Recently my SLAMpig told me that my brain is unhinged in a way that enables me to accomplish things that others might not be able to. He was careful to mention that that didn’t mean I was obligated to accomplish things, just that they were accomplishable to me if I so desired.
Today I’m sitting at home in my air conditioned house looking at housing listings online. It hasn’t been a year since I moved here, to a place that I thought was paradise at the time. I told my friend that I was considering moving and she look at me incredulously.
Yes, again. I’m looking for something and I’m willing to take risks to find it. The problem is that what I’m looking for does not fit into the well defined categories of society. I’m seeking freedom, and my People. Those are not things that one can be sure to find if one follows the typical common sense advice.
That’s why I moved out here in the first place. I used to live a ten minute walk from my job. I was in a small apartment in a quiet-ish part of town. Lazy is a better word. It was a corner of town where people drove their cars to work and came home to their families and ate dinner watching tv. They are not my people, of course. But I thought that I might be able to find my people while living there so I stuck it out until 〇〇 called me. There was good reason that I would find my people in 〇〇, so I came here. Here, amid mountains and along a gorgeous river, I suffered through a brutal winter in a drafty house. Just as the weather started to turn pleasant, the tourists arrived, ushered in by my neighbor and his monstrosity of a “Family Lodge” which he carved out of a quiet mountain and now uses to turn peace, solitude and nature into noise, misery and pocket cash.
So I’m off to look again for another place to live. This time, like before, my goal is the same: I want to find a place to live that will put me in touch with my People. This time I have a much better idea of what to look for than before. In short, I know I need green and I know I need quiet. I also know I need a space where I can maintain my bikes. Moreover, this time I think I know who my People are, and where they are, and this time I’m going to pick a spot that I know for sure will make them easier to play with.
These are where I will find my People:
N’~ will be my People. Her friend Komachi will be my People, too.
SiZu-san will be my People. He kind of already is my people, but he’s far from me so it feels like he isn’t my People.
Sempai will be my People. He said he wants to be my people, and who am I to turn that down?
I found a spot that will make all of these people closer to me. It will also make my current workplace closer while keeping me at the foothills of my favorite ride: Iriyama Toge. And it will put me in closer touch with the people who I desperately want to adopt me: Team You Can, Hachioji.
Most people would think this is an awful lot of work to go through just to live closer to some people who aren’t my family. Most people would wonder why I would go through the trouble to still have an hour commute from my job. But I am not most people. I am unhinged and to me, this makes perfect sense. I live a Spartan life as I am told. I have few possessions and at least half of what I own is either a bicycle or a bicycle accessory. Moving for me is actually a simple thing outside of the adjustment period. Sure, I would like to have comfy furniture and Nice Things, but not if they prevent me from finding my Happiness and my People.
I suppose that part of what unhinges me is that I do not value what others value. I do not value comforts in the typical sense. I do not value fancy clothes or expensive electronics. Even as I type this I wonder to myself if there are people who do value those things still; that’s how far removed they are from my life. I do not value a respectable job as I know that a job is something given to me by an organization, not a human, and an organization cannot care for my well being. I do not value money because money cannot buy me People. I do not value convenience because convenience makes people dependent on the civilization around them. I do not value civilization because it separates us from our Humanity.
To me, my decisions are perfectly reasonable and hardly troublesome. I lose nothing of value and I gain adventure by picking up and moving to a new place. I gain the ability to hope for something better, the chance to try something new, the chance to succeed where I have failed in the past. Perhaps the greatest thing I gain is the ability to prove to myself that, I could if I wanted to.
I think Freedom is a skill that one must practice or it will perish. One must practice being free by breaking out of their box, tearing down their boundaries and frightening themselves with the possibility of tremendous change. Most people are not free. Most people are afraid to be free. I am not afraid to be free. I am unhinged.