As I get older, currently 27, the ache of what is culturally acceptable begins to pull at me with an evermore increasing weight. Where am I going, what am I doing, how long can I keep this up? I’ve slept under bridges, behind cars, and along the roadsides of busy intersections. I’ve never been hungry or needy, I don’t ask for money or for handouts, and I find work where I can. It’s a good life, I am content with what I’ve done and where I’ve been. I’ve hiked hundreds of miles, cycled thousands, and seen millions of scenic points of interest.
However, a most recent call from my father begs me to consider the latter. “What are you doing with your life?” A simple answer to the question is, “well I am exploring the great beyond.” How sustainable is that, really? I’m not paying into a retirement plan, or do I have enough money to purchase a home. I don’t have a dog or a pet, no plans to marry either. When my body gets too tired to move and extensively broken and in disrepair. Where am I going to find a place to rest and accept the inevitable? Who is going to take care of me when I can’t feed myself?
Many of these questions are answered by the current cultural norm. Go to school, get loads of debt, work till you can retire, then enjoy the fruits of your labors as you wobble though the trees. It’s a proven and sustainable way to live, but why would I subject myself to that sort of torture? I don’t want to look back on my years as a waste, why should I put countless hours into a life half-lived. I don’t want to look forward to the future in despair and doubt. Will I have enough money to pay for my own death? Will I have enough family to help me move around? Will my assets continue to build equity to help pay themselves off?
Loads of questions fill my life, and I doubt I will find an answer to solve them all. All I understand is, “I am here, and now. The future is well off. My plans may never bear fruits. I must live in harmonious coexistence with my want and needs. I also must give back what has been given to me.”