I get you. It’s winter, baby it’s cold outside. There’s not much light, and all you think about is that moment when the days will get longer and the length of your pants shorter, that soon-to-come spring time when you’ll be able to let go of all those layers and free your legs from those heavy pants in favor of some cute dresses (yes, I know even you Bertrand are dreaming of that delightful moment when you’ll be able to go commando under that skirt). If you are lucky, you might be leaving us soon for a week or two in Cuba or Mexico, but don’t be fooled, you will come back too to that cold winter. There is no way out.
I get you. After the Trudeaumania, the whole world is now starring at Trump with a fearful look and a fast beating heart. Day after day, the news aren’t getting any better. Want a break from all of it? You can’t even escape now in your social media cocoon as your Facebook feed is probably as full as mine of scary events happening all over the globe. It ain’t a good time to be connected my friends. There is no way out.
I get you. You finished school a few years ago, full of excitement and hope about your wonderful future. Finally, you had that paper in your back pocket, the world was yours to be. Nothing could stop you. You knew better than your parents, you wouldn’t get that boring suburb life. Than here you are. Sitting in your cubicle from 9 to 5. Waiting desperately for the day to end, for the week-end to come. You keep telling yourself it’s not that bad after all, the commute isn’t that long, you are lucky enough you don’t have to switch metro lines. Or you only stuck in traffic for a few hours a week. Not bad. But deep down, you know there is something wrong. You know your life sucks. This way of living sucks. Society is full of BS, the world is sick, money rules, people die. And you feel like there is no way out.
The way out
Or maybe there is? You see those people sometimes on Instagram, or maybe even on Facebook. You read about their lives on your favorite websites. They are the courageous ones, the ones who decide to go all in, to leave it all behind to live fully, to embrace the day. Often they chose to do so traveling the States or South America in a Westfalia. They are tanned, they surf, they eat out of coconut bowls. They’re cool, neither thinking about the past nor the future. They are living in the moment, learning Spanish, talking to locals. #YOLO.
And you are wondering, what if I dared to do it too? It seems scary at first, but it is probably worth it. So maybe, maybe, you try. You gather all your courage, and resign. You leave your beloved apartment, your home, and sell as much stuff as you can. You say goodbye to family and friends, and take that one-way ticket to your dream destination.
Jumping into the unknown
You did it. You jumped into the unknown. It was scary, oh so scary, to leave everything behind. But now you feel free. You are discovering what it feels to be alive, and it feels wonderful. Your life is wonderful. You travel, share, laugh. The more mileage you cover, the shorter the distance between your heart and your head becomes. You are getting back to your roots. You are so glad you quit that messy life to find your true north in the South.
I am happy for you. Everyone deserves a break from time to time. You deserved one. I’m happy to see you are doing great, and learning new things every day. Happy to see you challenging yourself, and doing things you never thought possible (hello, washing yourself with cold water for more than a month).
But eventually, what seems scary at first will become your daily life. You traveling all around will become your new comfort zone. It’s crazy how much we get accustom fast to new things.
Keep challenging yourself
That will be the signal for you: it’s time to come back home, or what used to be home. You can’t escape all your life. You have to work. You have to contribute to what we call society. You are part of something bigger than yourself, you have been given the gift of life and now your mission is to make something with it to make that messy world a better place to be.
I know you don’t want to come back. I’ve been there multiple times, except I wasn’t traveling the world in a mini-van but was spending my days in a “summer camp” next to the St-Lawrence River in a mental hospital. I’ve quit my life enough times to know that it isn’t a permanent solution. Of course, it feels a lot better to not have to deal with all those problems of yours, all the problems of the world. Of course, it’s easier to deny that the world is suffering right now. Of course, it’s easier to escape in a retreat far away in India, on your yoga mat day in day out, or in a mental yard. Everyone there is nice, you smile, they smile back, you chitchat and then you are done.
The real work is to come back and do something about that mess. And by work, don’t get me wrong. I know most of us aren’t cut off to stay sitting in a cubicle, and I sincerely wish you can find something better to do with your life. I don’t want you to get a boring job and pay taxes to “contribute” to society. By work I mean what you can do with your hands, with your heart, with your soul, to make this place we all live our beautiful home. Be creative. If you are touched by the ugliness of our cities, go out and plant flowers to add some colors to our gray skies. If you can’t handle the police sirens and car noises, dare to sing in the streets. If you are done with the 24/7 channels repeating over and over bad news, create your own YouTube channel and share with us the most beautiful stories.
I am begging you: don’t escape far away. If you already are, please come back. The world needs you.