“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
― Christopher McCandless
I feel like in order for us to do great things we have to be shaken up a bit. Hence, we have to be cast out of our familiar surroundings and into something completely different, if not somewhat uncomfortable.
In the foregoing months I've become too comfortable -- so much so that I've accepted the every day mundane. But deep down there's been an insatiable craving for different horizons that has sat like a stone in the pit of my stomach. I can't eat or sleep because my mind is always wandering to places where I could be, or rather where I should be.
The Germans have a beautiful word for such an obstinate feeling -- fernweh (n.): an ache for distant places; the craving for travel.
I consider myself to be very lucky. I'm young, healthy, happy, and have no real obligations or commitments. Essentially, I could be doing almost anything I wanted. However, I find myself dogged by the inevitable -- rent, student loans, a tedious desk job, a degree with no real bearing, and worst of all, the imperious "what ifs?" What if I can't reach my goals? What if I'm making the wrong choices? What if I can't afford any of the things necessary to pursue my passions? What if I completely fail and come crashing down like the hapless Icarus after flying too close to the sun?
These "What ifs" are what have set me back for far too long. They have instilled the unnecessary fear that I am incapable of accomplishing great things. They are the reason that I retreat back into the deep recesses of things that are comfortable and familiar to me, and I have made the decision that I will no longer let these "What ifs" hold me back -- don't overthink, just do.
For the upcoming months I have set goals for myself. In a way I feel like I'm starting a completely new chapter of my life. It's refreshing, thrilling, and yet somewhat daunting knowing that my ultimate goal is still so far off. However, it eases my restless soul to be motivated by the intense desire for positive change.
A Northern Light is the backdrop to a new beginning. It is a strange and uncomfortable transition period, and I can't wait to document every moment of it.