Last night we came home, poured ourselves two homemade margaritas (two parts tequila, two parts Rose’s lime juice, one part fresh lemon or lemonade, pinch of sugar) and celebrated the start of a new life together. The date was not especially important– we’ve been engaged for almost a year– except that we had taken several steps more to create a new kind of life. As we watch more and more of our overeducated, well-traveled, passionate friends fight unemployment or– worse– golden handcuffs, it occurs to us that in the midst of crisis we may be on the edge of a new Bohemian era. Inspired by the latent potential of doing nothing in particular, we, the brave and motivated, are leaving the ratrace and moving abroad for a while.
We’re not independently wealthy, or crazy. One of us owns a one bedroom condo, and the other has some money saved up, but there’s no secret cash pile funding our journey. Rather, we decided that if we were going to go, we ought to go and do it right: we aught to make it transformational. No typical American weeklong rush through seven cities, or even a extravagant but superficial three week stay at a catered hotel. No. We’re going AWOL: learning Italian, traveling the backroads, learning to cook, then a few weeks of traveling on the lam. Before we figure out where to go, we want to remember who we are and why we’re here.
We’ve been told it’s stupid, irrational, disconnected from reality. But we’re not going to sell our souls that cheaply. Life, love, art, and music are worth living for. “PC Load Letter” isn’t. Move, change, break up, realign, rework, resign, reconsider, regroup– revive (live-again!). We believe life is about finding happiness and creating something meaningful– something meaningful to you, not someone else. If what you’ve got isn’t giving you either of those, better to set a charge and walk away then muddle through it. Face down the fear of death and re-emerge into life.
We’d like to think we’re part of the vanguard. We just welcomed one of our dearest friends to the area, having left a secure job of ten years in Texas to move across the country with his wife and start an entirely new career in conflict resolution. It was them, their dog, and a U-Haul, crashlanding with a friend who dates to the era before “making it” was a priority. We’ve watched another of our best friends walk slowly back from a career in computer science to take up professional photography and Zen Buddhism. A third walked out from the large gray government building to start a new nonprofit in– trash.
As Mike Judge, creator of Office Space, said in a recent interview:
“How do you go from a physics degree into the entertainment industry?” asked an audience member of Judge’s transition from working at the engineering firm that inspired Office Space to directing Gen X classics like Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill.
“Well,” Judge said, “you keep, uh, quitting jobs.”
(Read the full article: “Office Space” Cast Reunite at 10th Anniversary Screening of Mike Judge’s Cult Film)
That’s the key to coveting the high life.