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Start before you're ready

In six days, I'm leaving home for three months. Camping gear lies in semi-organized clusters on the Persian rug in my living room. My girlfriend and I recently broke up, and waves of heartbreak are still coming in sets. But I'm moving forward into the unknown, carrying a lantern.


What's the lantern?


My lantern is a set of questions that are guiding me. Questions I can't shake. A feeling that our society needs us to wake the fuck up and grab the wheel before we careen over a ditch. A feeling that the loneliness in our society can't go on, and a hunch that the way we get our mojo back is waiting for us on the other side of this loneliness. A feeling that we need to change course and try something different, and that those of us who have the ability really need to step up. No one is coming to save us, but us.


When I'm lost, even when I can't see very far at all, my job is to stay calm and focus on what the lantern allows me to see.


I can see far enough to take a step.


I can probably even see two or three steps ahead of that. So would I rather stay put and make no decision, and guarantee I get no where? Or would I rather be willing to take a random step, and risk that it could be in the "wrong direction." At this point, I'd rather know that at least I tried.


We have to find the courage, or the stupidity, or the bravado, or be so fed-up with ourselves that we just get started. We foolishly act - before we have the security of a fully-fledged plan. Because the plan is a mirage. It stays on the horizon, and you become a hamster on a wheel.


That's what it looks like to start before you're ready. Some things can't come about from thinking and planning. Some things take action for the wheel to start spinning. Some things are about movement, and only make sense when they are in motion. Do you master bicycles by reading a book about them? Or do you go out, find a bike, throw your foot over the saddle and try to ride it?


So I'm hitting the road, armed with a vague but passionate inquiry about wisdom and community. I'm fueled by a desire to get out- out of my house, out of my city, and out of the comfortable habits that are getting me nowhere.





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