“Whatever makes you happy, you put in your world”

bob rossThere are things in this world that we can physically see and things we cannot, but there are worlds we can see if we simply choose to look.  The Earth is full of places serene yet impoverished, sorely polluted yet thriving; people exactly the same yet completely different; and cultures beautifully their own yet totally foreign to most.  Should we choose to open our eyes – which I would strongly encourage for the benefit of society – let it not be out of privilege but out of an intrinsic desire to learn and an obligation to curiosity and adventure.  To not fulfill such obligations is to give into ignorance and the monotony of ordinary routine life.  

While it is easy to get sucked into the cold cucumber soup that is the daily grind, we should not fall victim to the grossly accepted idea that we may only strive for the luxuries of a weekend and material goods and seldom a week-long vacation.  There is obviously far more to life.  And while spending the bulk of our able-bodied time working five days a week towards a career may be culturally prestigious and “smart,” it is definitely not the only path.  

To the adage of “work to live, don’t live to work,” it would not be foolish to choose a completely different path, however unconventional and winding it may appear.  Make work work for you.  Use it to build up funds for the adventure that is your life.  Use it when in between point A and point B.  Finally, really think about “using” your work and not becoming consumed with the somewhat unconscious act of giving up your living in efforts to make one.  Having a soft-spoken desire to live in a different way shouldn’t have to be a distant dream crushed by social constructs and fear of failure.  

If we take a step back and seriously analyze our lives, we will likely find that we have much more than we could ever need.  Rid your life of clutter, whether it is tangible and never used, seldom impassioned work, or a growing bucket list.  A life void of meaningless things can therefore free up space to be filled with meaning.  If that means giving up a stable job in order to take a leap of faith towards your goals than so be it.  For the only thing better than a hated nine to five desk job is virtually anything else.  

To the curious reader who had made it this far, I invite you to proceed knowing that the pieces to follow will contain slightly conservative recklessness, strong opinions free of judgment, possibly naive optimism, everyday adventure, occasional stillness, and sincere joy as this is what I love to do.  I will humbly welcome you into my life, to the wonderful opportunities in travel, and a thorough exploration of place and self.  

As a great painter by the name of Bob Ross once said “whatever makes you happy, you put in your world.”  While he was most likely talking about his painting and possibly a few happy trees, I adore this quote when thinking about the adventure of life.  Happiness and love are the quintessences of life that give us meaning – why they are not given top priority remains a baffling phenomenon to me.  Perhaps modern life and age have stripped us of our desire to learn, of our imaginative curiosity.  Maybe conspirators are right in that the government wants to keep us contained by managing our allotted vacation time.  Or maybe we are actually all content with how things are and how they seem to work.  I choose not to believe any of that.  I believe we all have an inherent desire to wander and explore.  However, it can be hard to find the means or will to diverge from such widely accepted societal constructs.  That is why I’ve chosen to spend at least the next few chapters of my life following the whimsically enlightening words of Mr. Ross, and hopefully inspiring others to follow them too.


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