Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bring it on!


I’m jumping. I don’t give a shit. I have been living in the dark for a while now and enough is enough. Sure, you can have tons of fun in the dark. Believe me, there have been times when the booze has been fantastic, when the partying, the women, and the meaningless self-importance of being an asshole lawyer have all been exquisite, convenient distractions from genuine happiness.

But all of that is over as of today. I have to save my soul. I can’t continue giving up bits of myself every time I walk into this office. I can’t go to sleep every night knowing that I can’t live my life for yet another year. More to the point, I can’t stand those exquisite, convenient distractions any longer.

LIFE IS SHORT
Life is short, my dear reader. Take the time to think about this fact carefully: you, my dear reader, can die tomorrow. Now, I know you *think* you already know that, but if you would just indulge me once more, let me repeat myself: YOU (yes, you! the person reading this right this very minute) CAN DIE TOMORROW. This is a fact and not some trite Dead Poets Society slogan.
[Photo: buildupman.blogspot.com]

I WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE
I want to live my life furiously, with tons of traveling, love, friendship, bicycling, and some serious fucking in between. I want to have the time to figure out who this Jack person really is. I want to have the opportunity to be reckless, but only in the pursuit of knowledge, experience and, ultimately, meaningful wisdom. I want to live my life as if everyday is my last day on earth.

BOTTOM LINE
The first day of the rest of my life starts today. No more waiting. No more bullshit. Details to follow.

57 comments:

laura @ move to portugal said...

Oh wow! Did you quit?

-jd said...

Go get em' Jack! And if your new life leads you and your bike this way hit me up for a ride.

Claire said...

Jack - I understand but I'm concerned. What is your notice period? - could you just last until then instead of just walking out? Just make sure that you have some reserves in place first i.e. money/support. Just at least think first. Try not to burn your bridges...

I'm here if you want to talk - e mail me or post a message on my site I will give you my telephone number. Would a short vacation/long weekend refresh you?

Please be careful

Claire

Kerry said...

Hey Jack,
I just found your blog. I, too, am about living simply. I made the same decisions that you seem to be making now. Congratulations!! You won't believe how much is ahead of you.

Remember... you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Don't let them shit on your parade. Don't let them talk you out of anything. Hold your head high and know that you are living for you. It's an amazing feeling.

Grace,
Kerry

k said...

Oh! How exciting!

louise said...

Jack, just do it, I agree with you life is short, but it's YOUR life, so you need to live it as you see fit, not everyone else.

Jonna (aka mom) said...

yep. Jack is finally getting serious. This is going to be good.

LET THE REAL ADVENTURE BEGIN!

Jerry Critter said...

Go for it, Jack. The world is waiting for you. Tomorrow never comes. It is always today!

Miles To Go Before I Sleep...... said...

"I want to live my life furiously, with tons of traveling, love, friendship, bicycling, and some serious fucking in between."

Well said!

At first I had a little "word shock", then I realized.... you just say what we think OUT LOUD! Loved it! :-)

Don't know if you quit or what jumped up and bit you in the ass but it sounds like a big deal is about to happen!

Take John seriously! If you start traveling-- you better make a stop in the good 'ole quad cities!

I'll be watching for more posts!

*note to jack: I understand deeply that yes, you, me, john, everyone we know and love can be gone tomorrow.

Hugs,
Dana

three moons said...

Ahh... when you get to the "fuck it" stage, thats when things get real interesting, lol.

Jill said...

Wow ... pretty intense decision. A brave one at that. There is much to lose but infinitely more to gain. Good luck!

stranger in a strange van said...

this is it! the turning point when you realize all the best laid plans might need to be dug up and thrown out. why should you put yourself through more misery? get the hell outta there, come what may!

Miss Scorpio said...

I truly appreciate your choice of words. Best of luck! I can't wait to hear more.

My Eco Self said...

Just get on with it then.

a square peg said...

go for it, jack! i look forward to be inspired by your daring!

Jack said...

Laura,

Yes, I did. Still negotiating stuff, so not sure when my last day will be. I will know more tomorrow.

JD,

I will definitely keep that in mind!

