From an early age we’re told how important it is to be a functional part of society. That what we make of our lives is what’s important. That hard work equals big rewards.
It’s the American way: do well in school, get a scholarship, land a career job, climb that corporate ladder, start and support a family, move into the suburbs. This is what life is about. Hold your head up high, you’re making a difference!
Unfortunately, I was never a great student. I was never able correlate the repetitious worksheets and textbook chapters to peace of mind and future financial security. For that reason (and many others that would cause far too much of a degradation to go into), I found myself trying to figure out how to not only take care of myself financially, but a family as well.
Torres del Paine
The solution was, of course, to follow that American dream. I went back to college and got serious about a career. After four years of working full time, going to school online at night and raising a family I found myself at the foundation of a quality career.
But, in the years since I’ve found myself going to Google Images and searching for marvels such as Torres del Paine, Denali, Antelope Canyon, Auyantepui. I had a creeping feeling that Google would be the closest I’d get to these marvels living the Career Life.
My Brother and Me on Baxter Peak
Then a few years ago my older brother and I started hiking together. We did Franconia Ridge in New Hampshire and Baxter Peak in Maine. As we continued to explore the wild and discussed the burdens of life, I came to a realization: you can plan your life to the smallest details and try to build a career, but in the end you control very little. Life is not about financial success and security, but about enjoying opportunities as they arise.
I found that there is a part of me that only feels fulfilled when I hit the trail. A stirring in the chest that only presents itself when a craggy summit is in view. A release from the weight of the daily grind and expected responsibility. As this new found part of me developed I began to question the logic of waking up each day just to spend it sitting in a big metal building staring at a screen of code.
So begin the the tales of my restless feet and the inner battle to apease my desire to explore the world while still supporting a family and not disappointing those who may rely on me.
“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in, A race that can’t sit still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Their’s is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don’t know how to rest.”
– Robert W. Service