what’s it all about?

The Premise

 

The workforce of the world is cluttered with people who are trapped in the cogs of the social machine, enduring jobs that they hate. Our own fear of the unknown oils the spokes while our consumer driven culture, constantly encouraging us to buy more and charge it to our false economy, incarcerates us, preventing us from walking out on our bosses to try something new. As the years pass, we slowly yet surely accumulate more shackles, tying ourselves to a life we never actually chose. And as one day gives way to the next, we become increasingly afraid of setting ourselves free. Our jobs have begun to own us. We’re institutionalised and we’re too scared to do anything about it. It’s as if we’re addicted to the ties that bind. Here we are living in the easiest era in human history, and what do we do with the resources? Produce our own vices to clamp our dreams shut. Personally, I think our education system is to blame. But that’s a whole other issue.

Anyhow, in time we convince ourselves that only the elect get lucky and are blessed with jobs that they find stimulating and for which they feel passionate. We rationalise that we don’t live to work, we work to live, and convince ourselves that we’re fortunate to have all of our precious things. In our search for contentment we continue to buy, adding fuel to a raging fire…

Recently I began to ask myself; why don’t we aspire to find what it is that might make us happier? Why should we settle for mediocrity? Weren’t we always told we were more valuable than that? What do we really have to lose by chucking it all in with the hope of discovering a fulfilling and enriching alternative? What good is all our stuff really doing us?

The Year I Quit My Life is a record of the scariest decision I have ever made. Taking a leap of faith, I decided it was time to chuck it all in and begin the search for my dreams. It’s not easy to find something when you’re not entirely sure what it looks like, or where you should be looking. But one thing I know for certain; if I never start, I’ll never find it. At the end of 2011, I quit the career I had been painstakingly establishing for the past five years with the intent of exploring what the world might have to offer me.

 

Is true contentment even possible in this life? Let’s see if we can’t find out.

 

20 thoughts on “what’s it all about?

  1. Dear Michelle,
    I am intrigued to follow your journey, and to see where you might be in a year. Have you read the Dice Man? The Dice Man is a novel published in 1971 by George Cockcroft under the pen name Luke Rhinehart and tells the story of a psychiatrist who begins making life decisions based on the casting of dice. Cockcroft wrote the book based on his own experiences of using dice to make decisions while studying psychology. The novel is noted for its subversivity, anti-psychiatry sentiments and for reflecting moods of the early 1970s. Due to its subversive nature and chapters concerned with controversial issues such as rape, murder and sexual experimentation, it was banned in several countries. Upon its initial publication, the cover bore the confident subheader, “Few novels can change your life. This one will” and quickly became a modern cult classic.
    If you really want to let go… read this.
    A friend of your fathers.

  2. Glen,
    Thank you so much for your support and I’d be so complimented if you were to follow my blog and share your thoughts along the way. I haven’t heard of Cockcroft’s novel; have you any idea if it is available in Australia? It sounds right up my alley and I’m very interested in having a read!

  3. Great book, the Dice Man.
    Another good one is by Don Miguel Riuz – a Nth. American Indian spiritualist, called the four Agreements. I hot it given to me on a double CD. I’ll happilly send you some discs if you would like

  4. I’m afraid your first paragraph perfectly describes ninety-nine percent of people — or at least those of us in the so-called first-world nations. I can’t wait to read more and find out what you’re up to. Meanwhile, congratulations on just taking the leap!

  5. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this. Three years ago I quit my life and, oddly enough, moved to Melbourne. This year, for me, is about meeting Life again and hopefully ending up better friends than we have been. Reading this makes me want to sit some poor unsuspecting child down and unleash a barrage of my last three years; however, all I can say to you is it will be ENTIRELY worth it, the good experiences make each day a bit easier, and the bad ones take you so far away from where you started off; it’s amazing. Good luck!

