When I started this blog I was living out of my car part time on the road, and the only real thing that mattered was experiencing life to the max. And so SaftyThird was born one day among friends in Joshua Tree. However, the years prior to my dirtbag abandonment lifestyle where composed of extreme discipline, hard earned achievement, and perseverance in the face of complete and total adversity. Eventually, the event that brought me back down to Earth wasn’t necessarily the injury, but the similarities that I saw between my dirtbag life and my past drug addicted life. Living life on the verge of complete disaster caught up to me, and after so many hard years working to mend the deep wounds of my past I wasn’t able to ignore it. Make sense?
I reached a no turning back point. I wasn’t willing to jump. I was starting to feel a little bit of pressure from my family, and I was starting to acknowledge all the pressure I was starting to feel within. The further I pushed the adventure the less I was able to be fully present and enjoy it. The bills were getting harder to keep paid, and the student loan payments were soon to be due. The much needed maintenance of life was knocking, and I was no longer able to leave those things unaddressed. And on top of it, I’d spent the better half of a decade working my ass off to build this life from scratch–that I couldn’t ignore. To take all that serendipity for granted and cast it away… I just couldn’t do it.
But my head was spinning, and I wanted to resist it. But sometimes we gotta pay to play, and so three paragraphs in I’ll really start to address what I’m getting at: one of the most valuable attributes we possess is adaptability. I think it’s really easy to adapt to circumstances, especially for those of us who’ve faced a lot of problems and hardships in our lives. It’s not nearly as easy to apply that adaptability to ourselves and our lives as we change. It’s a strange experience… we stop wanting to do the things we’ve been obsessed with in exchange for other things, we stop rushing around as fast as we used to, and we settle in a more contented lifestyle geared towards an adult pace. It’s not that we are losing steam, but that we’re having to juggle so much more in the same windows of time. It forces us to either start compromising, or to start becoming hyper efficient in how we spend our time, and what we spend that time doing.
I figure that last statement can use a little distinction: how we spend our time is all about cutting out unnecessary expenditures, it’s about identifying and cutting out inefficiency, very much like we would a budget. With a budget we cut out necessary expenses, and the byproduct of those cuts is more money to invest with. With time, we cut the wasted moments for deliberate ones, or we cut inefficiency and gain precious minutes and hours which then give us time to invest. That is where what we spend that time doing comes into play. Every minute counts, and every dollar counts. Don’t lose out on experiencing your passions and dreams because you’re inefficient at time management.
It’s easy to get caught up and lose track of yourself. It’s easy to forget your dreams. It’s easy to stop pursuing the things you’re passionate about, because life is a fucking grind sometimes, and it takes more than cigarettes and energy drinks to combat: it takes digging deep, getting gut level honest with yourself about yourself, and embracing quite a bit of discomfort. But if anything is worth fighting for in such a way, it’s you and your dreams.
I’m going to conclude this with my method of re-calibrating amidst such circumstances. First, if you’re starting to feel that soul crushing feeling from the grind, how can you alleviate that pressure? Are there any unhealthy habits like going home and sitting on your ass in front a TV or a computer or on a phone that you can cut out after work? Cut them out. Cutting those mundane routines will free up time for you to work on yourself in much better ways, such as giving you an hour or two to go walking, or taking an hour and a half to go do some yoga.
Once you stop that soul crushing cycle start the inventory. What are you passionate about, and what significant thing do you want to work towards? Didn’t you say you wanted to climb the East Face or East Buttress of Mount Whitney? Then get back on it. Or maybe you wanted to become a better surfer, so start making the changes in your life that put you back on trajectory to achieve those goals. I, for example, always wanted to start longlining. With all the work comes the money that I need to buy a longline kit. So I bought a longline kit, and I’ve been walking from 150ft-275ft lines when I have time. It’s an efficient activity that’s requires very little travel and preparation, and it’s extremely relaxing, meditative, and low-key. I also joined up at a bouldering/yoga gym because I can’t climb outside everyday like I used to, but I have the technique and if I maintain my strength and community then when a small window presents itself I’m ready to bust the fuck out of San Diego to Yosemite or Wyoming or wherever I want and get up whatever I want.
I guess I’m posting this because I’m turning 30 in a little over a month, and I’m watching a lot of people start to fall off of their game and into procrastination. Don’t do it. Momentum is a powerful tool, and if you can keep that momentum going, if you can keep that fire stoked, then you’re already ahead of the game. So maybe you have to adapt to your new lifestyle, your new circumstances–your new you. So be it. Just do what it takes.
I can tell you this… I think it’s important to discover and define what is conducive for us as individuals, and once that’s established we’re faced with much less resistance in our daily lives and we can begin simplifying our lives into a much more enjoyable and passionate experience. For me, I’ll continue pushing my limits as I redefine my parameters. I’m finding that this blog is changing, because the outward adventure is paused currently, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be adapted to the inward adventure that is taking off at a rapid pace.