it takes almost three months

10 10 2008

“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 dangerous 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.”
— Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp)

i maybe wasn’t tracking this stat, but i knew somewhere deep inside that at some point, and i should have been expecting this for a while, but at some point it had to occur to me that it was getting to be time to do something besides drive around and visit people.  i have to say that one time i thought about how i should be feeling such a way but wasn’t, and couldn’t concieve of doing so.

it was like i was the great dolphin of freedom, rallying up the energy to dive and resubmerge with all of my power through the water-surface-mounted fishing net wall of the unintentionally (intentionally?) sinister economy-informed culture.  if that’s obtuse, then i was supposed to find a sunset into which I should have ridden off, but I couldn’t find my way out of Dodge.

i’ve been free for nearly three months, and finding that i lack having done anything i feel particularly proud of or at the moment even seems that promising, my Mind is trying to retrace the lines of logic that this era has so effectively programmed into it that remind me to do things the way that everyone else does them.  it’s a disheartening feeling to realize you’re having.  i suppose that my lack of explorative applomb is partially to blame.  i also seem to be a bad planner.  whatever personal fault can be held culpable, my lack of a directed action suddenly seems like a problem.

the point is, tonight i lapsed into high school behavior while in my hometown and at my mom’s house, and i think it’s because my drifting didn’t carry me far enough away to force me to feel different.  or vulnerable.  or certain.  somehow i didn’t let it.

remember how alex supertramp burned his money and destroyed all his personal information when he began his directed drift?  i made sure i had $80 in cash and two forms of identification on me at all times.  i really think you do have to make yourself uncomfortable to change.  i think i’m realizing i haven’t really shown the courage to do that just yet.  and i’m wondering if this is the time to make sure i give myself the opportunity to change or to just settle back in, prevent the surely approaching anxiety, and perhaps look for another chance in the future.

i guess i know what the right answer is supposed to be, but the road less traveled is as it is for a reason.  don juan would know that i’m still facing my first enemy of a man of knowlege and and it is “FEAR!”  i just need to remember that most things worrysome aren’t actual threats.  also that FEAR! is just an anagram of ARFE! and cannot thusly be respected.

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3 responses

21 10 2008
Mr. Allyson

Thanks for not being Alex Supertramp. Though it seems he had some serious problems that should preclude me from really making judgments (as in he needed HALP), let me make judgments for a second anyway: he had the luxury of self-absorption. Sure, it’s more complicated then that, but for the sake of BLOG comment, I’m being simple. Some people have had such ‘socialization’ or what have you that they can more easily engage with that kind of self-absorption. Other people are socialized that caring for others takes a much higher importance. While other-centeredness has a load of problems (mostly for the self so otherly centered), so does Supertramp’s MO (for himself and for others). His disregard for his sister’s feelings, even his parents’, and the old man who wanted to adopt him was (unintentionally) cruel and difficult to watch. It’s a form of privilege. I totally agree you have to put yourself through discomfort in order to change, but you win hardcore times 9 over Supertramp.

Sorry for BLOGGING all over your blog, it’s in bad form; I just watched Into the Wild and it annoyed me the entire time it was on so I am especially prone to tirading. If you have to go on an adventure, I’d recommend the wilds of Minnesota, specifically the uncharted doom-waters of the “Whittier” neighborhood of Minneapolis, to Alaska (these days we all know what you can do in Alaska, after all).

8 11 2008
Mr. Doug

Agreement! In some ways. But where I lament my lack of conviction or bravery or wherewithal enough to be more like Supertramp and thusly display awareness of my own FEAR, so do you feel annoyed with his lack of concern for others and painful self-absorption (which I think was painful for him, too–he just had an ideal that he felt he had to follow to the end before considering alternatives) and thusly display your own… is it fear too? Of… people senselessly leaving, and without even civil explanation? Hey, you’re the one who moved to Minneapolis.

Really, though, you’re very right about how awful how he did what he did was for the people who cared about him, but I felt strongly that he felt awful about it too–he just felt he had to do it in order to change. Where Don Juan says that in order to become truly alive and follow one’s purpose, one must erase their personal history, and where the Siddartha G the B knew that in order to walk the path before him, he had to walk away from everything and everyone he had behind him, so must everyone decide on the amount of compromise they’re able to accept.

I’ll admit I indulge my romanticizing these kinds of figures because I sense that the closer I am to those who know me, the more that their expectations of my behavior will certainly keep me from changing in certain ways that I might think, on an intellectual level, I would want to change. But there’s the compromise, right? And that’s the argument I may continue having with myself for some time.

Though winning “hardcore times 9 over Supertramp” is a compliment I am brightened to accept! Do they make little trophy hobo men with a stick-and-handkerchief over the shoulders? If so, I will indulge my vanity and get a trophy with your honor inscribed in short order.

And feel free to blog all over BLOG any time. For reals.

2 02 2009
Mr. Allyson

I think there are some kind of little trophy figures involved in this honorific, but I am not sure if they are so detailed to have the stick-and-handkerchief accessories – sorry, but I’m not in charge of the factory. Or am I?

I can’t say I dig people leaving all of sudden, so maybe it’s partly that, and maybe it’s also that I feel less able to ever take part in enacting such a fantasy myself because of such pulls as you mentioned (people around you, their various tugs on who you are and where you are). Only for me these people are also people I want pulling on me anyway, which is a different problem than the problem of problematic pulls. It (the story, the dilemma) makes me think of a John Vanderslice song that gets on my nerves whenever I think of it (despite my love for JV songs). From Cellar Door, about the guy who knocks the girl up and poor dude, they won’t let him run. I guess I think about that girl – she’s way more saddled than he is, she doesn’t even get the dream of packing up the pick up truck, she isn’t imagined to want to run away in the first place, and if she did, it’d be even more of a crazy fuss. For a long time, every time mid to late spring rolled around, I wanted to wander; if I could pick a superpower I might pick superspeed so that I could wander and still have a home. I want to live in almost every city I visit. But that’s another story. I’m way behind on reading your blog, but I blogged on your blog again!

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