Life on the Road - Returning Home
I haven’t been home for more than 2 months now, and the closer I get to returning the more excited I become. Moab is a great home base, but I am always looking for more adventure. The Monkey Den offers no cure for itchy feet (especially with those “seasoned” carpets). So the traveling continues, as it always will, for multiple months each year. There’s a certain uncomfortable stagnation that comes from being in the same place for too long. As I broke down on the highway yesterday, trying to drive across the desert, I had plenty of time to reflect on my most recent trip, and the culmination of events leading up to it in the last few years.
In September, Andy and I flew to Malaysia and Borneo to jump off some buildings. We were able to put together some fun videos of the experience, but I failed to express my true feelings. Most of the energy in the video is uplifting, exciting, energizing, inspiring. But what is actually going on, on a deep level? That remains to be determined. The mind and the body have many intricate connections, but neither deserves as much mindfulness as the spirit. How can I express the culmination of fear, intense sensory stimulation, and joy that BASE jumping provides to my core existence? How can I overcome the obvious concerns about the danger involved and good friends getting badly injured or dying every year? The myopia of average society goes no further than to assign a label to this behavior: adrenaline junky. It is so much more than that, and much more complicated. I don’t want you all to see the media that we’ve put together and not have the whole story.
Scotty jumping off KL Tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -Photo By David "Clem" Major
3 years ago I wrote this blog post: (Click Here) about my experiences with the above questions. It was my first real awakening to the beauty and horror of looking deep into my fabrication of a “self”, and how that identity tended to define my actions, for better or for worse. Before that time I couldn’t tell the difference between an ego and an elbow, though I could probably give you an adequate dictionary definition (thank you university education). My discoveries were so initially shocking that I stopped almost everything I was doing to analyze those actions and the motivations behind them. The facebook account was suspended, blog activity ceased, and I fell into a deep depression fraught with caustic addiction and lethargy. A pessimistic aura inundated my life, and there were only a few things holding me up, aside from the superficial interactions I had on a day to day basis. What is my purpose?
I left the country and everything behind with it, running further from this question, taking with me only my negativity, a meager and run-down sense of adventure and someone whom I cherish dearly. Escape was not the answer. Despite the romanticism of my journey, I still had no idea of my purpose, and was surrounded by other societal refugees who prolonged the inevitable – standing up to myself. At risk of destroying one of the most important relationships of my life, I set off on my own, to finally surrender to the flow of the current (what the hell, I was nearly drowning anyway). That’s about the time I packed everything into my car and drove out to Moab with the intention of living there. I haven’t been able to stay for more than a couple months at a time, and I haven’t found any tangible answers, but I feel that I am getting a bit closer; day by day.
Surrender is a beautiful thing, but also incredibly terrifying. Giving up an identity is the easy part, but letting the universe define one is incredibly hard. I am still learning, living, growing, but I know that I am continuing on the right path. Every day is marked by constant action, doing something amazing in a beautiful place. I challenge myself constantly, and try to keep doing new things and surprising myself. Staying outside of the “American rhythm” is paramount, stagnation is my greatest enemy right now. As long as I stay active, I can appreciate the beauty of this life, constantly, instead of holding on to past experiences or future ones. It is difficult, but very rewarding when it works. The last 12 months have displayed an incredible transformation in my mood, my personality, my identity, and my life. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about this transition, and see the importance of sharing that with the people I love. Only recently have I regained the strength and love to truly share myself again, and I thank you all for your patience.
We are all growing, and the world is in a more fragile place than ever. “We can’t change the world, but we change the way we live; you can’t always take, you also have to learn to give”. This is a line from one of my favorite songs and it pops into my head from time to time. I’d like to challenge everyone who reads this to take a few moments to look at your lives and to be honest with yourself when you ask this question: Are you happy on your current path? Don’t fool yourself with promises of comfort or joy in the future, I’m talking about right now, today, are you happy? In the spirit of being thankful, I challenge you all to not only give thanks this month, but to put that emotion into action. Doing so is incredibly liberating and eye-opening. This can be as simple as a random act of kindness, or as complex as your imagination allows :-) I still can’t answer the question “what is my purpose”, but when I’m surrounded with happy people, expressing their bounteous joy for life, I get a sneak peek at what that purpose might look like. This recent trip to Malaysia was one of those situations, and I’m very grateful for that experience. The people at the event were so full of love and joy and life that I couldn’t help but smile constantly, despite the fear and insecurities that I had. So far one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is that Love is worth living for, and worth dying for, as they are one in the same.
Thanks for reading; I would be honored to hear your reactions and comments.
Keywords: Andy, BASE, Jump, Lewis, Love, Moab, Rogers, Scott, Scotty, depression, jumping, slacklife, slackline
If you are looking at the way the mind fabricates a self, if you place as much value on spirit as you do mind and body, you most certainly are on the right path.
Purpose? This is where it gets tricky. We all have our individual path we must walk. But too much energy into coming up with a purpose for your life reinforces that fabricated self and pulls us away from the moment.
What greater purpose could there be than to walk your path, fully present in the moment, radiating good vibrations?
Keep on your path, and Thank You for sharing your experiences, both sensational and subtle.
You scare and delight at the same time.
You worry and relieve a hopeful heart at the same time.
You inspire always - at the same time.
You live, love, laugh, and learn - all at the same time.
You are joy and are such a joy!
"What the hell, I was nearly drowning anyway."
That moment Scott, is brilliantly horrible, terrifying, and full of possibility. Wow.
Happy? You bet man! Thanks for making me think about it. I was in Boston yesterday having dinner at a steakhouse and I heard this lady say it was her birthday. It was snowing, cold and dreary and this poor lady was having her birthday dinner all alone so I anonymously picked up her tab. Nice thing about random acts of kindness, they can make you feel just as good as the recipient. It was great seeing you the other day.
very nice words my friend!! you are definitely one hell of a dude!! so amped for future 'worlding' adventures
No comments posted.
Recent PostsRemoving Filters Friday Funnies 5: Messing with Moab Motorists Friday Funnies 4: Ways to Make an Airport Experience Less Boring Friday Funnies 3: Why Nobody Should Become a BASE Jumper, Ever Friday Funnies 2: How to Approach Women Without any Knowledge of their Native Language Selfishness and Death Friday Funnies 1: How to be Good at Everything Like Me! How To Slackline! by Hayley Ashburn Life on the Road - Returning Home Now Presenting: Scotty Rog!