Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Midlife Crisis

Let's just hope the title of this post isn't completely accurate, because that would mean I would only live to be 44. But it is how I felt last night.

Josh and I watched 180 Degrees South last night on NetFlix. You can learn more about this movie here. Josh loves documentaries and the outdoors, so when it is his turn, we usually end up watching something similar to this. Typically, they are very educational and interesting and we feel much better after watching them than after the "fluffy" movies I usually pick.

Last night's choice had a different effect on me though. It made me question what I am doing with my life. I spend so much time analyzing mundane things (where the picture frames should hang, what I am going to wear today, who's beating me in Words With Friends...) when there are so many bigger and better things to be doing and worrying about. I don't want to end up living in suburbia in 15 years and look back and think "I wish I had done something cool when I was younger and had time/energy/motivation/no kids." Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things that are worse than living in suburbia. I just don't know if it is what I want. I don't want to be caught up in the typical nothingness that consumes so much of our lives and seems to thrive in upper middle class areas in America.

The ultimate point of this is that I want to live a simple life. I want to have a large garden, a cow, 2 chickens, and a horse. I want to be entertained by nature, not by tv, movies, and celebrities. Along with all of this, I want to live close enough to a town/city that we can ride our bikes to the local market for whatever we need.

This all sounds very quaint and nice, but to be honest, I have no idea how to really live a simple life. But it just sounds so much better than the usual chaos that can surround us.

I think I want to live in Europe.

Josh and I had quite a lengthy discussion about this after the movie. Anything that makes you stop and look at where you are and where you are going is wonderful, because it is too easy to just keep sprinting down a road that you don't always choose or want to go down. We are happy and we both feel like we need to be where we are, but we had a chance to peer deeper at where we want to be.

The conclusion that I have come to is that this desire I have for simplicity could come in a multitude of ways. It could be camping locally every weekend or hiking the Appalachian trail (this is one of Josh's dreams). It could be volunteering in different countries (this is our organization of choice at the moment after watching that movie!) or simply volunteering at the homeless shelter. And it will be a lot of simple things, like recycling, making our own bread, and having a garden.

The biggest impact the movie had was the realization, or reminder, that the world is bigger than me. Moving has made it easy to focus on myself and what I need. It was so good to remember that there are bigger problems than what I have.

This has been somewhat of a rant, but I believe those are necessary and healthy once in awhile.
I hope I can look back at this in 10 years and smile as I look around and see I am living how I wanted to.

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