I will be the first to admit that I have an unhealthy obsession with freedom. I’m addicted to it. Because I chase it so much and continuously change my life in order to get it I actually become constrained in many ways. I choose it over money, comfort, relationships, pretty much everything. I get constrained by these choices because I don’t have the money to do the things I want to do, don’t have people that are willing to do them with, or a combination of both.
Over the past few months my life has had many expected turns and it’s resulted in me gaining some new perspective on things. It’s pretty common knowledge (at least within my circle) that if you are in a situation that is extremely challenging you have 3 options: Accept it for what it is, work on changing it, or remove yourself from it and move on. Over the years I’ve been pretty quick to jump to moving on weather it be an activity I lost interest in, a job I didn’t enjoy anymore, or even a relationship I didn’t feel was serving me anymore. Thats not to say I make these decisions on a whim. I usually go through the process of trying to accept situations for what they are, then try to change them, then I move on. That process has taken me years for some decisions and days for others, it all depends.
I now feel like I am at a point in life where I am really starting to figure out what I want. When I first came to the US with nothing I thought that money would give me the freedom I desired. Fast forward six years, I had all the money, and all the things but felt more trapped than ever so I walked from all of it to start with nothing again. Fast forward two years and I’m now at the point where I can kinda see a vague outline of what I’d like my life to look life and who is with me within that life. In the same way that freedom creates constraint, constraint will also create freedom and now instead of constantly seeking freedom for the first time I am seeking a little constraint. I’ve had such a negative feeling towards the word constraint in the past because to be it represented being stuck but now it represents familiarity, comfort, love, depth, progression, and to an extent – mastery. When everything is new all the time and you keep starting over and over again all you are doing is planting seeds but never getting the benefit of the harvest. I am ready for that now and all the great things it will bring.
Equally I am not trying to ‘arrive’ at any point in particular like the video above outlines. For me it is all about the game. I’ve been saying for years that “my goal isn’t to win at anything, I just want to keep playing” and this video does a really good job of getting that message across. I want to love, learn, progress, relax, be free, have purpose, and enjoy everything I do in life. Figuring that out, and redirecting course countless times a long the way will take a life time. I hope it takes a lifetime. It’s been 10 years since I left the comfort of my home in Ireland and since then my life has completely changed every few years and I absolutely love it. I’ve said time and time again that I feel like with each year that passes things get better and better. I gain more self awareness, I see more and more places, meet more and more people, and have more and more experiences that I would never have even dreamed of (especially within BASE)
A lot of people in my life are very supportive of my choices, in part because if someone isn’t I cut them away. This is a practice I don’t like to do but equally I’m kinda like ‘If you support me thats great and if you don’t fuck off’ but I understand that you need to have both in your life in order to know if what you are doing is what you truly want. You will have support and challenge in whatever your pursue. Thats something I struggle with because one school of thought is you need both around you in order to remain balanced and another is to surround yourself with like minded people. I tend to do mostly the latter but I now have the awareness to sprinkle in a little normality here and there just to keep me on my toes.
Recently over the course of 2 or 3 conversations one of my long time friends suggested that I am addicted to jumping, told me that I better not become a complainer if I ever become paralyzed, and asked me if I was ever going to stop jumping. I didn’t really engage in responding or reacting to him too much but it really played on my mind afterwards. I know I can’t control his opinions and because of that I decided to not to be defensive or offensive in my responses to him. It bothered me a lot because I feel so at peace with what I’m doing, I feel like I have a very balanced perspective on it, and while at the heart of it all is an activity that is extremely dangerous everything that surrounds it is beautiful. I have a job, two businesses, a relationship, tons of friends, and a life filled with adventure, progression, learning, and most of all – a true appreciation for life. I’m happier than I ever have been because of it and in the space of an evening someone can manage to flip all that by suggesting I’m an addict. It’s interesting more than anything and just goes to show that no matter what you believe or how happy you are about something there will always be someone with the opposite view. While having the approval of your friends and family is nice I feel that you truly know if you are doing what you love if you can continue doing it knowing that you do not have that support.
“I prefer to be myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence” – Fredrick Douglass