I’m sitting in that nonprofit class again listening to some super charged philanthropist spray about how good she is at making money, and that I’m writing this right now, in class, should indicate how many fucks I give about that. It brings me back to how much my life has changed since I spread my arms and tried to fly. I think anyone who really gets out there and finds a cutting edge passion where they experience unadulterated adventure, the type that brings them on the cusp of life and death, can relate.
It all goes back to the motif of here and now. Daily life; work, school, blah blah blah, is so much easier when I let my mind drift to how fun it was, or how great it will be. Those are past and future, not present, and I’d prefer to live in the past or the future to stimulate my mind over the full experience of my boring professional work and academic life. And I think in a sense most people in the adult professional grind often operate in that place. The mind wanders to who we wish we were, or what we’d rather be doing, and how much we would change it if we could.
And here I am, like Edward Norton in Fight Club sitting in his office beat up and bruised from his fight the night prior. The experience of something organic and pure, physical and brute, where mind and body experience the process of survival. This is the secret, and I think for a lot of us it’s as much of a curse as it is a blessing, because once you get that taste for living you’re ruined. How do you take mundane tasks, such as the nine-to-five workday, serious when you know that real life is out there, and that those mundane workdays and dreams of future stability are not it?
I don’t write this out of speculation or assumption; I write this because this is what I experience. I walk onto these jobs or talk to my contractor friends who are consumed with this monetary bullshit. It’s literally killing them. The stress, the hustling and running and scrambling to pay mortgages and balance budgets and keep their businesses afloat. They feel bad for me, like they are looking at some hopeless drug addict, but I feel bad for them too, because at least my burden is absent of debt and allows me enough time to pursue my true passions in life unhindered. I don’t really have any attachments left–I can just pick up and leave.
I remember walking around the San Diego Zoo once, and there was this old black Jaguar who I had self-named Cedric. I remember that day feeling like I was the only person in the entire Zoo, and I was sitting there looking at Cedric like he was some pathetic caged animal. Cedric looked back at me with these eyes that pierced my soul, and I couldn’t help but feel like he was laughing, or scoffing at me, like, how dare I assume he was pitiful for being a caged animal, when I in fact am even more pathetic, because while he’s been captured and confined to his cage, I have in fact assumed a self-chosen, self-confined, role in my cage.
Our imprisonment is self-chosen.
And I think that is why adventure is so important to our lives, because it allows us to experience life, and reminds us that this mundane contrived convention that we live in is not in fact life, but a mechanism of social control which convinces people that life should revolve around status, and capital, and social-acceptability. I can’t go back to that, as pathetic and impoverished as I may be in the eyes of some, because that to me is an existential prison. I’m not built for that. I’m roont.
Yet, my ruination is also my salvation.