Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Manifest (Destiny) Manifesto

I sit down to write tonight at my computer in Columbus, OH, some eight and a half hours from New Jersey, yet only at the beginning of my new journey. Before the end of the month I will have set foot in or driven through 15 states and gone roughly 3,800 miles. And I will be happy. I am already. So it is I return to this blog after a 7-month dormancy, with a new philosophy, a renewed spirit, and on my way west once again.

My new philosophy is the new title of this blog. This is how I intend to live my life for the next few years. It is both literal (as you can see in the picture) and figurative. Simplicity! Minimalism! Before I go any further, let me say that I don't have nearly enough self-esteem to presume that any of this or what I will say in the coming posts is important or original in any way. I don't pretend to have all the answers or even all the right questions. The title of this blog is really only meant to apply to me.. whether this idea is right for anyone else is up to them. I promise only to share my thoughts and experiences as I think and experience them... and believe me, it is very hard for me to believe that anybody cares to read those either!

I do want to say, though, that what led me to quit my job (a steady income, in this economy!) and split for the coast (the west one.. no offense to the Jersey shore) with only what I can pack in my sub-compact car is not as ill-conceived (crazy) as it may sound to most rational human beings. The decision has been a long time coming and I will elaborate on my logic in the posts to come, I'm sure. For the time being, let me say to those rational humans that I am one of you! And I am not stupid (well, not completely), I am not careless, and I am not irresponsible. Nor am I brave, courageous, or in possession of a large set of balls, as some others might think. Believe me, I am racked daily by fear and worry, but I have simply decided not to let that stop me. It is the right thing, at the right time, for me to do.. This much I now know to be true.

This new course of action, and the life philosophy that slowly led to it and is being shaped by it, is something I came to after long and careful consideration. Of course I could have kept thinking and plotting and saving more money in perpetuity, but there came a time where I could think no longer and the situation called for action. This is not bravado, this is straight-up fear and laziness, trust me. But this combination has always worked for me in the past. Fear is my biggest motivator... not so much fear of external things like plane crashes and bugs, but of internal things. My number three fear is boredom and stagnation. My number two fear is not being happy. My number one fear is not forcing myself to get out of an unhappy, boring situation for a long time. In my life I have been able to ignore these fears for a while (we all have to), but sooner or later I use them as a call to arms. Again, I have plenty of daily fears about normal things like money and death (and bugs), but I will force myself to make a change if for no other reason than just to spite my own fearful brain. And I always do my best work under pressure. Sometimes I just have to apply that pressure myself. Sometimes I just have to pack all my shit in a car and go, even if all the details aren't ironed out yet. Really, part of the fun is not knowing exactly what will happen.

In short, I felt I was becoming a shadow of myself in Jersey (seen here waiting for the train on my last day of work). I was not happy and I had to get out! That's all I've done so far...

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