How do I get out of the rat race Mr. White?

Shut the @*&$ up alarm! are not the words I want to start my day with, but this morning I do. It's 11 am and I have been asleep for only 5 hours, courtesy of the job induced insomnia. As I throw my laptop and other entangled accessories into my bag, I wonder if life was meant to be this pathetic. I recall the last night's episode of Breaking Bad, a show that's giving my insomnia a purpose.

Walter has just completed his first round of chemotherapy, and is awaiting Dr. Delacavoli's review on his PET/CT scan. Walt, his wife, their son, Walt's sister in law and her husband are all seated in a close group, hands joined, minds no doubt in prayer waiting for Walt's oncologist to complete his round of pleasantries and lay down the verdict. Dr. Delacavoli finally assesses the report: Walt's cancer has gone into remission, meaning it isn't spreading and has shown considerable shrinkage by an unprecedented 80% Walt's family rejoices, screams, cries and yells "This calls for celebration!!"

This put me instantly into thought. When did Walt's life go this dreadfully wrong? When did reasons for celebration digress from birthdays and baby showers, to reduction in a life threatening tumour? It got me thinking, if I was actually using the few years of life I have been given as a gift, to the fullest. Am I embracing this life to its total potential, or am I just another brick in the wall, destined to run the rat race.

I look at my guitar, untouched for 3 days now. Right then, mid bag packing I decide. I'm going to quit my job and by God, start living! But wait. What exactly is living? I'd like to think it is having the option to wake up whenever I want, walk outside and soak in the sunshine. Not be confined to a cubicle punching numbers. Travelling to countries and experiencing foreign culture. Riding my bike through a valley. Maybe just swimming in a pond. I'd like to think it as having the freedom to do what makes me happy when I wish to. Once the euphoria fades, logic kicks in. Doesn't all that require money? Loads of money! how do I make money without my boring job? I continue packing my bag. There will be no quitting today.

But then, I remember Christopher McCandless. He did just that! On his graduation day he realises the monotony he was headed towards and decides he was not going to have any of that! He drove off from home one day, determined to experience life. He abandons his car, throws away all his money and carries a backpack equipped with only the essentials. He believed the world would take care of him. He hitchhikes his way to Alaska, meeting people, tribes and families, experiencing happiness in the company of strangers. He works for a farmer who gives him shelter. Stays with an old man whose children have abandoned him. Finds refuge in an RV with a loving couple. He does make it to Alaska. For those of you who don't know his story, be sure to watch/read Into the Wild.

Could I really do that though? Leave all materialistic possessions behind and trek the world? Work for strangers in exchange for food, hitch hike to far away villages and dance with the locals, drink home brewed spirit under the stars? I wish I could. But not yet.

I sigh as my manager walks by, frowning at my unproductive waste of time. Why doesn't he ever walk by when I'm hard at work! I put my thoughts of a nomadic adventure aside and begin earning my dough.

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
― Christopher McCandless

I want this topic to be a dialogue. I'd like to know what you think about the prison we have trapped ourselves in, in an attempt to make the journey comfortable. Post your thoughts in the comment box below.


  1. I hope the one who has written it has not trapped himself in.. whatever the author might be doing now, not necessarily be his wish, but indeed his choice..

    If someone feels he/she is trapped in because of any situation or circumstances..i beleive one should have the courage to head towards the life they always wanted.. and make the way on their own..


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Thanks for your comment. It means a lot that you took time out of your busy day to bless us with your life changing opinions. On an unrelated note, sarcasm is fun, no?

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