My pal’s taking his son on his first camping trip in the Albertan Rocky Mountains. The kid, my godson, is a hyper little shit who’s always getting into something he shouldn’t be into. He’s wild at heart, as they say, but he’s also a good kid, a sweet kid.
The thought before they left was how is this wee one of only 3 years going to handle being out there. What will he get into? How will he act? The answer was a tad surprising, but not really.
He’s a different kid out here, calmer, interested in what’s around him.
I was surprised. But then I thought about it. Boys – and men – aren’t bred to sit still. Our school system goes against everything in our DNA. The Romans and the Greeks knew this. Schooling for young men was different than it was for your women. We’d battle, fight, debate while standing among our peers.
We’re at home out there, not in here.
I’m sure you’ve felt it, ‘the pull’. It’s a gnawing feeling, one that calls us to the wilderness, to travel, on a road trip, and to areas we’ve never been while doing things we’ve never done. (Read This: Adventure is Air for The Soul)
Sometimes these ‘pulls’ can be to flee responsibilities. They can disguise themselves as our ‘wild heart’ yearning to be scared and free and extended, but it’s really just a little bitch trying to escape the things he’s charged with caring for.
More often, however, this pull is us, it’s who we were bred to be, the protector, provider, and procreator that needs to feel like a warrior because living in monotonous sedation is myth. The lines we blindly fall into, the jobs we ignorantly pursue, the things we aim to buy and have and own as if we’re sleepwalking in our attempt to get them don’t actually constitute living.
Most exist. Few live.
The brave go out yonder into the risk that creates courage and into the open spaces that contain the breath of life. They find ways to craft a living out there, while we’re in here falling into lines and fads and ways of existence that run counter to our DNA, our very being, our true desires.
Where Is Yonder?
That’s the question that has to be answered. We answer it in part by trial and error and going places that intrigue us and scare us, places that can be missions, tasks, adventures, pursuits, or literal places.
We answer that question be being out there in the great outdoors, where we can’t help but feel small, insignificant, but connected. Where silence exists with the howls and roars and bellows of beasts.
I don’t know how people expect to figure out what they want in life while in the hustle and bustle of a city, where noise is the background and people are busy simply because they think that’s what life is about, it doesn’t matter how productive they are within their business.
I’m not a fan of balance, you don’t balance tasks or your day, you focus on a single thing, you’re completely in that moment and task and that’s the only place you are. However, to live a life doing a single thing and only a single thing isn’t life. (Read This: Are Living or Existing?)
You need both accomplishment and variety. You need to create and to experience.
Here is where your work is. You need here. You need work. Yonder is where life is. They can be in the same place. They can be the same thing. That’s where the beaten path is found, when we survive and thrive in the same place, where we do the things that feed our soul and put food on the table within the same day.
There’s a theme to life these days. There are variations within that theme but that theme, that path laid out for so many of us isn’t a path that exists with our nature.
The beaten path, the outliers, the others, those living different lives seem to be on to something more conducive to living.
That doesn’t mean don’t do the 9-5 or build a career if that’s what you need to do or want to do, but the spare time you have, or if you’re lucky enough to create a career that is off the beaten path, all the time you have, should be given to something that brings you into the moment.
It may be travel, it may be hiking, hunting, fishing, exploring, reading, learning, whatever. That hobby can exist no matter your day-to-day but only you know what that life-giving aspect of your day can be.
The truth is we’re not genetically bred to exist how we currently exist.
We need danger. We need activity. We need small tribes who differ in lands and in opinion from other tribes, we do not need to all think the same way nor be governed by the same laws. We need diversity in our days and in our ways and in our pursuits.
We need danger.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.
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