Every year I write a “Christmas Letter” telling all of my family and friends about all of my adventures, misadventures, and any amusing milestones that I’ve hit in my life.
Clearly I am a little behind…
I mean I traveled over 20,000 miles in the last year, all within the continental United States. I have hiked in 7 different national parks or forests. I went to Pride in San Francisco. My jeep Broke down in 5 different states. I decided to move out of my condo and into a house that’s current status was (and still is) “not done yet”. I returned to the touring world, but in a management position this time around. I teched a pre-broadway show that now calls the Imperial Theatre home in NYC. I drank till the sun had come up with a Blue Man in Vegas. I worked enough that I need to file taxes in 11 states. I officially climbed on things I shouldn’t have in 13 states. I met a beautiful woman who has an equally beautiful 2 year old son who I am now a father to. I took a full time management position with an amazing company… I also have learned a lot of things in 2018.
The biggest thing I learned was that the actually a quote from an old backpacker an author ran across, an unknown old wise man if you will. The wise man told the author, “We carry all our fears in our backpacks”.
What the hell does that mean? On a first thought, yes, it’s obvious that it’s a metaphor. Our fears slow us down, they weigh us down. To be happy you must rid yourself of excess baggage… if that’s where your mind went then you are getting a bit too deep and not deep enough all at the same time.
When we travel we pack a bag in hopes it will have everything that we think we’ll need. Let’s take my bag that I carry to work everyday. It has the things I will need every day like my computer, mouse, power supply, and the folder with all the information that I need for the city. It also has things I might need like a laser disto, ibuprofen, rain jacket, etc. Then there are the things I will probably never need (I recently stopped carrying these) like the 2-prong outlet adapter, small triage kit (gloves, compression bandages, quick clot, CPR mask, etc), and a hard copy of all the company emergency numbers…
I am and always will be an Eagle Scout. Be Prepared” means for anything, but those items are for the neurotic. I mean grounding outlets have been the law of the land since 1969. Any building that has been built or renovated since then has 3 pronged outlets, yet I carried an adapter around for years. The triage kit was redundant, my employers travel an entire 4ft wide/2ft deep/6ft tall crate full of first aid gear as well as multiple crash kits… but you know, be prepared was my thought process. As for the hardcopy of the emergency numbers… let’s be real, if I am using them, it’s from my cell phone which I have all of those numbers saved in.
So why did I carry these items? Because I was afraid I’d need them. 2018 was a year that I actively worked on shedding my fears. I solely freelanced for the first time in almost a decade. I hopped in my Jeep and drove with no plan other than figure it out. I committed to my first real relationship since my divorce. I sold my sou… I mean I took a job with Feld Entertainment. Any one of those big changes would freak out some people, let alone doing all of them in a year… But with each change came a new set of fears. A new set of things to carry in my metaphorical (and literal) bags. however through a conscious effort I slowly weeded things out that I only carried out of fear.
Thank god the bag I carry is so much lighter now, I mean can you imagine the over-weight charges it would have taken to get all that crap to Colombia?
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