When I was a wee one of 21 years, I loved cities.
That’s what I craved, the busyness, the hustle, the commotion, the noise. That’s where I wanted to be and live, and I did.
I remember being in Cape Town Airport having breakfast, coffee, four eggs, bacon, and veggies, dying to get out of the city.
Now, Cape Town’s one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen, and I wish I’d had a longer visit there, but land and space feel like freedom, and though cities don’t have walls like they once did, they still feel like they do.
That same noise and commotion that once attracted me to a city is now what pushes me away and the busy silence of animals and birds, of rustling leaves and dirt beneath my boots is what calls me to nature.
When I’m at home I daydream about not being able to see my neighbors. I work me arse off to find time to hike or shoot or recently added to the activities menu, hunting.
I think this is a common evolution in desire from wanted to be in the mix to wanting to be completely away from it all.
Within a city we feel a part of the pursuit, but as we age we see the failings of said pursuit. Everyone’s working without completely understanding what they’re working for. We think we’re doing what we should be doing, what we have to do, but we’re not completely sure why or to what end.
One of the most common questions I get from readers of either site is how to feel like a man. I don’t answer most questions because I don’t think it’s my question to answer. And tied to that question is usually a relationship that’s not quite cutting it or the desire to be as you once were, to feel excitement, danger, to be daring and audacious and you can’t quite put your finger on the source of this desire or how to feed this hunger. (Read This: Men Are Wild At Heart)
As a side note, increased testosterone levels is attached to that exact behaviour, the recklessness, daring, and audacity that many of us have in our youth but allow to fade in our latter years – save Teddy Roosevelt, Jim Shockey, and a select group of men who remain men.
This desire to feel like a man is something I don’t think it can be found in a city, doing what we’ve only recently done in our history as humans.
To feel like a man we quite literally have to act like men, and when we’ve acted one way for thousands of years – a simpler, more direct and purposeful way – only to act in a completely different manner for a few hundred years, there’s going to be trouble.
We’re genetically programmed to hunt, to move for large parts of the day, to breathe fresh air, to protect our tribes and be among people we’ve known our entire lives.
That’s how our brains are wired and what they’re wired for.
Instead, we spend most of our time with people we’ve only recently met. Instead of hunting we walk to the grocery store or to our local restaurant. Instead of moving for the majority of the day, we confine our movement to an hour period called a ‘workout’. We don’t even have a tribe, we have communities of humans we don’t really know and the police are charged with their protection.
The simple, direct, focused, purposeful role we’re bred for is now almost completely either archaic or outlawed.
Our genetic make-up hasn’t changed. We’re still not suited to suit up and follow the rest of the minions to our place of employment.
So while we’re taught to earn and buy and build wealth, wealth of experience is equally as important. The sustenance of the wild, of the outdoors, of a close-knit community, of doing what we’re bred to do has to hold as much weight as the rest.
Sure, earn, because we have to, it’s a measurement of how good we are at what we do. Become great at what we do because accomplishment is a necessity, we have to be winners because the alternative is useless. The older I get, however, the more the things we did for thousands of years become priorities.
Get out there.
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.