Let The Wind Be My Guide…
Ever since I was 13 I’ve always made offhand comments about wanting to live out in the middle of nowhere- and the government should pay me, because I’d just stay out of their hair. That’s how I would survive. Of course, it was a joke, but…it was a joke that I continued to repeat for many years.
Over the last 2 years I’ve had the dream of going to Moab, Utah and spending a couple of months photographing the scenery.
Over the last year, I’ve had this romanticized dream of just picking up and leaving in the middle of the night. Not for any long period of time, but just…take a breather. But I’ve held off.
To top it off, over the last year I’ve been bombarded by people who’ve done similar things. First Timothy Treadwell. I’ve been somewhat interested in his story for a few years now- I think I first heard about him back in 2003. It was an interesting story, and I read up on it a bit, but it stopped there. Then a few years down the road Animal Planet was playing Grizzly Man, and then just this summer they played The Grizzly Man Diaries. That got me back into it hardcore. I watched all the episodes & went out and bought some books on him.
Fascination would be a bit of an understatement. I found his life to be absolutely stunning.
More recently I rented Into The Wild. It’s a movie I’ve wanted to see since it came out, and a book I’ve been meaning to read for years now- ever since my mom had to read it for an english class about 7 years ago. I could relate to Alex (Chris) even more than I did Treadwell.
The fire that’s been burning to some degree for two years just had a can of gasoline thrown on it.
I get kind of annoyed when I hear people refer to these two stories as ‘tragic’…personally, I think they’re anything but. These two men escaped lives that were smothering them, and followed their hearts. They lived. They truly lived their lives. The fact that they died while out in the land they loved…it makes it all the more beautiful in my mind. Where is the tragedy? They both found what they were looking for. They both got their answers. They both experienced life.
Going away and living in the wilderness for a period of time…it just seems natural. I don’t really get this world. I try, but I don’t. Sure, I get wrapped up in stupid material possessions just like everyone else, but…I don’t feel that distinct need for a lot of social interaction. The majority of my social life is online, and anyone who talks to me online knows what that has meant as of late…I’ve been online maybe 3 times in the last 2 months?
I don’t think the seclusion is intentional, it’s just happening, and for whatever reason, it feels right. It feels okay.
If I’m going to have a relationship with someone, it’s going to be worthwhile. I simply don’t invest in worthless relationships. I don’t care about having a lot of friends- to be overly honest, I don’t care about having friends. period. BUT with that being said, if I find myself in a friendship with someone, and it ends up being worthwhile, of course I’m going to invest in it- all I’m saying with that is, I’m never feeling like I need relationships. They don’t make a lot of sense to me. In fact, I generally find them frustrating.
Another reason I think this fits-
I’ve never had the desire or motivation to succeed in this society. I’ve never really wanted a job. Sure, as a kid I was convinced I would be a judge, a writer, a vet, whatever- but…after like 6th grade, none of it clicked. For the past few years I’ve been saying I want to be a photographer, but I’m not sure. I mean, I would, sure, but I could take it or leave it. I’m not passionate about anything here.
I don’t want money. I don’t want relationships. I don’t want a big house with fancy technology packing it full. At 19 I have yet to have a real job (…crappy Target photo job excluded) and it’s hard to imagine that changing. It seems pointless. I don’t want a pointless life. Again, I guess I just don’t really understand it. I mean, everyone has a job…but…why? Why would I get a job? It’s like…we spend our entire lives ‘saving’ and trying to get money…but what do we do with it? There’s no "big goal" that we’re saving for…there’s no point to it. I don’t want that for my life. I think I would go crazy going to a job I hate just to get money. Is it really worth it? Is it worth it to torture yourself to get money that you’ll NEVER be satisfied with? That’s not the kind of life I want.
I want truth. honesty. passion. pain. intensity.
I want something real. I want the perfect breath.
And it seems really ironic that I watched Into The Wild when I did, because I’ve been thinking about that a lot.
When the stock market took that first HUGE hit I was talking to my mom and was like "Okay- I know this will sound stupid, but…think about it for a second. What is money? Why do we really need it? I mean, sure it’s nice to have it for internet or whatever, but why do people freak out so much? As long as you have a house, you’re fine. You can grow your own food, and just deal with it. Who cares if you have a car- who cares if you can fill it with gas…why do you need a job? again, if you grow your own food, and just don’t use electricity, what’s the point?"
It sounds stupid- but it made me realize how brainwashed I’ve been.
I don’t NEED any of this. No one NEEDS a job. We choose to have a job. Why do we do it? Sure, the thought of ‘living off the land’ can be scary at first, but…are we missing the point?
I don’t want to be a slave to bills, a job, money, the Joneses. I want to live life how I feel it should be lived. I want to follow my heart, instead of allowing fears to force me into a horrific life.
The one thing I’m petrified of with the possibility of living in the wilderness, is the fear of other people. Doesn’t that say everything? I’m not afraid of animal predators…but I’m deathly afraid of some idiot stumbling upon my area and raping & killing me.
So many people are SO quick to point out the deaths of people who have done this before, and talk about how stupid they were, or how tragic their deaths were…but I say, what better way to die?! Who cares if they die at a young age- what an amazing life. They found it. They got it. They understood. They chased something so much bigger than themselves. They overcame the fear, they overcame the oppressive nature of our society. They got out!
My desire to live in the wilderness is not a lifelong one, unlike most people who have the longing to do this. I just want to go out for like…3 months- maybe a year. I want the solitude. My main purpose in doing this would be for the solitude, the soul searching, the chance to ‘live outside of the box’ and evaluate everything- evaluate whether or not certain things are really necessary.
I think it would be life changing. Taking a mere 3 months to live on my own in the wilderness- I think I would come back with some serious answers.
Moab, Utah, rural West Virginia, & Colorado are my top 3 places. But really, as long as I go west, I think I’d be happy. (aside from West Virginia, of course…that’s definitely east haha!)
I want to go out there and give myself to the world, and see what it gives back. Is it selfish- is it all self-indulged? Probably. But so is this society, so I don’t feel too guilty. All this talk about ‘living life the way I want’ probably turns some heads. What about what God wants? Well…that’s part of the point. I want to go out there without any distractions. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine being totally and completely alone for, at the minimum, 3 months? Can you IMAGINE the God-time that would come out of that? The clarity.
The way I see it, only 3 things can happen
1. I die. yea…that would suck…but if I’m out there living in a way I’ve dreamed of living, having a mind-blowing experience…what’s wrong with that? What better way to die? I’d rather die like that instead of living my entire life here in absolute mediocrity.
2. I go absolutely crazy. …would I notice? haha. that’s a weird outlook, probably, but…I’m not sure that would be the worst thing that could happen. Do you know that you’re crazy if you’re crazy?
3. I come back happy to have had the experience and either return to ‘the real world’ with renewed focus and energy, or realize that this life isn’t for me and move out west. I wouldn’t "live in the wilderness" probably, but just enjoy the slower, simple life, and get some really simple job.
There are experiences here that I waited years to have…and once I had them- sure, they were great…but I was still left wanting. I thought if I knew the right people, had the right stuff, was in the right mood- that I would be happy…I would be satisfied. And I’m coming to find out…people are great, but they’re not everything. Things…they’re going to bore me within a week…and moods are as inconsistent as Indiana weather…I can’t invest my whole self in any of that.
So yea. It’ll happen some day. Who knows when…but it will happen.
By ashley.adcox on 2008-08-07 16:47:40