Happy Herbivore Blog

October 31, 2011

Minimalist Monday: "Because I want to" (Live Intentionally)

"When people ask me why I moved out to California I simply respond "because I wanted to." I've learned that there's a small subset of socially acceptable reasons for moving across the country - family, job, business opportunity - and "because I want to" is not included in that set. It just showed me how rare it is to live intentionally, but how powerful it is once you let go of the "right reasons" and follow your own path" - Laura Roeder

In the last four years, Scott and I lived in Boston, but moved to Los Angeles, then to New York City and then to St. Maarten. Allow me to demonstrate in a graph:

Today we leave St. Maarten.

But we're more than leaving, or moving to a new place. Today is the last day of our old life and the first day of our new life. 

You see, for years, Scott & I have tried to shove a round peg into a square hole. We tried to be the people we thought we were supposed to be and live the lives we thought were supposed to live. When you do something for other people, and not yourself, you will not find happiness. At least we didn't.

We kept thinking that we'd find a place that we loved so much we'd want to stay there. We'd buy a house, set up a life, find the perfect couch - do the things adult married people do. Do all the things our families and friends wanted us to do ("get settled"). But the longer we stayed somewhere the less I liked it. The feeling of ants in my pants kept getting stronger and I'd be itching to leave. And eventually I'd get my way and we would.

In the 7 years I've been with Scott he has lived in 12 apartments and 5 states and 2 countries. Recently we decided to move to Colorado, which I was excited about -- but the prospect of staying there forever had me nervous. 

I kept saying things like "why can't we live in New York for part of the year, and Colorado or Montana for part of the year and abroad for part of the year... and... and... why do I have to stay in the same place all year, year after year?"

My mother chimed in at that point and said, "Because that's what you do Lindsay. You're 30 and he's 33. It's time you two found a place and settled down. Figured out where you are going to live. Finally stay put." But settling down and staying in one place was not what I wanted to do. That much was evident. 

So instead of trying to shove the round peg into the square hole again -- I decided to go seek out a round hole. 

I decided to embrace the art of nonconformity.

Scott took a telecommute job. It required a cut in pay, and significant change of course in the career path he was on, but he is excited about this new path and he's even more excited to have a job that allows him to literally work and live anywhere. Finally, we are free.

We no-longer have to stay in the same place anymore. We can get up and go when we want. I can live everywhere and anywhere. I can live the life I always wanted. Live the way I always wanted. Be who I was supposed to be. Be who I really am: a vagabond. 

It feels so good not to apologize for who I am or who I am not. 

Now I'm not saying you should quit your job and jump on the vagabond band wagon, because I'm sure this lifestyle would give some people anxiety, just like living in the same place gave me anxiety. 

My hope is to remind you to embrace the weird. Dare to dream. and dare to do! 

Be who you are because you are perfect. We are all perfect and beautiful and complex and different. Be who you are supposed to be. Even if it means embracing the art of nonconformity. 

and laugh. 

*"The Art of Nonconformity" is a blog, by a guy not too unlike me

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