“Live life to the fullest.”
Three months ago I was an office worker living alone in a small apartment. I was good at my job and I loved the people I worked with. My apartment had everything I needed. It offered more storage space than I could use and it was centrally located in the hip but quiet section of the city I lived in. Sounds great, right?
I realize a lot of people would kill to live a life like that. A full-time job to put food on the table, a warm apartment to go home to everyday, a sense of security and comfort. Well, I’m not like a lot of people.
Throughout my teenage years I fantasized about restoring an old Volkswagen camper and leaving my parents’ house to live in it. You know, living with true freedom. Go wherever you want, whenever you want. It’s true I dreamed about this for several years, but it always remained a fantasy in my mind. I never gave it any credit as a true possibility. I never saw it as something I might do.
So, I worked reasonably hard in high school to get into college and then I worked reasonably hard in college to get a job. Everything happened in the typical, expected fashion. I had one summer off between high school and college. Then I went to college for four years where I went from having no idea what I wanted to study to choosing a major and a career path by the time I graduated. Three months after graduation, I was working at a real job in a new city.
Once the glamour of an exciting new job, new apartment, new life wore off I was left feeling sick. I woke up every morning with a varying degree of anxiety. Anxiety about the work I hadn’t finished the previous day, the client I forgot to call, the action item my boss already told me to take care of twice that I had forgotten once again. I would rush to take a shower and put on clothes I despised wearing so I could rush out the door and drive to a building where I sat in a chair and struggled to be good at something I hated.
Everyone knows the mantra “Live life to the fullest.” We all know it and we all want to follow it. For me, this mantra became a parasite that was planted deep inside my mind and kept growing and growing and becoming a bigger and stronger part of me. I knew I had to do something bigger, something more satisfying with my life. I needed something right away. I tried to find meaning in my desk job and discovered it was meaningless. I tried interviewing for other positions and discovered they were all the same. I was spinning my wheels.
Finally, I had some sort of an epiphany. It seemed obvious, really. If I have done everything that is expected of me so far in life and I am miserable, maybe I need to do the opposite. If I have a full-time job that I go to Monday through Friday, maybe I should quit. If I have a warm, comfortable apartment to go home to everyday, maybe I should be homeless. If I’m conforming to the life my peers are living, to the life we were raised to believe is correct, maybe I should reject it.
Within a few months of this epiphany, I was ready. I had discussed it with my closest friends. I had thought it over night after night. I had obsessively researched on the Internet and in books. I had joined online communities that were full of people living life the way they wanted to. I was inspired, I was motivated, I was ready.
In a matter of two months, I quit my job, gave up my apartment, and converted my jeep into a livable space. I hugged my parents and my brother goodbye, hopped in the jeep, turned the key and left to start living my life to the fullest.
There are three rules that I am currently living my life by.
1. See as many new and interesting places as I can.
2. Meet as many new and interesting people as I can.
3. Make money in as many new and interesting ways as I can.
What else will happen along the way? Join me as I find out.