Claire,

No worries. Have plenty of $ to keep me going for a while and already moving to the next step: the perfect job. All of this is, of course, incorporated into the Plan.

Jack said...

Kerry,

Welcome! I will take all of that to heart. And keep me posted on your own journey.

K,

Tell me about it! I can't stop smiling as I type.

Louise,

Here, here!

Jack said...

Jonna,

Thanks for the encouragement. Hope all is well with you and you got over your illness ok.

Jerry,

Tell me about it! As always, we are in agreement.

Dana,

I want you to know that a small part of today is owed to you guys. Of all people, you know about making things count. I'll see about catching up with you guys real soon.

Jack said...

Three moons,

You said it. Things are already interesting. Fuck it stage rocks!

Jill,

Thanks for the kudos. Hope all is well now that you are back home.

Stranger,

Believe me, I kinda thought about you when I decided to seriously rework my own plan. It happened to you and it made me feel ok with it. It's all good...

Jack said...

miss scorpio,

Thanks. BTW, digging yout blog more and more.


My eco self; a square peg

Will do guys, will do!

Jennoit said...

Wow. Looks like a good day for me to stumble across your blog. I have no idea who you are or anything about you, but I still want to say RIGHT ON! Life is too short - and I mean that. I get it.

Heather's Moving Castle said...

This is better than watching the movie RUDY! I'm so happy for you. The universe works in mysterious ways. Thanks for the good news!

~Heather :)

Sub Girl said...

WOO HOO!! HELL YES! AMEN! RIGHT ON! AMEN!

Sorry I tend to get carried away.

Good for you!

Elizabeth said...

Hell yeah! Awesome!

What's funny is that I came by to recommend a book called "How Starbucks Saved My Life". One of his 3 themes is "Leap with faith." It looks like you've just done so.

cynthia said...

raised glass to the serious fucking!

priorities, eh?

love from Texas

nea said...

man, that was a cliffhanger!

Sharon J said...

Good for you, Jack!

I came a hair's breath from death a few years ago and it was 50/50 whether I'd survive for a while following so I know exactly what you mean when you say it could all be over tomorrow. When friends (my family are more understanding) tell me to 'be careful' and not do this or that, I tell them I'd rather die now knowing I've done the things I want/need to do rather than grow into old age (which I probably won't anyway) with regrets for everything I didn't do.

Get out there and play YOUR game. Life's short enough as it is.

Fonk said...

Bravo! I wish I could make such a bold move myself, as I find myself thinking much the same way about my life in corporate America. However, such moves become a much more difficult matter to contemplate when you're providing for a wife and three kids, too. I'm working on the simplifying though, so hopefully I'll eventually get there - will just take me a little longer...

Congratulations!

donna said...

you sound like a man on a mission, what a fired up post!can't wait for the next installment jack.

Kerry said...

Jack.

You can check out what I'm up to at bound4india09@wordpress.com

Hope to see you there.

"I want to live my life furiously, with tons of traveling, love, friendship, bicycling, and some serious fucking in between. I want to have the time to figure out who this Jack person really is. I want to have the opportunity to be reckless, but only in the pursuit of knowledge, experience and, ultimately, meaningful wisdom. I want to live my life as if everyday is my last day on earth."

This is what it's all about... or what it SHOULD be all about. Do it... do it well. Know that people are cheering for you along the way.

Kerry

Kerry said...

my bad...

bound4india09.wordpress.com

not @ wordpress.com

Kristina said...

Go get em, Jack! The road and LIFE await you with open arms!

Jack said...

Jennoit,

Thanks for visiting and thanks for the kudos. Looks like you are a fellow biker. Already like you.

Heather,

Thanks for the support. Always nice get it.

Sub Girl,

Thanks a bunch. I hope you are feeling better, btw

Jack said...

Elizabeth,

You have NO idea how freaky that is. A friend of mine was reading that book last weekend at barnes and noble. Sounded like an interesting read and she mentioned that I would love it given where things are headed. Woa...

Cynthia,

How true:)

Nea,

No worries, I should have a follow-up post later today with some more details.

Jack said...

