated myself to: to find happiness and live a life that makes my soul sing: