What do you wanna be when you grow up?
Chances are if you grew up anywhere remotely near the North or Western Hemisphere, this was no doubt a question posed to you at some stage of Elementary school. Not to be done, this question will without a doubt follow you through out your life in some form or another. Masqueraded as "When will you settle down?" or "When are you having kids?"
We are an eager little civilization, aren't we? Rush to define, but more strangely rush to achieve.
To be clear I'm not against this question per se, but I'm not sure we ask the important questions enough. Sure, I don't know exactly what the "important" questions are. So I can only speak for myself, and well, since this is my fucking blog, sit down and shut up, cause it's always gonna come down to my perspective.
I should preface myself here, so you understand my disconnect towards this question and the manufacturers of it, namely archaic school systems. The "chalk and talk" technique as it's been described and meticulously duplicated. Sectioning out children in strict rows of desks, sections of study blocked off by capricious values of time, and the grading and teaching of "the middle" learners. If you have kids or have ever been to school, The "Bette Middlers" are the kids the teachers aim to focus on. Keeping mid row, just enough to bore the kids that "get it" and advanced far enough that it leaves the "Modifiers" without a hope.
As a kid, I wasn't exactly "a safe Bette". According to the school system, it's where I would fall short. Under achieving in most subjects, over achieving in one and falling somewhere in the realm of "passable" in the remaining few. I was a modifier. And in the 70's and 80's sugar coating or political correctness wasn't on the horizon. The room in which you were sent was clearly labelled and recognized as "special".
I'm not sure I ever really got over the indoctrination of this style of learning. Designed to feel like an outcast, once I found my place in the system, it would slowly subside, but the scars run deep for the ones lost in the system.
As I approach my 41st birthday and learning to eliminate the questions once asked to me, as a child. I started asking myself the questions I feel are more important at this stage of my life.
"How do I wanna feel when I grow up?"
"What kinda man do I wanna be?"
"How do I wanna leave this earth?"
These questions are resonating with me in the last 3 years and on my borrowed time before I embark on a new venture for myself, I remind myself to stay present in the moments and make sure that I'm no longer interested in human being, but more inclined to human doing. That the ventures for all of us are half chance and accompanied with success and failure.
Once announced that I will leave my job, and move to a foreign country with little concept to plans, the most resounding question was, "What if you fail?" The reality was and still is, I have just as much chance at failing taking this risk as I do staying inside the little system I have resided in for 40 years. Inside this "bubble" hasn't protected me from any falls and bruises. They are unavoidable measures of life, no matter how one chooses to live.
Failure doesn't bother me, never has. Just maybe it was the system I became a product in as a kid that helped me get apathetic towards it. Challenges aren't real challenges if we have assurance that all our plans will work out. If it did, I think I'll pass.
Sunday, 26 April 2015
Sunday, 19 April 2015
It started with a book...Actually, it started way before that. But for all intent purposes we can start at the book and likely work our way backwards like a journalistic entry of Memento. The book in question was Everything that Remains a memoir by the Minimalists. From there, a seminal work of life changing events and renewed thought process managed to take a $53,000 a year professional chef and father of two teenage boys to quit his job, sell all his belongings and move to Central America to venture alone into an unknown world with only the contents that fit in his Minaal backpack. Flat Stanley, once a character device used to journal adventure for children, is now an inspired idea for myself as I take the next five months and chronicle what could be the greatest and most grandiose life changing venture I have ever under taken, chronicling it and learning from it as I go, to find my place amongst the rest of us and maybe... my way home.