Life is strange
It happens when you think you are having the most and the best of it. You’re riding the big wave in the big storm and you feel good about it. No, I mean, you feel freaking amazing. Then you get smashed down and you have to restart again. And again. And again… It happens when you choose uncertainty over certainty, when you choose to ride the big, unexplored waves instead of swimming in the quiet known waters.
Your wave starts like this
2012 – You graduate, you get a nice job, you like it. You work, you work & travel, you make your first money. This is why you’ve been studying for the past 16 years. To get a nice, secure job with career prospects.
Thanks: “Thank you mother for all your struggles to let me get at this point. I made it, thanks to your tears, thanks to your sacrifice. You did it more than me. Your suffering was my biggest motivation, it was my biggest driver. I’ll never be grateful enough. Thanks brother, you’ve always encouraged me too. Your desire for perfection always inspired me and I’ll always admire that struggle for perfection in you. Thanks my friend, best friend ever – that kind of friend which everybody dreams about. Kind of person which understands silence, laughs at your stupid jokes and encourages you when everybody else does the opposite.”
2012-2013 – You read some philosophical books, your mind changes. Your internal world is shaped. The external world around you also gains a new color. You start to understand what is wrong with Italy, with Europe, with war, with politics, with bureaucracy, with a life without purpose. Consequently, you strongly feel the need to take action, to do something else. To do.
Or as Leonardo da Vinci puts it:
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
And goes like this
October 13th, 2014 – You decide to ride it. You’re going to take it, the unknown wave. You’re going to feel it, you’re going to suffer through it, but you’re going to make it. Savings counted, plans are made. Alea iacta est. Or the dice has been cast. You booked your spot at one of Exopshere boot camps in Chile. You are excited about meeting other riders in the search of the unknown. Because you really want to do it, you decide to get back only 9 months after. Flight booked for March 6th 2015.
October 15th 2014 – Car Crash. Well this is how it happens. Because Life is Strange. On the highway back from work, tired, you fall asleep driving at 130km/ h. You’re alive, you breath, you think about yourself the few seconds after that. And you demolish your car, with almost no resentments. You’re alive and this is all that matters. Meanwhile you lose 1/3 of your planned savings (demolish car, pay fine and buy new car to get to work for 2 more months). Well, of course you’re not going to give up, just because of this accident. You will live in a tenth if necessary, but you’ll take that wave, you think about yourself. You’re going to explore your abysses in that “entrepreneurship” waters whatever it takes. Deal!
End of January 2015 – 1 month to go. Well, you need some sort of technological device to ride that “technological” wave – called Hydra boot camp. You want a secure surfboard for at least a few years. You want a Mac. You want cheap. You want too much. Never buy again expensive stuff on sites like subito.it, by paying in advance. Yes it was stupid. You were always careful with this kind of transactions. But not this time. Lesson learned. 1/4 of my remaining savings lost. Again and again. Another 1/10 spent for an used 13-inch Samsung . (So far happy with it).
Meanwhile, some Aristotle wisdom is hitting you:
“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”
And at this point you start feeling uncomfortable about the money apart.
You’re unsure about your future goals. You acknowledge the fact that you are more stupid than wise. You have some materials (let’s say a notebook). You are going to learn some exopsherian methods. But this doesn’t bother you at all. You have faith, you are positive and you smile and that’s all that matters, you think about yourself. You don’t have the tent though. Not yet.
Anyway, with the savings left, you plan to survive 9 months, exploring life options.
March – May 2016 Hydra Bootcamp in Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile. You had the best two months of my life without sex there J. It was kind of mental orgasm every day. You are lucky enough to get excited very easy about pretty much anything. You are deeply grateful to all those boot camp guys and girls, participants and staff, for challenging and shaping your world once again. Lots of tears and deep human emotions every day. Unforgettable human connections. Lots of entrepreneurship and life insights. A few methods to get closer to … pretty much anything. You were at the top of the wave and you were feeling damn good about it. You’ve never had more faith in humans, in your dreams, in your future and in your own abilities to make things happen. You feel deeply grateful. You’ll never forget.
May – August 2015 Excited about the times to come, you decide to stay in Viña del Mar. Amazing dinners, good time, astonishing sunsets, what to do next, no goals, depression, no time… Life is Strange. Time flies fast.