    • Wow, It’s so great to hear from someone who has been through a similar experience! It’s especially nice to hear it worked out for you and you have no regrets. I’m so glad you found me; you’ve given me some hope. : )

      I hope you follow along and continue to offer your thoughts; it would be very much appreciated! x

      • Perhaps there is trend among twenty something year old women who move to Melbourne in search of something more? I’ve done the same thing, albeit after ticking ‘Arts/Law’ on the University Admission form (someone told me this is what smarts girls who care about the world and are good at English do) and spending six years of study never feeling I had got it right. We should start a support group (or a knitting circle)!

        Annabelle.

  6. In that picture, are you doing an impression of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption?

    If so it would be better if it was raining and you were dressed like a man.

    Good luck with your endeavours.

  7. You’re right, I do love your premise and I think you’re very courageous. What’s the point of living if you’re just living to be exploited – by employers, marketers, you name it. Independence of mind is such a beautiful thing and I think it can lead us to finding fulfillment, and being rewarded materially for doing something you love. We don’t know if it can happen for us if we don’t try!

    And I think your photograph is beautiful, it’s inspiring to me.

  8. Michelle,
    I’m glad you found my Sideways Moment With Bono… as I’ve really enjoyed reading through many of your posts here. Beautiful writing, and thought provoking posts. Your recent one about God spoke directly to me. I lost my father at 10, and like you turned to a God that did not answer anything for me. For two women so different in age, there are some striking places that our stories intersect.

    While it would be very difficult for me to quit my life, as you have, you might be surprised at how far I’d go to try… I started my blog June 28th, 2011… was Freshly Pressed 6 wks later and have been on a life changing journey since. The journey actually started when I “ran away from home,” and landed in Yellowstone, on my own, for 2+ weeks, this past July. The solitude and clarity I had there were transformative.

    While I find it impossible to leave kids I love and a life I’ve spent nearly 30 years building, I totally relate to you quitting your life and encourage you to really take it in and sit with it. Leave your feet in the fire for a while, as the end result will no doubt be well worth some of the discomforts. So much better to do it as a “twenty-something” than a forty-something! Congratulations on your journey… and perhaps we will both find meaning in each other’s journey. 😉

    PS) Now I’m curious about this Dice Men too!

    • I’m so glad you’re finding my blog as interesting as I’m finding yours. : ) Thanks for the support; it’s been a bumpy ride, but as you put it, in one way or another, the discomforts will be worth it. Stay in touch! x

  9. you are a brave and adventurous soul! for that, no doubt you are going to find what you’re looking for. i feel that most of it will be in the journey. i believe we are all aspiring to become. to become something greater…reach our divine potential that most of us don’t even comprehend. and it’s a greatness that’s not measured by our career or possessions. it’s a way of life. i admire your drive and am excited about your ambition. go, fight, win! ha. much luck…love, whit

  10. “Is true contentment even possible in this life?” In my opinion, yes. But only for periods at a time. I believe that this life is not meant to be easy, it is meant to be a struggle, because we are working towards something greater, something indescribable: Paradise. And nothing as heavenly (pun intended) as that ever comes easy–after all, how else would the deserving ones be sorted from the rest? To offer more clarity to my belief that contentment only exists temporarily in this life: I believe that contentment of the heart only rests with the Creator. Not in worldly things, not in a job, not in people. I find this contentment most when I sit in silent solitude during prayer–it is unlike any other feeling. I sometimes sit for over an hour, just being in touch with my Lord. And I feel content. And that feeling moves with me throughout my day, my interaction with people, how I handle conflict, etc. But, I’m human. And this world is designed as a test for me. So I give in to the distractions of the world from time to time, I allow family issues to get me down, I engage people in petty squabbles. Contentment in this world is not permanent. But, I believe, that if we keep striving for moments of it by returning to God each time, then we will ultimately be gifted with eternal contentment in Paradise.

    I wish you well on your journey. I will eagerly follow along and read about the discoveries you make. I do hope you find the contentment you seek, wherever it may lie.

  11. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it
    to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her
    ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I
    had to tell someone!

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