Although I am not of the Millennial, I am however, thrust into the lives of Millennials through my children and through this ever speedy paced society we live in. I am now totally at loss when my wifi is not working and streaming takes forever. I hit Google search whenever I need to know anything and rely on social media to stay connected to my friends and see what is topical. The Olympic Games has been fabulous on these platforms with our time zone differences. As parents of the Millennials we affirm these beautiful creatures and enforce that it is essential to follow careers that are passions, every social media platform promotes “following your dream”, “live in the moment”. Articles abound with success stories of people as old as me changing their career paths drastically and wishing they had done it years ago. I am part of that group like my parents before me, that slaved away to obtain the house with the picket fence, but left with a feeling of discontent or should I say unhappiness. The thing is, if you procrastinate in choosing what you want, inevitability will make sure that the choice is made for you by circumstance.
Captain Fantastic, the most epic movie of Ben Cash who with his wife Leslie (manic depressant) decide to “stick it to the man, power to the people” by removing their family from the norms of society and take them to the wilderness of Washington State. They live off the land in every way, with some pretty gory kills and rights of passage thrown in. Ben educates, disciplines their brains, puts them through physical gruelling exercise, music, dance, kindness and a deep seated love for each other. Their whole life is thrown into disarray when they have to return to the city and their system is compromised by what society expects of them. I won’t carry on with the movie as I am not trying to write a review, the essence is however, be brave enough to find your path and achieve it. The most notable part of the story is at the end, when the oldest son is leaving and Ben holds his cheeks in his hands, their foreheads touching and eyes searching and commands him above more than anything “to be kind”.
A dear friend from years back coincidentally sent me a beautiful letter written by Hunter S. Thompson in 1958 to his friend Hume who asks for advice for his future, he opens the letter quoting Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be; that is the question, whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles”. He put that to Hume, did he want to choose to float with the tide or swim for a goal. Every outcome is a result of your initial choice. His advice in the letter is most significantly STIVE TO BE YOURSELF. Do not conform to goals, or rather make sure you choose paths that let your abilities function towards the gratification of your desires. He finishes his letter saying “it is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it. There is more to it than that – no one HAS to do something he doesn’t want to do for the rest of his life, if thats what you end up doing, by all means convince yourself that you HAD to do it, you’ll have lots of company”. Hunter became one of the most important writers of the 20th century, and Shakespeare before that was quoting the identical mindset.
I was always one of those with lots of company hiding behind what “I had” to do. I have taken the step. I have moved on. My life has taken a 360 degree turn. I have a new career, and a new lifestyle about to begin. It will be more frugal, more true. My heart has started pumping again, there is excitement (and a bit of terror) in every day.
“Carpe Diem, make your lives extraordinary”