An impossible perspective on life (the scenic route -pt.2)

The talk with his older friend left him with an uneasy feeling.

The problem he was facing was one of identity. Working the same job, living in a condo building, being connected on the same sites, talking on the same phone and living the same way as so many others was not the sort of identity he wanted to have.

His older friend helped by opening him up to the idea that his identity could be in something more, but that his identity would be rooted in merely being a better person left him feeling dismay, hopeless. Living a better life sounded like fine practical advice, but it was so cold and grey, it went completely against how he imagined life could be.

He got up from the bench and went inside a local coffee shop. He got himself a coffee and sat down. He started thinking about things: past events, his current questions, goals he never achieved and the direction he seemed to be headed.

He jotted down a few words, then a couple sentences and soon he had 8 full pages of notes.

By the time he finished reading over the 8 pages he was embarrassed.  His life had slowly become monotonous and stale. He found himself headed in a direction he never dreamed of.

He dreamed his life would go down the scenic route. A route where there would be tunnels and forests, hills and valleys, twists and turns, small towns and frequent stops.

As he sat in that coffee shop, already entered into his mid-twenties, he found his life going down the highway. Straight and predictable, lonely and long, bleak and colourless.

There was a message told to him and the other children who grew up in the same part of the world: they could do anything and be anyone.

He believed it.

He worked hard at developing a unique set of skills. He had a vision on how his life could turn out. However, there were other people in the world who were told the same thing, and they were more talented and worked even harder. He ended up graduating college and settling into a nice job that paid him close to six figures a year and he found himself in the most uncomfortable position imaginable: content.

No child ever dreams of being content. No child ever dreams of a life where they try and be “better” from one year to the next.

Where do you want to live when you’re older?
A condo would be nice for a bit but then I’d like buy something in the suburbs. Maybe a nice two door garage with a reasonable commute into the city – that would be my dream.

Children dream about flying over mountains, crashing into waves, being a lion or some other impossible jungle animal. No matter how unrealistic some of it may be, the point is simple: they dream about what is impossible.

The young friend was far from living an impossible tale.

He wasn’t an idiot or some idealistic dreamer, he knew he would never be able to fly over mountains, but like all of us, there was an irrational part in his head that truly believed the impossible could be made possible.

When he was very young it was the only voice he could hear and he let everyone know! It was the voice of imagination and creativity, absurdity and irony.

When he became a teenager he could still hear the voice clearly but he didn’t tell anyone.

After years of avoidance and neglect, he became deaf to that voice and found himself in a coffee shop, exploring the alternative routes.

He sat there in the coffee shop, turned to a blank page and wrote what he was searching for:

An impossible perspective on life.

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Categories: the scenic route


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