Going on a long trip ≠ going on a search for one’s self

I quit my job on 22nd of June 2018, 1,5 weeks ahead of my initially agreed last day of 4th of July. I’m going on unplanned-go-with-the-flow – trust-everything-will – turn-out-just-fine trip. No end date, no detailed plans, several dream places to visit, some amount of ad hoc planning.

What bugs me is that when saying “Good bye!” many people wish me to find myself.

I understand — this is a common stereotype.

Truth is, I found myself on one strange and somewhat painful night in May 2017. That new-found-me resolved not to compromise on his desires and do (almost) whatever he feels is right. It might seem stupid, illogical, irrational to the mind, but when the gut feeling is strong and basic (no overthinking!) logical check with common cognitive biases taken into an account results in “why the fuck not?!” or “hell yeah! Let’s do this!” — this new found me resolved to act. Some of the late decisions are not less than leaps of faith.

Many things that we think we are in control of — real estate prices, pension funds, stock prices, market predictions, our health, our stable jobs & careers, our relationships —  control over these is an illusion.

Many analysis and reports are a fiction upon a fiction. Many things end unexpectedly. True, some of them return & re-appear, sometimes even stronger as before. But in a nutshell – all things are temporary, nothing lasts forever, all things work… until they don’t.

I see all of this as just a gamble where there can be some strategies suitable for certain periods, but in a big picture it’s just luck & misfortune, a line of random events and black-swan like disturbances. There are patterns, but there are no 100% success rules, only 100% (okay, 99.9999999%) failure rules. That is if you don’t try — 100% your idea won’t materialize, if you do act — you have some chances it will materialize.

I believe that in this situation the only way to live a happy life is

  • to let go
  • to realize the illusion
  • to realize that in reality there is no guaranteed stability nor control
  • to trust your gut, to trust yourself that you will overcome the obstacles you encounter when you encounter them and know that you will definitely encounter them
  • to not look for an excuse to follow your gut. Inside, you already know what you want to do… everything else is a hesitation and a mind playing tricks with a sprinkle of cognitive biases
  • to accept that you might not overcome some of the obstacles and in that case to accept them as something that just is
  • to learn to stop mental masturbation into the future and live in a present and to learn to deal with problems when they come
  • to learn to plan for the best, not the worst, but still to remember that the worst is still and option
  • to learn not to worry — worrying doesn’t help in any way for things to come and it won’t undo things that had happened either
  • to accept the game, to trust the gut and gamble
  • to accept what is and to accept whatever comes

My psychologist at the time had a good question to understand me and to help me understand myself:

what do you want from this for yourself? for yourself personally? what do you want to take out from this?

I want to experience humanity. I want to socialize with people. I want to meet new people, get to know their big dreams, their aspirations, their stories, look of their eyes, gestures of their hands. Learn what they see about me. All kinds of people – fun people, boring people, young people, old people, shy people, talkative people. I do realize there will be painful and dirty moments. I can get robbed, cheated, betrayed and even killed. Still, I don’t want to loose faith. I was a misanthrope, a pessimist for a big chunk of my adult life. Then something happened and I believe that people can be great.

I want to see again and again that in a nutshell we are all the same everywhere. I want to read articles and listen to the songs these new acquaintances share with me. I want to share my stories, my music, my favorite articles. I want to grow. To grow myself and to grow others.

I’m going on a long trip to grow!


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