Want versus Need
Want versus Need -- A subtle but very powerful distinction to be made. I had a FB friend recently tell me that I had become to 'commercial' -- that somehow this was a natural path for me to follow. I have been thinking about this for a while now and felt that it was appropriate to comment on.
I am like most people, somewhat complex, but hopefully on a path to simplicity. Simplicity in all aspects of my life, including taming part of my inner complexity. I love to tinker; I grew up with Legos and electronic kits. I built rockets and flew them all the time. I had that device that allowed you to make jewlery out of rocks. I wanted to be an Astronaut and fly jets. I spent 20 years in the computer industry. The list goes on and on. I love the act and art of solving problems. I derive a great sense on intrinsic joy when I can figure something out.
Sometimes the solution comes in the form of making something that I already have work. Sometimes it comes from finding something that I have lying around, and molding it to fit my needs. Sometimes it comes from acquiring something new that will solve my problem, whatever that may be. When I solve a problem, the internal joy and happiness is very real and tangible.
This side of me nicely compliments the more artistic and zen seeking side of my personality. They are equal parts of me and they both play out in different ways. I find that when I am on the road or water, traveling it is very easy for me to be in touch with the latter side of my personality. When in that mode, it is easy for me to share those thoughts, opinions and ramblings. In travel mode, I am at complete peace and willing to let whatever will be, be. It always works out in the end. When I am in trip prep mode, my analytical side takes over and I very much enjoy solving these perceived problems and sharing my experiences with others.
I am lucky to be on this path, something that I am grateful for every day. I am still trying to figure out how it all works while at the same time trying to stay out of my own way (A post for another time...). The result of all of this is that I like to try gear; I like to figure out what works best for me; and as such, I like to share these experiences with others. Over the past three years I have discovered that there are many people that want to travel or adventure, but they don't know where to start. They don't know what bike works best or how they can load their kayak. They don't know that having a lighter set of gear means they can travel farther and quicker. They don't know that if they use Anything Cages (what are those??) that they can carry food on their bike forks or that bikepacking means using the frame of their bike for storage. All of these things can really create a major obstacle for people to move forward and just do it. Hopefully, through my experiences, they can move beyond some of these perceived obstacles.
So I come full circle to the post. I like stuff, but I no longer need stuff. I have learned that it is ok to want stuff, but you can't need it. Stuff can't define who your are; stuff can't make you happy. Ten years ago my definition of happiness was acquiring things. When I was down and depressed, I went to the mall and bought something. That is the definition of needing something to make you happy. Today, my happiness comes from a much better place.
I still want stuff, I just don't need it.