Sunday, September 25, 2005

Fantasy Will Set You Free

Sera and I went canoeing on the Wekiwa River today. It was the wake-up call I needed. Paddling downstream on a tranquil river of water lilies, floating past spongey marshes of stilted ibis and egrets. Alligators and turtles sunning on muddy banks, a deer crossing the river, an otter splashing about, a family of raccoons playing on the water's edge. THIS is my life. I have to do something to get out of this other life I'm pretending to live: Sitting in a cubicle. Pretending to be excited when my cube-neighbor, John, writes a new program. Applauding new product announcements when I really don't give a shit. Waking up at the crack of dawn after a fitful sleep to drive in each morning--only to stare at the clock tick 8 more hours of my life away. THIS IS NOT MY LIFE. I'm glad I've decided to focus on becoming a writer. It's my dream that gets me through the workday.

Everyone I work with has a house, and that depresses me at times. I had money for a house a few years ago, but instead decided to travel around the world. That was my lifelong dream, and it was an incredible experience. But at times I get very depressed hearing everyone at work discussing the value of their homes, their yards, their pools--I'm still living in a small apartment. And then I remind myself that I chose the path less traveled. These people have never been overseas--not a one. They are happy living in their nice homes in suburbia. Had I bought that house a few years ago I'd probably be even more depressed.

I used to zealously watch travel shows and dream of going to exotic places. That's all I ever thought about. I was broke, unemployed and living in New Jersey, watching a show on Komodo Island--there were dragons that ate people! Komodo was too surreal to exist outside of my living room in Jersey. I dreamed to visit a land that could only possibly exist in the most creative of imaginations. But it was reality--just not mine.

New Jersey and its refineries and the DuPont plant pumping chemicals in my backyard(they were literally down the street) was my reality. This dream of Komodo is what inspired me to get off my couch and get out of the depression I was in--to do whatever it took to get to that island. And then one sweltering hot day five years later, after floating around the South China Sea in a tiny wooden boat for two days, I stepped foot on Komodo Island. And suddenly it was New Jersey that couldn't possibly exist. Komodo had become my reality.

And after our little excursion today, and from my reading of Kira Salak's book "Four Corners," I realize this is not my life that I'm living. This is not my reality. I will work harder at getting out of this and doing what I want to do. Sure, I'd love to have a house someday. But not at the expense of giving up MY dreams. I just need to stay focused on what I want out of life. But for now I'll have to put my little happy face together. Because tomorrow is Monday and I need to be ready.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure a lot of us can relate. Working for the "man." Would love to hear more about your travels.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

Don't forget that being able to appreciate a canoe ride in the Wekiwa River (I am so jealous) is probably beyond the comprehension of most of your co-workers, they've had it all pounded out of their brains and replaced with mortgage worries, which lawnmower would impress other people most and kitchen renovation bullshit!

2:53 AM  
Blogger William said...

Great blog you have here I will deffinitely be back, I have a website that is about restoring wooden boats : complete wooden boat restoration guide

11:25 PM  

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