There is a wonderful speech Jim Carrey gave at Maharishi University of Management’s graduation. I encourage you to watch it in full, but this particular portion below is quite inspiring. Take a moment to watch:
There are moments in my life where I could have chosen or was well on my way to choosing a more practical path, even if my heart was tugging in a different direction. I vividly remember sitting with my father a couple years after college, going over my finances and budgeting so I could make a down payment on a condo eventually.
“It will be tough. But you’re doing well, kiddo. I’m not worried about you.”
Remember when the economy took a rough tumble? The real estate market crashed. Wall Street threw up over everyone’s stocks. I lost my job. Many people lost their jobs. I could have easily been like so many people, stuck with a mortgage in a shit economy with no hope of selling in the near future.
It was a lucky break. I hadn’t seriously started looking into buying a condo yet when it happened.
Why the heck would I want to do that when I bought my car right after college, instead of leasing, just in case I landed a job abroad and I’d have to break a car lease. Yes, that’s how much I wanted to move back to London after I had my internship there and was forced to come back to the states a broke college grad with an expensive degree to start paying back.
If I couldn’t commit to a 3 year car lease, why the hell would I even look into buying a condo a couple years later then?
Fear disguised as practicality.
Real estate was the American Dream. It was what you were supposed to do.
Living abroad again? Where will you settle down if you’re not in the U.S.? What would you do for the holidays? How can you live a fulfilling life without the picket fence and 2.5 kids? Why would you want to do that?
I just knew I did, but the fear of not doing the standard thing tugged at me for a brief moment and I thought I should save for a condo.
Baby Jesus I’m glad it never worked out in hindsight. The universe is such a crazy beast.
My point in all of this is, on many, many different levels society gently whispers and asks you to do the standard thing and if you’re not feeling it, I mean really feeling it…there’s a reason. As Jim Carrey said in that speech, you can still do all the right things, make all the right decisions, provide exactly what is asked of you and you can still get laid off. What a total fucking slap in the face.
You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.
Do you know how many absurd things I’ve heard in regard to my travels, even this most recent trip coming up?
- MYANMAR? Why don’t you go somewhere normal?
- Dogs have rabies there. I hope you don’t come back frothing at the mouth.
- Southeast Asia again? You guys must really like being weird.
- You know you could stay home and visit other people instead?
- You have your whole life to travel. You don’t have to do it now.
- That seems so extravagant for this point in your life.
- I wish you wouldn’t go so I don’t have to worry.
- You must be millionaires. I’d rather spend my money on solid investments.
Thank God we don’t make our travel decisions based on what other people think of us, right?
Hey, buck-o. Same goes for you in any garden-variety decision you may have in your life. There is not one specific path you need to take and settling for the easy way because of money or pressure from the peanut gallery promoting practicality over your own damn way of doing something is just:
fear disguised as practicality.
I’m not saying do anything rash here like jump out of plane without a parachute because that’s a practical thing to wear. That would make you stupid. And dead. I’m saying if people are running their mouths about their own damn fears for you, which are often conveniently disguised as practicality, take it, put it in a little box, wrap a bow on it and toss it under the “Couldn’t Care Less Tree” for someone else to open and carry.
If I listened to every nasty, unsupportive comment said about getting married in England, we wouldn’t have shared a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If I listened to my grandparents tell me to not build too many castles in the sky, I wouldn’t have taken that life changing internship in London.
If I listened to traditionalists who said we should have a normal wedding registry, we’d never have taken our eye-opening honeymoon to Thailand and Cambodia.
If I listened to Jillian Michaels, I’d have better arms.
Wait a second…
Don’t live your life believing something isn’t possible because it isn’t practical. Conservative choices can still disappoint you.
Dare to ask the universe for what you want.