I know I have already written about why I like to spend my life barefoot, but running around barefoot is only one of many things I do that the general public seems to find strange, closely followed by prolific tree-climbing and excessive marmite consumption.
It has never occurred to me not to do exactly what I want to. I don’t ignore my responsibilities or run around pillaging – I just mean that if I think something looks fun or seems like a good idea, I do it. Being barefoot is a good example because it’s something largely frowned upon by society. As I’ve said before – I get mixed reactions including anything from thumbs-up to weird looks and occasional rudeness. But that never really made me want to put on a pair of shoes. I don’t like shoes, so I don’t wear them. Fin. Another example is my penchant for travel. Most people I encounter in the US find me to be extraordinarily well-travelled, but to be honest I never really put much thought into it. Really, what usually happens is a thought like “Wow, I would love to go to an awesome new place” closely followed by a visit to kayak.com and a few weeks later, another stamp on my passport. Assuming you have some sort of income, don’t have to lug a bunch of kids with you, and aren’t trying to go somewhere with strict visa procedures, yes, travelling really is that easy.
I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why I don’t often find people who choose to live life in a similar fashion. Sure, I meet those who have similar interests or don’t mind being a bit outlandish – but it’s extremely rare to come across someone who will randomly do anything just because why not.
“But Fiona,” they all say, “Why not is not a reason to do something.”
And then I ask, “Why not?”
And there’s no answer.
Because “Why not” is not a question. It is the answer.
Could you imagine if we only did things for which there is a specific reason? We would eat when we were hungry, sleep when we were tired, and do nothing else. If we assumed some sort of sentience, then perhaps we would also procreate when the need struck and occasionally seek out human companionship. Now I know we all have jobs and occasional doctor’s appointments, but think- when was the last time you did something that did not fall into one of those categories? Does it ever seem like you do other things like watch TV and go on the Internet just to waste time between doing those four things? That’s called complacency. And it’s killing us.
Look, I’m not some crazy hippie living in a tree with no job or cares in the world. I have a demanding full-time job and lots of little things going wrong in my life, just like we all do. I’m not saying we should all shirk our responsibilities and dance around in the meadows making daisy chains (but that is an open invitation, good for anyone who shows up on my doorstep). I’m just pointing out that we, as a human race, are pretty boring.
People often make pop culture references and upon seeing my blank stare, accuse me of living in a cave. But did you know there are flying machines that can take you to faraway places in just a few hours? Did you know that on the Internet, there are things to read and learn about in addition to cat videos and photos of your exes? Did you know that if you just go outside for a walk, you’ll learn something new about yourself? People seem so shocked to hear little things like “Oh, I went and got lost in the woods this weekend” or, “Yeah, I’ve been to India” that I definitely don’t think I am the one living in a cave.
So if there’s something you want to do, that you think will make you happy even just for an instant, why aren’t you doing it? You don’t have to take off for Mongolia – just do something that never occurred to you before. Jump in a puddle. Read a book that looks way too long. Try belly dancing. Fly by the seat of your pants; be spontaneous; do something just because you can’t think of a reason not to, and find energy in it. Don’t live outside your comfort zone – expand your comfort zone to include things that are exciting and unusual. Get out of your cave and interact with the world. You don’t need a reason.