Last night was such a great night. I got home from work, and even though I was dealing with the remnants of a migraine I got a really good workout in. Then, my good pal Tim messaged me and said the waves were on so I grabbed my longboard which I haven’t ridden in probably 2 months and got some super fun clean waves on it. It felt so good to be back on that thing. Then I met Zach for sushi, and got to ride behind the van on the way home and see it in action.
I was sitting there taking a picture of the back of it because looking at it made me feel so good. Like I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Like my dream of traveling this country was finally coming true. Then a car pulled up to me, windows all down, with a couple just absolutely screaming at each other. Horrible stuff. Stuff I wouldn’t say to my least favorite human in the world. It hit me like a brick. Not everyone is having such an amazing experience in their life. I felt really lucky to have the opportunity that lies ahead of me, but also really really sad.
Why do we stay in relationships we aren’t happy in? Why do we continue to work jobs that we hate? I’m not talking about everyone else, I’m including myself in there too. Why did I stay in a relationship for four years where we screamed at each other on a regular basis? Why did I say yes when offered that ring and the option to stay in that relationship for the rest of my life? I’m not presuming to know anything about that random couple that I saw yesterday, but why would you have anyone that you fight like that with in a car with you?
I think it all boils down to expectations. Expectations our family puts on us, society, hell, we even put them on ourselves. You’re expected to be married by 30, have kids on the way, have a career or a job with benefits, buy a house… You’re expected to stay with someone because you have blah blah blah together, even though you fight like cats and dogs. You’re expected to say yes when the wrong person asks you to marry them just because it’s been 4 years and hey that’s the next step… right?
Well, excuse my language, but all I have to say is FUCK THAT.
I’m not saying that you should leave a relationship at the first sign of trouble, there’s inevitably going to be issues when two people who aren’t mind-readers are trying to spend their lives together. Relationships take work, but they should never harbor resentment or hate or get to the point of screaming at each other because your views are so drastically different. Finding a job or a career that you love is not easy. Sometimes it takes years, decades even. Nothing in life is going to be a cake walk (except maybe actual cake walks. mmm, cake) but if you live it on your own terms all the hard stuff becomes worth it.
If you’re reading this, congratulations!!! You’ve been given a very rare gift. The gift of life on this earth, right here and right now. It’s truly amazing. There’s just one catch, you only get to live it in this body ONCE. There’s no round 2. You’ll never be this young again. Why would you spend your time doing something just because someone else wants you to?
This is me, challenging you to live your life on your terms.
For me, this means leaving the “comfort” of a steady paycheck. Letting someone sign a year lease on my little beach house so I can live in a van and explore what this continent has to offer. I’ll be thirty in 2 years and I can’t even think about having kids. I want a life of stories and adventures, and I’d rather deal with the mishaps and setbacks that will inevitably come along with it than live the same exact life that millions of other people are just because…. why? I want to banish the idea what we “have” to do anything by a certain age or stage in life. I want to obliterate the feeling of humility when I tell someone what my current plan in life is because it’s not what society deems as acceptable. I want to eradicate the response of “Man, I wish I could do that” when we tell people we’re going to travel full-time.
Have the courage to do what’s right for you. I repeat: have the courage to do what’s right for you. If a family and a steady paycheck is your dream, rock on! If you hate your job and your life, ask yourself why? What can you do to make it better?
What can you do to make this one extremely rare life you’ve been given extraordinary?