So today, as I sometimes do I shared a video on my Facebook page that I had come across. A video that really kind of hit home for me, one with a message I think more people need to hear. I’d never heard of Kyle Cease before but I’m happy to have found his video and his page. For not only did his video inspire me even more, affirm that I may actually be on the right track it has opened a dialog that up until now I didn’t really see regarding these types of videos and the side that may present itself to others.
You see, I’ve been living very minimally as I prepare for the next attempt of my road trip to end all road trips. In doing so I’ve been blessed to rent a room from a very good friend. My friend Iain has chosen the more common path for guys our age. When the band I was in with him broke up he moved back to his hometown, started a family with his partner, bought the house and the mini-van etc. I, as some of you know, went the total opposite direction.
Since I’ve been here, Iain and I have had many deep and cherished discussions involving everything from musicians and music to deeper subjects like the meaning and purpose of our lives. We’ve compared our daily frustrations of our day jobs and the feelings of being locked in to a rut, all the other things many creative types with obligations stress about. We are both able to share our thoughts to each other without judgement and with mutual respect. Well, today, after posting the video above Iain presented something that I, coming from my place of nomadic minimalist solitude didn’t really consider before. He brought forward that these videos, telling us to take a leap of faith, to possibly quit our jobs, to trust in something we have no control over, to follow our bliss all seem to miss a few important factors for guys like Iain. “Who’s going to pay the mortgage? Who’s going to put the food on the table? Who’s going to cover the credit card debt? It’s not like I can just quit tomorrow and everything will be alright.”
For a brief second I was dumbfounded. Was he right? What are the answers? How can someone like him move past that massive wall of obligation. I started back peddling. “Maybe he (the guy in the video) just meant that, um, you need to start smaller, and take some steps toward what you want, blah blah, blathering idiot. I really didn’t have an answer because what I had gotten from the video was somewhat different to what Iain saw. So, I went back and watched it again, and again, and again.
This is what I know and see now.
There’s many key things said in this video that back up what Iain and others are feeling. But I see messages between the lines that are not actually the assumed cut and dried “You must jump into the abyss and trust that everything will all work out” that some people are surely seeing. There is much subtle sub-text to this.
“Why don’t you leave this company? Why don’t you ask this person out? Why don’t you go to a cabin and write a book? And that voice is scary because you don’t know what’s going to happen.” – So,…where in any of these does it say that you have to jump completely away from everything you know? It doesn’t. But to many, the knee jerk reaction is to dismiss this kind of “quackery” as unobtainable dreamland nonsense because well “Who is going to pay the bills”. But what pops into my head are things like this.
- What says you can’t forego the morning coffee, lunch purchases, cable TV subscriptions or the newest phone for 6 months, a year, whatever it takes to supply some financial padding so that you CAN leave that company while you search for something more fulfilling?
- What says that instead of taking your two weeks vacation and dropping a bunch of money at some overpriced resort you save some of that money, take your vacation time and go to a cabin and write your book? Hell, the money you saved for and not going on the vacation can also go towards the padding you need to leave the job you hate.
- What says that after a year you won’t have your first book written, working on finding a publisher or increasing your own sales and have enough interest that you can dial things back, taking that more fulfilling part time job because “holy shit” you now need more time to write! Until that is, that you’re writing full time.
“Your ego shows up and says well I can’t see what that would look like so we’re not going to do that. Because we’ve been trained that we need to know how everything is going to go.” – I fight my ego every single day. I’m not going to get into all the things I fight it on but daily I literally have to weigh the thoughts of my ego against what’s in my heart. One of them being my head telling me I must be crazy because who at my age, leaves a perfectly good job to go wandering around to take photos with no real plan. After which my heart holds up the mirror, the one that shows me 10 years from now still at a job I hate because I didn’t have the guts to try. Fuck that, heart wins every time, as I plan on dying with no regrets. Oh, and if you think you can know how things are going to go, you haven’t been paying attention as that, is fucking impossible. Regardless of how safe you think your current situation is or how big of a leap you’ve taken.
The point I’m trying to make here is that the first step is the hardest, If every time that you look at that lock that keeps you stuck, thinking you might like to break it and get out you allow your ego and it’s fear of change into your head and without a fight it WILL convince you that that lock is okay, that it keeps you here where things are safe and warm and familiar and you may never question the lock again. But what if one night you break the lock, and you sneak out and work on the rest of your escape plan just a little bit, then return to the cage for the next day. Then you do the same the next night and the night after and so on. Soon you’ll be able to see the straight shot out of that cage into where you belong and there will nothing stopping you. OR, what if one night you’re out working on your escape route and someone else sees that you’re trying to make a change, that on top of your obligations you’re working towards something different and better and decides, hey, this guy has some gumption, I’m going to give him a hand and they help you with your escape plan, or maybe even offer you a way out right away. This stuff happens daily to people all over but it will never happen to you if you’re complacent in your warm cage, staring at the lock.
So the “leap” doesn’t have to be the large “one move changes all” that some people believe many of these videos advocate. Sure, some of us may have to give that a try but some of us may have to do it more strategically. The point of it all is that you DO SOMETHING. As an example, I tried jumping free-fall, all in, without knowing anything,.. twice. I arguably landed flat on my face after 4 months,.. twice. But you know what, I learned a hell of a lot. One being that I wanted to try again because it was all worth it and I deduced that I needed to accomplish a few things before I attempted again. It took over 4 years of working the day job, debt paying, planning and sacrificing many things to allow me to make the next jump. However, had I not taken the first blind leap of faith, well, it’s quite possible I’d still be staring at that hated lock every night.
So I will continue to share videos like the one above to my social media because I do think the messages are important. Like anything, read between the literal lines and take from them the things that inspire and push you to change, then go!