According to Google, it was Henry David Thoreau who said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
This has always haunted me. So Mrs. Pragmatist (skipping past the musical reference in favor of the Karaoke After World) asks herself, “What is the opposite of quiet desperation?”
Noisy satisfaction (which sounds VERY fun), purposeful engagement, intentional presence–you know: those things that made our parents tell us to simmer down, not be too big for our britches, keep up appearances, don’t draw attention to ourselves, quit thinking you’re better than everyone else. It’s very British (basing this on my recent four season jag of Mad Men on Netflix). It’s international. The Japanese proverb states: Deru kugi wa utareru (the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.) All around the world, standing out, living a life above the madding crowd is ridiculed, frowned upon, seen as unseemly.
What a load of crap!
We are designed with skills and talents and dreams. Interests, strengths, and drive. And somewhere along the way, the snot gets beat out of us. We get remediated on our weaknesses instead of having our strengths cultivated. It’s not like our parents went to ‘How to extract snot from your kids’ school. The wet blanketry comes gratis. Quite simply, I protest.
I don’t have it wired yet, but that’s the path before me. I had my first improv performance tonight and I didn’t totally suck. Yeah me!! Formulating a plan for taking a month off next summer or the summer after to take a travel trailer south to a sunny clime. Solar oven, kayak racks, paddle board, WiFi, retrofitted Sleep Number bed, reams of paper, cribbage board, bikini. If my ass hangs out and it is bespeckled with cellulite and this offends you, I recommend you quit looking at my ass.
Funding this may require some alterations to the work arrangement and I’m not sure what that means yet. I’m taking a copy-writing class to get more exposure to a flexible, geographically untethered platform to get paid for writing. I’ll need a motor home that drives or a truck with a trailer. I really want an airstream. According to Craiglist, I may need to buy low and do some sweat equity. This may involve some YouTube videos on upholstery. I am feeling REALLY good about having low expenses and no housing maintenance. I am fantasizing about the pace of wonder that it would be to have my kids on the road for a month chasing beaches. No screens (except my computer for writing and FB updates). I probably should split Mexican beer into its own sentence.
I envision sliding into the grave with a really loud rendition of ‘I’m on a sleigh ride…’
For some reason, the scene that comes to mind for this whole topic is one of my favorites from the Three Amigos: (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SCENE)