For me, the objective is simplicity.
The aim of my travels has been about the pursuit of freedom, especially mentally. I want to live in a manner that feels authentic to who I am.
When I add undue complexity to my life angst and uncertainty are sure to follow. In this context, complexity is an accretive process that obfuscates the core of who and what you are.
Think: What do you really care about? What is truly of interest to you? Then move away from that… That’s complexity.
This process is like carrying extra baggage on a trip which adds physical and mental clutter; It is heavy and each thing has a way of wanting to be accounted for. (Oh no, did you leave your el ten eleven t-shirt behind? Where did my extra usb cable go? What happened to your adorable cable-knit gloves?).
We tend to hold tightly to the things we already have and focus on what we’ve lost. What if we instead appreciated the lighter load?
Robert Persig, in Lila, gives a helpful analogy to a cup of tea:
If you want to drink new tea you have to get rid of the old tea that’s in your cup, otherwise your cup just overflows and you get a wet mess. Your head is like that cup. It has a limited capacity and if you want to learn something about the world you should keep your head empty in order to learn it. It’s very easy to spend your whole life swishing old tea around in your cup thinking it’s great stuff because you’ve never really tried anything new…
When my mind is filled up, it is hard to think and see clearly, like trying to find something in a messy room. The “mess” tends to hover in the background of my consciousness, feeding into uncertainty and overwhelm because it’s one more thing to worry about.
For me, mental freedom is having the space to explore ideas/ events/ interactions as they arise, to be able to consider what is there, and process as needed.
With psychic openness comes clarity and with less obligations comes the ability to pursue interesting.
The key will be to take this manner forward and transpose it into new situations, for example, if/ when I get back to a “normal” life. (Gotta practice like you play, brah!).