Leave America to gain a new perspective in a foreign country. It’s a bit extreme, but the idea of it creates clarity of mind – knowing that in a few weeks, everything familiar will end.
Renowned French author Marcel Proust said,
“Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it – our life – hides from us, made invisible by our laziness, which, certain of a future, delays then incessantly.”
Being certain of a future destroys the richness of day-to-day life. But if you were certain that you’d die tomorrow, life would suddenly seem infinitely more precious. Seeing the world through this perspective in your day-to-day life would be exhilarating, but it has its pitfalls.
Certain duties that once seemed important would now appear absurd. Little tasks that once required constant immediate attention would be neglected. It wouldn’t be laziness. It’d just be the understanding that most first world problems are idiotic.
The challenges awaiting me in Thailand are a little more significant than their American counter-parts: the language & culture barrier, aggressive gangs of ladyboys, the possibility of being locked up in Thai prison for possessing a measly gram of marijuana. As my mind wraps itself around these new foreign hurdles approaching quickly, psychological secession from today’s mundane hurdles is unavoidable. The American Dream just doesn’t have the luster it once did.
Remember when tying your shoelaces was a challenge? This simple task used to be a means of proud accomplishment for you because you’d never done it before. But your childish enthusiasm for looping knots was appropriately replaced with apathy once you’d realized that it’s just another duty that everyone else also does each morning. Such is my life here, and that’s why I’m going to leave America. I’ve had enough of this apathy. The world is filled with shoelaces and I’ll learn to tie ’em all, one perspective at a time.