Sharon,

I definitely knew YOU would get that bit. Life is, indeed, short. You have to get out there and take life by the horns.

Fonk,

Yeah, that's actually the subject of a future post. This whole Plan thing would be exceedingly more complicated if I had to deal with family stuff. Good luck.


Kerry,

Woa, that's a pretty interesting journey you are taking on. Another part of the world I want to explore. Definitely keep in touch. Want to know where it goes.

Living the good life....together!! said...

Jack,

I'm back, but in a different new and awesome way. I am living in an intentional community. I would like to offer you sanctuary here with us. We are sustainable with organic gardens, chickens, and wild game.

Lots of Love
Ali (my new rainbow name)

Jack said...

Donna,

Thanks!

Kristina,

I am on my way...

Ali,

Wow, it's nice to hear from you again. I'm glad you have a place where you belong. Lets stay in touch; still have some stuff to do over here before full freedom is secured.

PleaseRecycle said...

I love this! And I'm a bit surprised. Your "plan" seemed so well thought out, organized, and scheduled. I'm curious what brought about the big change- a feeling/emotional state? or an actual event? I recently left my job (for different reasons) and it felt great!!

I think I have now found my jobby (job/hobby). I hope you do too!

Elizabeth said...

cool. I had never heard of it, but a coworker and I happened to be around at the same time on Wednesday. When she saw me, she remembered that she had brought a book in for me to borrow; she had read it and thought I'd enjoy it. I took it home Wednesday night and read it - and then it occurred to me that you might like it ..

familyonbikes said...

I know how scary that moment is - when you walk into your boss' office and say, "This is it. I'm quitting." But in the end, you'll know you did the right thing for YOU. And that's what counts.

You are so right that you never know what tomorrow will bring - you can only live for today.

Hope it all goes well!!

Nancy
www.familyonbikes.org

Jennifer F. said...

I thought this might be coming. :) Based on my experience, once you mentally check out of a job you cannot check back it. You're done, even if you don't know it yet.

One thing to remember: no matter how scary it seems, you're not going to starve. It's not like we live in a poverty-stricken third world country where there is an issue of whether or not you'll be able to get nourishment. (Shoot, if it got bad enough your blog readers would probably be happy to throw some grocery store gift cards your way.)

So, all that is to say: jump! And have no fear. It will all work out.

...And as your token religious nut commenter, I have to add the suggestion that you say a couple prayers too. :) You never know.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog since you started posting, and while I know I'm not seeing your whole life, I am seeing what you choose to show. And what you choose to show is a guy who has problems with addiction and misogyny. It's not just the stuff that's messing up your life.

You probably need a different job, and possibly a different lifestyle. But you definitely need therapy. Change yourself and your life will follow.

Jack said...

Pleaserecycle,

I'm actually devoting my next post to this issue. Let's just say something clicked and it all made sense. Congrats on the move. What's the hobby? Should check out your blog as well.

Elizabeth,

Yeah, it definitely sounded like something I would be into. I have dibs when my friend is done with it.

Jennifer,

No joke, but your first paragraph says it best. It's pretty much what happened. I just needed to be convinced that it was all done on my end. Saying some prayers tonight myself. Thanks for the support.

Christian said...

Well, this will be fun to watch. Afraid at 40 all your life's conditioning is not going let go without a fight. If you want to read something that will help stay the hell out of the Barnes and Nobles. Read some of this guy:
http://ugkrishnamurti.org/

I am wishing you well but I hope you do not get what you are looking for.

Christine said...

This blogpost is AWESOME! Your junk looks great (I'm sure I wouldn't have even noticed your nerdy helmet if I saw it). Great blog. Plan to frequently visit as I am stumbling to find that life really is too short.

Jack said...

Nancy,

Thanks for the comment. Yeah, this ties neatly with your post on why you guys started your trip. Alway fascinated with how people make such life-changing decisions.

Anonymous,

Thanks for the comment. This is why I decided not to moderate comments. Always appreciate constructive, thoughtful ones.