Girlfriend while riding the unknown wave
Life is difficult. And definitely it’s never easy with a life partner :), but it’s getting several times tougher while riding the unknown wave. She’s a special person. Good person. Always smiling. Amazing cook. Strong. Beautiful, blue eyes. But this doesn’t make the things easier. It didn’t. She has her own struggles. You have yours. And synchronizing with each other’s waves is difficult. She can’t understand and you can’t deliver through words what’s happening in your mind. Common thing, you think. Tough times during the boot camp and specially after. You feel you don’t want to spend time explaining things instead of doing something. You strive to be understood, but it’s tough when you’re not. You have limited time. Unhealthy expectations also play their role.
September 2015 – Break up. Hard.
New unknown wave
September – November 2015. You stayed 6 months in Chile and you’ve never tried to speak any Spanish. Time to fix it. New goal. You decide to leave Viña del Mar for Puerto Varas in the south of Chile. You go to work in a hostel. Hoping to interact more with Spanish speaking people. Not going to happen. The owner is French – Pierre. His wife is Chilean. You practice some of your French as well. A bit more than you did with your French roommates back in Viña (they were amazing by the way). Pierre has also an English School. Pierre invites you to teach English there – full time until the end of your staying, because people from East Europe have a good English accent. Life is Strange. You laugh and a bit incredulous you immediately accept. You want to try all kind of things. And at this point, Emerson’s piece of gold (from Self Reliance) resonates with you and nourishes further your faith in your actions:
“…If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life. A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls. He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not ‘studying a profession,’ for he does not postpone his life, but lives already. He has not one chance, but a hundred chances…”
Since nothing really drives you towards accomplishing something meaningful and big as your mother’s suffering did, you decide to explore things, to strive, to suffer until you get driven by some shades of passion towards ONE big goal.
And you really enjoy this wave. You explain language tricks and English grammar to kids, teenagers and adults (from 10 years old up to 50 years old).
It’s fun, because you have faith. Sometimes it’s sad, or it’s that feeling when you don’t know what you really feel, what’s in your heart and mind so you cry and it’s fun again. Again and again.
So you feel you got a clearer direction on your way, you get inspired and excited by different things again. One day the word “house” starts to resonate somewhere deep into you. It always did, but now you take action and do something about that. So you think how to build your own – low cost. With love. So you get interested in architecture. So you google and you download some materials. You check MIT website, they have architecture course online with some materials available for you. And you start taking drawing lessons, just to understand these strange drawing perspectives from one, two and three vanishing points. Before you get further. It’s kind of interesting. You know it’s a long trip and you need to stick to it for a long time, you need a lot of discipline if you… But you don’t mind, you have all the time in the world as long as you are alive and you have something to eat and somewhere to sleep. So you dream, while doing your sketches.
So you keep dreaming. So you buy another plane ticket to Brazil this time. You want to continue your journey into unknown in South America. But first you go to embrace your family back in Europe. You are four, in four different countries. In December 2016, you go to visit them all.
But before that you get hit again.
Failure and misfortune for breakfast, lunch and dinner
20 November 2016 – You have a car left in Italy parked somewhere in a large public parking. Nobody drives it. Insurance is expired. You didn’t manage to sell it before you left. It stayed there for almost 9 months and nobody touched it, but one week before you get back to finally sell it, you get a huge fine and all other kind of expenses associated. Almost all your savings. Life is________ (you choose). Well, you didn’t do anything wrong, you know and everybody knows. But you have to pay. This is the law. You don’t curse at Italy and at Italian policemen or laws, because you understand what is wrong with Italy and with the concept of law in the hands of bureaucrats in any part of the world.
You take failure and misfortune for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’re used to it.
You breathe deeply and you go to Brazil. Iguazu is your next big stop. You continue having fun, keep drawing, accelerating English learning of people in need and why not – some Italian, Romanian, French or Russian. You also dream about family and children. But this is another story.
PS: Practical Goals: Learn to draw, Improve Spanish, Learn Portuguese, Improve Memory techniques, Learn some Architectural Design, Accelerate language learning of people in need.
Wisdom: Action and Contemplation, Contemplation and Action, Bible
Money: On their way (you hope)
Methods: Discipline, Responsibility, Love, Balance (Thank you Mr. Peck)
Materials: Notebook, Brain, Enthusiasm, Smile
PPS: Well, and didn’t you think it’s done, did you? Here you go – you’re about to get “smashed” again. The story doesn’t end. You fell asleep at 3.00 am after finishing to write your post. You want to have a good sleep and to wake up tomorrow with a clear mind in order to publish it. No way. Someone enters your room at about 8 am and you suddenly wake up because of the noise. You turn around and see an ass… a NAKED ASS. It is just 30 cm far from your face. She is a blonde, tall, apparently beautiful girl. Ok, this story needs a new dedicated post.