I’m a weird guy, and I’m cool with that. I find neurobiology fascinating. I like cleaning my house. I have degrees in engineering, economics, and law, but I’m not an engineer, an economist, or a lawyer. Instead, I write for a living, and I love doing it. I also love sharing what I’ve learned in my recovery from multiple addictions with others who are struggling in similar ways. And one of the things I’ve learned is that when it comes to living a happy life, weird is good.
Most people truly do not understand why I choose to live the life I live. They tell me I could make a lot more money if I would only choose a different career path. I could live in a bigger house, go on exciting vacations, drive a more expensive car, and not dress in shorts and a T-shirt every day. And they’re right. I absolutely could live a different life and have lots more money and expensive stuff.
If that was my definition of success and happiness, that’s what I’d do. But it isn’t, so I don’t. Instead, I’ve chosen to follow what many people might view as the path of most resistance. And somehow, I’ve managed to make it work. I’m not starving, I’ve got a roof over my head, and I’m generally a very happy person.
There are countless reasons I’m happier living the life I choose to live than I’d be if I was living the life that a lot of people think I should choose to live. There are also a lot of reasons I’m generally successful in this endeavor, though I do occasionally fail (more often than I care to admit). But at the end of the day, the biggest and most important reason that I’m mostly happy and mostly successful even though I choose to walk the path of most resistance is that I’m weird.
I don’t live in the box. I don’t even think in the box. The box is boring.
If you like the box and feel comfortable and happy in the box, that’s great. But the box is not for me. To me, living in the box and doing the expected is what’s weird. Living in the box is not mentally, spiritually, or interpersonally stimulating. The box doesn’t take me anyplace new or interesting or exciting. The box is like a hothouse tomato – pale, thick-skinned, and flavorless.
I prefer organic tomatoes and a life to match.
In my world, the road less traveled is the road that leads to success. I don’t even need to know where that road leads. I don’t need to know what success looks like, either. In fact, I prefer to not know, because not knowing where I’m going lets me focus more on enjoying the journey than on reaching my destination. Not knowing gives me the freedom to be weird, the freedom to look for new ways of thinking and being. And that keeps me more interested in and more passionate about my life, whatever it is that I’m doing at any given time.
The late, great Jim Morrison once asked, “Where’s your will to be weird?” I know where mine is. It’s on full display every day of my life. And I couldn’t be happier. Where is yours?