Step Outside Your Box

Ridiculous Warning Sign

This morning, I woke up late.  Well, let me clarify.  I woke up 4 times, and went back to sleep each time.  I woke up at 4am the first time.  It was weird, because I usually don’t do that.  Then I woke up at each of my four alarms.  6:00, 6:10, 6:20, and 6:30am.  My friend asked me, “Why don’t you just set one alarm and actually wake up?”  There’s a complicated answer to that question, and I won’t be able to answer it on this blog for a while.  But I promise I’ll get back to it and explain.

So anyhow, I finally woke up around 8:10am.  I got dressed and headed out the door.  I drove straight to Einstein Bros Bagels for a (healthy?) kick-start to my morning.  I got my favorite: Bacon, Egg, and Provolone on a Potato Bagel.  I also got a small coffee, in which I mixed 49% Vanilla Hazelnut, 49% Euro French Roast, and 2% half and half.  (Why don’t they just call it ‘whole’?)  So I was ready to head to work, morning fuel in hand.

I headed southbound down I-10.  I-10 goes north-to-south in San Antonio, even though it’s an east-to-west interstate.  I always think of it as I-10 north-to-south, at least while I’m traveling in my home city.  I was frustrated with drivers all over the road.  Some of them were taking 13 seconds to change lanes.  I counted three women using some sort of paint brush to apply makeup to their cheeks.  Three.  Others decided that it was a good morning to go 45mph on the 65mph highway.  To say I was frustrated would be an understatement.  I took the exit toward my work, and…

That’s when it hit me.  If I took the east exit, rather than west, I could have headed to Jessica’s house, picked her up, and driven straight to the airport.  We could have arrived, purchased two tickets, and left for good.  I could hand my car key to someone leaving the airport.  A parting gift for them.  We could have jet setted somewhere we’ve never been before and left everything else behind.

The point isn’t that I didn’t hop on a plane this morning – it’s that the possibility was more real to me today than it ever has been before.  My heart literally started beating faster, and I almost got in the eastbound exit lane.  For two seconds, I was ready to just go.  That’s not like me, and it excites me.  I’m all about being logical first, whimsical second.  But today, for two seconds, my whimsical self took over.  I didn’t even have to summon it.  It just happened.  It’s a sign that something ridiculously awesome is about to happen.

Your Box Isn’t The Event

When you’ve been stuck in a pattern for a long time – hell, even a short time – you begin to lose sight of your whimsical side.  The norm becomes what you know, and deviating from the norm seems less and less possible to you.  I’m here to tell you that you are not stuck in your norm.  You are only where you choose to be.  You get to make your own future, and that’s a scary, exciting thought.

Do you want to head to the airport and just leave for three days?  Two days?  Even just a day?  Do it!  Are you afraid of what might happen?  You’ll never know what will happen if you don’t ever do it.  Don’t tell anyone, grab your sweetie, and fly away.  Spend a day in an airport lounge.  Spend a night in a five-star hotel in New York.  Spend Tuesday and Wednesday in Portland.  Just do it.  Don’t think about it, just do it.

The sooner you start acting on your core impulses, the sooner you will start doing (and making a living from doing) what you love.  Don’t let conventions hold you back.  Stick it to the man, and step outside your box.

3 Replies to “Step Outside Your Box”

  1. I find myself waking up earlier and earlier, before my one alarm goes off. I’m going to work at 4:30 now and coming home at 1. I love not dealing with the traffic. I don’t look forward to next year when I have to find a new job and probably have to deal with the traffic again.

    Great post, Casey.

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