When I Return

In less than a month I will be returning back home from my job in Massachusetts. I will no longer be living in my van, aside from an occasional trip here and there. But this in no way means that I will return to abusing my access to the luxuries of life. I intend to live as simply as I do now, perhaps even more simply. Sure, I will be back in a house big enough for a family of 6 or more, and sharing it with just my dad and brother. However, I have every intention of selling or donating roughly 80% of all of my possessions. My bedframe will be gone. 2 of my 3 dressers will be gone, along with the clothes inside. My pellet guns I haven’t used in years, gone. Every single knick knack and useless item, gone. Unless it is essential to my everyday life, it will be gone. I’m currently reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau (highly recommended by the way) and it really puts a lot of things into perspective. Even just the first chapter on Economy will make you reassess the value you put on different items in your life. This is a man who, when the sun is shining in his window and making him get too hot, instead of buying a curtain, would rather seek the shade that nature has provided so as to avoid the unnecessary work of adding more housework for himself in tending to the curtain, aside from the small cost of the fabric needed to make a curtain. Perhaps that’s living too simplistic and frugal, but I dig it.

K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. A motto I have tried to live by ever since Professor Titus told it to my geology class freshman year at college. It can be applied to every aspect of life, and used to increase the quality of nearly anything. I even use it with the soccer team I am coaching now. If you keep the game of soccer simple, it becomes so much easier and more fun to play. Perhaps the best ice cream I have ever eaten in my life is a simple 3-ingredient recipe that anyone can make. A timeless, and always accepted outfit for anyone: a plain white t-shirt and jeans. The amount of peer/societal pressure that gets placed upon us to “enhance” our lives is ridiculous. People don’t think for themselves anymore, and that is where our problem lies. We need not complicate our mortal existences with the augmentation of futile thingamajigs and gewgaws. <– see what I mean. Stupid.

When I return, I have 3 goals in mind. Firstly, as I said before, I will be living with my dad and brother. I will be taking a few weeks off of work to focus on myself. As it will be nearly winter, I will devote a portion of my time to finding and cutting firewood for our woodstove downstairs, and tending to the fire day in and day out. I will be cooking hot meals for the family every single day. In this time, I will really focus on keeping myself healthy, not just physically, but mentally as well. Doing what my mind and body wants to do, whenever it wants to do it. Secondly, as I have also said before, I will be selling or donating nearly all of my possessions. Unnecessary clutter adds unnecessary stress to your life. I don’t need that crap. But I will need the money. Which brings me to my last goal. I will be converting our unused “exercise room” to a work place for myself. I intend to make every piece of furniture by hand to ensure it has a much higher value to me. An art which I feel is all too lost in todays world. The workplace is going to be dedicated to creating content, in the form of blog posts, photography, and videography. I will be investing the majority of my savings into equipment for this, so I better make damn sure I stick with it and devote myself to it.

I have already realized the importance of networking and connecting with the people in my life. That includes my dad, as well as the gas station attendant who I see on a semi-regular basis. I find so much more joy in seeing someone laughing than I do in buying the latest Call of Duty. My actions need to start reflecting that notion. Rather than bragging about my kill:death ratio I got as a sniper in a video game, I need to start bragging about my laugh:frown ratio I got as a a friend during our last hangout. Maybe not literally, but you get the idea. I will be improving my quality of life by getting rid of all the crap that the world says will improve the quality of my life. I don’t want to live my life “As Seen On TV”. I want to live my life in whatever way feels best to me, which I should have been doing years ago. I have the ability to not give in to peer pressure, which most of you probably already know, seeing as how I’ve never drank a drop of alcohol, taking a single drag off a cigarette, or tried any drugs.

I cannot wait for when I return.

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7/30/2017

2:34pm

 

why are we afraid to interact with people?

 

we all know that pulling up to the light on hiawatha blvd where you get on 81 north, seeing a homeless person is inevitable. well i just raced my way to the light just in time for it to turn red. i was first in line and saw a homeless guy i’ve never seen before. he kinda looked like that meme of the guy on the history channel saying “aliens”. i immediately turned my radio off knowing i would have at least 1 minute before the light turned green. i looked at him with his unbuttoned shirt and his cardboard sign that read “nobody is perfect” and said “how’s it going, man?” and that’s all it took to remind him that he’s human too. why is that so hard for people to do? whether it’s a homeless person begging for that pocket change you don’t need or an elderly man sitting alone on a bench at the park or a mother at the grocery store battling with her kids to get them to quiet down so she can hear the feedback of her light taps on a watermelon to see if it’s at peak ripeness. this is where society falls short. i don’t know if it’s due to all the screens we have surrounding our lives. in our hands, in our pockets, on every wall in every direction you look. or maybe it’s this abnormal fear that the person whose ears are hearing your words is somehow going to transform into a monster and belittle you or even worse, offend you. or maybe it’s a fear of awkward situations. like we need a thoroughly thought out word track for how we want to steer the conversation because we are afraid of not having everything in our lives planned out for us. or just the sense of pride and selfishness that tells us we don’t need that human interaction. even if the other person would benefit from it as if we were pulling them out from underwater. we just can’t bring ourselves to do it.

this is how my conversation went, verbatim:

“how’s it going, man?” – me

“i’m trying to get to where you are, driving a bmw and what not” – aliens man

“oh trust me, you don’t want all of this. it desensitizes you. *slight pause as he didn’t know what to say* look, i just bought a 1995 chevy van that i’m going to be living in for the next few months”

“come join us man!” he said as he laughed and pointed to his 2 other friends sitting in the shade.

“maybe i’ll come visit you at some point!” i said with a laugh. even though i was dead serious.

“the world needs more people like you” he said with the biggest smile on his face. he approached the car with an outstretched arm looking for a handshake. i obviously obliged and looked him in the eyes.

“thank you very much, dude. i appreciate that greatly” the light turned green and i nodded as i let my clutch out. with the same huge smile on his face, he reached his hand into the air to say goodbye and yelled: “not all homeless people are bad!”.

“that’s right!” i yelled back. i couldn’t agree more. with that parting phrase. with his sign. he made my day, and i’m sure i made his.

how much effort did that take? none. how much harm was i in? zilch. how awkward was that? 0%.

 

how happy am i that i did that? extremely. would i do it again? absolutely. am i better than that guy just because i have my shit together at this point in life? fuck no.

 

i challenge you, before the day is over, go talk to a stranger that looks like they could use a pick-me-up. ask someone how they are, and actually mean it. listen to them. give them feedback. give them encouragement. it doesn’t take much, and we all have the capability to help someone. so just do it. if you don’t see anyone in person before the day is over then make a phone call. send a text. send an email. slide into a dm. i don’t care how you do it. just do it. help someone in some way or another. our communication is one of the things that makes us human, and allows us to be rulers of the world. it is perhaps our strongest tool. use it. for good. please.

Aliens

for the record: i don’t care what this guy looked like. i’m not trying to make fun of his appearance in any way. i’m just simply giving you a visual so you could connect more with the story. that is all.