To be frank, there might have been a month or two years ago when the thought/fear of substance addiction might have crossed my mind, but that is definitely not an issue today. As for misogyny, I guess that would depend on your definition of the term. Happy to do a whole post on the issue and/or communicate via email on it. Will take the therapy suggestion to heart!

Christian,

Afraid I don't quite understand your comment. I'm not 40 (or are you referring to yourself?) and not sure why you don't want me to finish my journey. Do repost and elaborate though.

Christian said...

Hey Jack, sorry about the age thing. Misread an earlier comment.

It's not that I do not want you to finish, but there is no finish. If you find what you are looking for you will find yourself in the same trap you were in when you were a lawyer. Your surroundings might be different, but it will be the same.
Maybe you will try to be the most respected person in the commune. :^) It sounds like you are just looking for new experiences, nothing wrong with that, but it is nothing different and it will not lead to your liberation. (Sorry, the Buddhist in me is coming out.)

I am glad to read what you are doing. Few realize that we are living an illusion and the shit we think we need are really only things we want. I live on $1100 per month and I still save money. I have been from Hawaii to Italy and most points in between. Easy. Joy. Peace.

Feel free to email me if you want to talk more. I am in Carrboro, NC so let me know if you are passing by. Lots of friends here that share these thoughts.

Jack said...

Christine,

Thanks for the comment. Always nice to hear nice things about the blog. :)

Christian,

Thanks for the follow-up. I think we are talking past each other a bit. I don't think the things I am doing (this so-called Plan, leaving my job, etc...) will make me happier. This process is a means to an end. I am hopeful that because I am doing these things and making diff choices I will be in a position to pursue happiness more directly and without all the noise that meaningless materialism puts out in our culture. I hope that makes sense.

Christian said...

Happiness does not arise out of planning and is not dependent on any state. How often I have heard; "I will be happy when..." or "I will be able to meditate if I get the right cushion."

What you are talking about is pleasure, not happiness. Happiness is unconditional, like love is unconditional. Since it is unconditional you can be happy right now. You can happily quit your job, happily lose your tent, happily make love, happily die.

Pleasure and displeasure are conditional and impermanent. The fact that they are impermanent is what creates the problem.

You can experience happiness now, and in fact I think you mostly are. I just would like to give you a hint that what you have tasted you cannot pursue.

I know you will understand this someday because I see it in your writing. This is no criticism, because there is not right way to do this. So you are doing the exactly right thing. :) Don't listen to me, or anyone else, you are perfectly unique. Run with it.

"All I can guarantee you is that as long as you are searching for happiness, you will remain unhappy." _ U. G. Krishnamurti

kiwigirl said...

Just came to your blog from DC Blogs.

Great post - I loved:

"I want to live my life furiously, with tons of traveling, love, friendship, bicycling, and some serious fucking in between."

OK - so apart from the bicycling aspect - that just about sounds perfect.

K :)

Marissa said...

Speak of the damn devil. I had this same conversation with my mom this weekend (save for the "serious fucking" part) and am sort of on the verge of making some drastic changes, as well. Very well put.

Jack said...

Christian,

Thanks for the additional follow-up. I have a feeling I have a ton of living to do to even begin to understand all of this. All I know is that I am on the right track.

Kiwigirl,

Thanks for the comment. Nice to know there are local blog people giving me kudos.

Marissa,

I hope those serious changes are exactly what you want. Are these on the professional front perchance?

Paul said...

Congratulations! I look forward to reading about your adventures. I am thinking of going on an adventure myself...

Jack said...

Paul,

Thanks for the comment. What's the adventure about?

Anonymous said...

Its good to realize how short your life is, and to know what the real important things in life are. But how can the important things be friends, love, simplicity, etc - when you might be dead tommorrow? Once dead we all face the judgement of what we have done while on earth - God's standard is perfection - anything less is a sure plan for the wrath and anger of God. Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and salvation from Gods just wrath. Christ paid the imeasurable debt of our sins through his death and ressurection. Then you'll really have something to life for, for eternity. Just because the good news is simple that doesn't mean its false.

MysTery said...

Nice! Love that last picture.

steve said...

This is a powerful post. I appreciate the vigor, the intensity here... thanks