And then I went a little bit crazy.Submitted by Michael Nystrom on Sun, 07/13/2014 - 14:53
The trip to Portugal gave me a bad case of wanderlust. Even before I got back to my cubicle under the fluorescent lights of the office tower downtown, I started plotting my escape.
With Y2K and the end of the world bearing down, suddenly I had the urge to taste and touch / and to feel as much as a man can, before the world collapsed in a Y2K apocalypse.
From the perspective of the outside world, I went a little crazy. I ditched the ties, quit my job, sold the car, grew a beard, let my hair flow, donned a kaftan and found myself wandering through the desert in Cairo (among other places).
I went through a Jesus phase, and thought deeply about what it means to die in order that you may live again, as I retraced his steps on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem.
I was reminded of all of this the other day at Bukowski's by the quote on the menu, over an afternoon beer as I pondered another such discontinuity in my life:
People talk a lot about freedom, but most people have never truly been free, and wouldn't know what to do with it if they had it. Those few years wandering were the longest stretch of unstructured freedom I had since entering Kindergarten, 25 years prior.
Of course, when the world didn't end, I had to go back and get a job. But the old me was dead. There was no going back. I was transformed.
Life is too short to waste in a place you don't like, or a job you hate, or in any other way you may find yourself cowed by fear. Follow your bliss, and go slay some dragons, even if you have to go a little crazy to do it.