The fatal inflection of wanderlust, a measure of the beauty of diversity.
Written by Liam McKay
“Variety is the spice of life” – spoken by someone from somewhere (almost assuredly whilst perched atop a prayer mat (conveniently sandwiched between the ashes of Confucius and a strikingly jubilant, gold plaited statue of Buddha)).
This condiment toting mantra provides the substance to our otherwise routine driven lives. It gifts the soulful sustenance by which we are able to identify today from any other indiscriminately allotted passing of 24 hours. Without it, each rotation of the Earth about its axis passes ambiguously; and we, delicately poised upon its surface, drift nonchalantly into the solar infused horizons forever eagerly rising to make our acquaintance.
It is a fundamentally healthy exercise to engage in activities which bring forth new experiential frontiers. Seek daily activities which exist outside of your immediate frame of reference. This active abolition of your comfort zone makes way for entrepreneurial experiences. It lends itself to the creation of the necessary space for growth and personal development to mature and come to fruition. For ventures which grant an entirely new scope of context upon which to derive your understanding of the world and your place within it.
Seek that which runs counter to your personal narrative and revel in its promises of uncertainty and discomfort. Amass aggressively new experiences. These may provide the catalytic capitulation upon which the deepest realizations of your waking life can be wrought. As for the focus of your freshly acquired, unassuageable desire to seek out all that is new and engaging in the world.
Dream to delve deep into oceans of immense murky depths and endeavor to splendor in their illustrious tribute to enrapturing biodiversity. Experience at first account, what iterations of life (through formative forces and reactive evolution) have come to manifest themselves hidden within these deepest of deep, alien as imaginable -terrestrial terrains.
Explore more thoroughly the bold horizons of the fabric of space and time. Engross yourself in the narratives of their conception whilst tussling with the realization that in their infinitesimally small, minutest of minute vectors, there exists an intersection simply known as”You”. That as a conglomeration of sentient atoms, (insert name here) has been appointed an improbable vigil. A vigil as an autobiographical anecdote as to their existence (added bonus* this one may be accomplished from the comfort of your very room!).
Or more simply, park in a spot foreign to the overlords of your subconscious habit. Collect outlandish ingredients and garnish them creatively with (a variety of) spices. Let your creative self-run aloof in naïve curiosity as to how abstract an interpretation you can concoct on the meaning of “edible”. All we are looking for is variety; it needn’t always be to an extreme (but by all means circumnavigate the world by hot air balloon if it is within your capacity to do so).
Whatever it is which happens to take to your pleasure, be sure to do it unsparingly, zealously and to exhaustion. Learn to cultivate passion and a sincere longing to pursue the things that provide purpose to those early few hours after midnight. Chase a pursuit which leaves you at times frustratingly conscious, yet uniquely contented at 3am of a working day (disclaimer* best to avoid operating heavy machinery in states of self-inflicted sleep deprivation). If you hold a resolution to engage a new undertaking, hold it fiercely (looking at you old friend New Years).
Think critically and independently (other people’s opinions are exactly that, opinions for and of other people). Don’t let your perception be diluted by being cajoled into popular modes of thought or dutiful acquiescence. Have reasoning and the ready capacity to justify why your thoughts are as they are.
Ever find yourself unable to substantiate why you believe a certain thing to be true or become unsympathetic to previously held ideologies? Have the grace to admit ignorance or adopt a change of perspective and look forth for an answer which satisfies your curiosity (rigidity for the sake of rigidity here goes against our prayer mat perched philosopher).
Adopting this mentality creates the conditions under which you are able to cultivate and shape the (admittedly stubborn (refer to Newtons 1st)) world around you. Give anything enough time and focus and watch as new wonders materialize about you in resplendent colors and previously incomprehensible configurations. Strive to be more than the mere coming together of chance and passive circumstance. As powerfully posed by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900),
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life through conscious endeavor”
Most importantly live. Not through habit or unconsidered acceptance of a conveniently laid out lifestyle. Live with purpose and intent. Live to have a discourse with the world at large and its inhabitants thus lain within it.
Surround yourself with those precious few that are of a complimentary trajectory and sit within their mutual good graces. Enjoy the successes of those around you and in turn, learn to invite people to join you in your own victories and triumphs.
In the most comprehensive studies of human happiness, connectedness and a sense of community have time and again been proven as essential precursors for a well-lived life (think Venn diagrams, with their overlapping circles and all the happy people gleefully all bunched up in the middle). Condensed, everything is better shared (even if it’s pizza (the cholesterol levels of your future self will thank you for it too!))
Speaking upon sharing, share with yourself daily the wisdoms of ultimate authority. Give yourself unconditional permission to blaze the trail that which sets forth your most epic legend reality. Enjoy what has been gifted to you out of nothingness and keep it sacred, for it is all that you will ever know. Anything less and you are existing at an unnecessary deficit (think aforementioned undefined horizons and grey haired regrets). In doing so, you provide no service to those around you or more detrimentally to yourself. Modesty is ingratiating; however it loses its luster when it is self-deprecating.
Lastly, realize that from birth to death, at any one moment, be it at an age young or old – that your time is of an equivalent value. An intrinsic part of the contents of the rest of your life. It is easy to succumb to romantic ideas of our youth being our prime (and suffering for having done so).
This is a popular fallacy and a trusted method to being dead before, well, before you’re… dead.
Arbitrarily designating any point of your life as being of a worth less than another subtly surrenders your innate potential to reach new yet unexplored heights of happiness and adventure. The age old (not that age is a bad thing of course (in keeping with current themes)) adage of you being your own worst enemy is evident here. (You needn’t adopt the role of an eloquently dressed, wartime self-saboteur (I’m sure you’ll encounter people more than willing to act out the part in your stead)).
Wherever you happen to find yourself on the spectrum of your lifespan, there is only one poignant question to be asked. The rhetorical and classically Descartes (I think therefore I am), “Am I alive?” It is a question which requires no answer, thus anything beyond having posed this particular quandary? Simply icing on the proverbial cake!
It is healthy and one of the great joys of life to be aware of your past and postulate upon your future. But do not for these contemplative reveries (or far-flung fancies) forsake your present.
Take risks in abundance and strive forth in unabashed steps of certainty that will see you arrive at unknown destinations. Treat all as an amusingly intricate game you did not volunteer to play and are destined to inevitably lose. And remember, that to whenever possible, to sit upon mountain tops at sunrise and lie below starry skies at night…