From the time I was little (I mean, we're talking kindergarten here, folks), I always knew that I wanted to go to college, get a fabulous job and live the good life. And although that dream of becoming a supermodel / doctor / FBI agent didn't quite pan out, I pretty much achieved it (as long as you consider the good life as "only having to eat Ramen Noodles less than three times a week").
Being a one-track minded kind of gal, I never paid too much attention to other types of lifestyles. And although the movie "Rent" fascinated me and made me think the whole starving artist thing was glamorous (especially if you're doing it with a guy as hot as Roger), simply put, I'm just the kind of person who needs security in the form of a consistent job and reliable shelter.
But then my good friend and colleague, Leslie Wilber, (who is a lady and a scholar, despite what is written on bathroom walls across the nation) sent me a New York Times article about a lifestyle that enthralled me. Featuring hardcore vegan, anarchist, punk rockers, the article highlighted how they lived in their aptly named "punk houses." Living in trailers, warehouses, even tree houses, they reject all that is mainstream and live for their music / art / passion.
For someone whose entire life has centered around deadlines, bills and an addictive need to be connected to the Internet, this punker life seemed like the ultimate dream to me. No worries, no rent, total freedom. To just be free to write and read and have conversations that don't end with, "Man, I hate my boss" (just kidding, Mr. Cobler).
In fact, the article got me thinking. I have at least three former college friends who have struck out after graduation and decided that the rat race wasn't for them. One friend worked in an accounting office for about a year, saved his money, quit and ran around Argentina for six months just soaking up life.
Another one dropped out his fifth year, got a high paying job in some engineering office, then quit and decided to travel across the U.S. in his beat up car.
And lastly, my friend Curt, always a hippie at heart and one of the most intelligent people I know, is currently working as a bartender in Arizona and has yet to get a job anywhere close to his field.
Secretly I admire all three of them. Being in our 20s, now is the time to do that crazy crap. To their faces, of course though, I tell them they are stupid (if only out of jealousy).
As much as I'd love to sell all my earthly belongings (minus a pair or nine of my favorite shoes) and set out for the open road, there are several things I just don't quite get, like
1. How does one even begin to sell all their earthly belongings? Where do you go to sell it? Is there a "So You Want To Be a Hippie Now?" re-sale store?
2. How do you get around paying off those other pesky bills you have, like student loans and credit cards?
3. How do you find these communal punk houses in the first place and will they even let you stay there?
Hmm...I think I may be a little too literal minded to be punk. Which sucks. I can just see myself now, hanging out with some anarchists and I'm the only one worried about if the dishes we are eating off of are really clean.
But maybe someday. Who knows? I'm still young. And maybe I can find some like minded creative types such as myself who also want to leave it all behind and live a Bohemian existence...all the while still connected to the Internet.
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