I took a walk earlier today. In fact, I think I may go for another one here at the end of this post… I walked out the doors of my office building to simply enjoy the cool morning air. I went out there to talk with God, hoping that He’d strike me with some divine inspiration, or that I’d be hit by a bus. Sometimes I’d do anything to get away.
As I tried to breathe in slowly (you don’t realize how even just the action of going into work can speed up your breathing sometimes), I had just posted A Risk Worth Taking and my blood was boiling in that familiar way that caused me to start this blog. On my walk, I considered that the unfortunate thing is how I’ve allowed my blood to cool. Sure, I’m trying to grow up and gain some small sense of responsibility, but I want to be known for my spontaneous, adventurous nature someday. Not for how well I can sit down, shut up, and watch as my soul starts sprouting gray hairs and gets bald spots here and there before I’ve even reached my thirties.
What made my blood boil was the simple fact that I have just returned home from an adventure and I wanted more. I used to walk in to work every day with that same urge to stand up and run out, screaming at the top of my lungs. Now I tend to accept defeat as my computer boots up and I type in a password that I’ve pretty much forgotten altogether. Luckily for me, I have great muscle memory, and this place has turned me into a partial robot, as I suspected it would. Must be something about the recycled air and fluorescent lights. They probably inject semi-lethal amounts of robotic energy into the air that kills you slowly, kinda like drinking “just one more” until your liver just quits one day.
I didn’t just realize that I don’t like coming to my comfortable job every day, though. I realized I don’t really like being comfortable at all. Sometimes this manifests itself in intentional socially unacceptable behavior like singing out loud in a quiet library or eavesdropping and interjecting myself in others’ perfectly mundane conversations. It makes my heart race, not just to be at the center of attention, but to be doing something that others simply won’t. It makes me blush every time I stand up to get the attention of the innocent bystanders at a restaurant and request they sing “happy birthday” to my friends. It’s almost never someone’s actual birthday, but when the whole crowd is in on it, it’s convincing enough to earn us free dessert.
Beyond all that nonsense, I enjoy the thrill of being terrified. I liked going to Singapore and getting left behind on a train platform, separated from the rest of my group. I liked working for a coffee shop one year ago today, waiting to hear back from an engineering firm about my application. I didn’t like it at the time, but looking back, it was nice to not have so many constraints on living. I like the uncertainty of it all. I like the reminder that I’m not in control in this life. I like putting it all in God’s hands.
Sure, I also like control to the nth degree, but today, listening to “Hold On” by Twin Atlantic, I was reminded of the thrill of simply holding on for dear life.