I’m leaping. Some may call it suicide. Others may call it selfishness. They might even find me insane. Should I then defend myself? Declare none of their thoughts to be so? What if they are all right? What if my selfishness had driven me insane and my insanity has made me suicidal? How else can one explain this leap? How else can one explain a man who wanted for nothing now wilfully walking away from it all—reverting to his need to survive? How else can one explain disrupting any semblance of order in his life, giving way to chaos and uncertainty?
There is no right answer. There is just an answer that is right for me. After all, it is on my shoulders—the dilemma of truly living versus not having lived at all rests. I made the decision to walk away from a career that has given me so much. But was it enough for me? I made the decision to disrupt a comfortable life. But was it comfortable enough for me? And my son who lives 3,000 miles away and spends time with me every summer, how do I explain my decision to leave the country and have him spend summers in a new country with me. What is more important: the explanation or the fact summers and other visits remain the same?
For an invasive specie such as humans, we have grown too comfortable in one place. We have abandoned our natural wanderlust and have become too ok with settling. We settle for our jobs. We settle for the small towns we live in. We settle for our safe spaces. We settle for our Gods. We settle for our friendships despite their inability to help us grow. We settle for our relationships. We settle for who we’ve become. We cower at the thought of who we ought to be. And so we invent excuses.
We can’t because of our jobs. We can’t because of our little towns where gossip travels more than we do. We can’t because of our Gods—either we are still waiting to hear them (or him/her) speak to us or we’ve forgotten that God can be anywhere. We can’t because of our friends—how dare we explore the world and subsequently ourselves without them. We can’t because of our relationships—how dare we think of exploring a new culture when our other half is not so open minded. In the end we become the very thing we settle for.
It may be tempting to think of the word can’t as easy and can as hard, but what if it is not so? Perhaps can’t is more difficult because we run ourselves ragged trying to find excuses why it is okay for us to hold ourselves back. I once used several of these excuses to justify my can’ts. I realised how exhausting it was trying to excuse me denying myself by blaming other factors. Something clicked and I changed my mindset to can—I can book that random flight, I can find love and happiness in a different place, I can try that dish although it looks different, and I can move to a different country. Once I did that, being me was easier. Life became easier.