My alarm blared jarringly near the front right side of my head and I slapped my hand around the space I knew it would be without opening my eyes. I couldn’t find the clock so I inconveniently had to open my eyes, locate the alarm, and slam the snooze button in annoyance for the fourth time that morning. I laid in my toasty bed for a couple seconds. I blinked my eyes to get them reacquainted with seeing then stretched and clasped my arms behind my head. I looked out the window right next to my bed. Still dark. I craned my neck slightly to see Jupiter and Mercury right next to it. I pulled myself into a sitting position near the alarm clock and rubbed the muscles on the back of my neck then picked up the clock. 6:28am. I had to leave in fifteen minutes to be on time for class. Seeing as I had set my alarm for six sharp I was about half an hour behind schedule, right on schedule. I knew it was going to be one of those days. Not a bad one, just an absolute minimum of effort day. I stumbled out of bed, threw on some sweatpants and a yellow North Bay sweatshirt then staggered down the stairs. Made a pot of coffee. I was out the door and into the crisp air by 6:42am, coffee mug in hand and car key in the other. Just dreading the couple of hours of class ahead, but trying to stay present.
In retrospect, I forgot to look at the stars that morning. Not a big deal, just something noticeable to me.
I love the morning. Once I’m awake I enjoy the stillness of them. The quiet before the day happens. I try to take the mornings slow by getting up early, but usually I can’t stomache the initial hardship of getting out of bed. Regardless, I was in the car and drove down the road to my school, music off, podcast off, and just taking in the morning. I slowly rolled to a stop at a red light, about to turn left onto the road that would take me to class. I thought ahead to my first class, a subject I loved taught in an environment I hated. I was dreading it. It was in that moment that I realized I could never work a 9-5 job. I could never wake up every day, learn to hate the morning because what ensued was boredom and an occupation. I sat in my car at the red light and decided that I would gladly live in a car and travel the United States than be an office worker. I would rather wake up in some fitted van, hike a mountain for a weekend, and then have to find an odd job to support my next couple of weeks rather than be a typical weekend warrior with massive student debt.
I sat there, coffee steaming next to me. Comfortable as can be in my absolutely unattractive sweats, and made a life choice.
That conclusion came to me a couple days after listening to an interview Tim Ferriss conducted with Jimmy Chin. Jimmy Chin is a professional climber, skier, and film maker. What I found fascinating about him was that when he first started out he was on track to be a lawyer. Or a doctor. Or whatever was acceptable to his Chinese family. He decided that he wanted to take a year off and get the travel bug out of his system. He lived in a car for that year. And then seven more years after that because he loved that life so much. To this day, he says those were some of the best years of his life before he became an alpinist.
Question the status quo. Living life is about challenge and adventure. Live and be in the moment. Let it take you.