what happened to the boy (3)

The year the boy turned 23, he discovered that he had an influence on his life. Perhaps he ended being a boy altogether, although he still liked to game on his computer, or make a kite and surf the wind for hours.

His first move was about life itself. He wanted to travel the world. Not just the tourist attractions his father or friends took him to. He wanted to find out for himself whether opinions in books, or on t.v. were related to any truth. So one day he went to a travel agency and booked a flight to Jamaica. He rented a motorcycle and rode around every corner of the island. After that he went hiking in Norway, drove around in Venezuela and landed in Africa. In all those exotic places, he was attracted to the forests, but mostly to the people. Hearing different perspectives often taught him more in just 14 days than academia could have taught in a year. He really learned to like people when travelling. He noticed that most people wherever on earth basically had the same sources for sadness and happiness. He learned that communication is often possible without language, and he also learned that original inhabitants of the tropical rain forest near the Orinocco had no idea what a map is, although they found it very beautiful.

amazon forest in Surinam 1990

amazon forest in Surinam 1990

Another move concerned his studies. He had enough of theory, of obligatory and useless subjects, of getting bored by disinterested friends who only wanted a diploma and sacrificed their soul to it. He finally gave up his studies, and bought a brand new computer. He found out everything there was to be learned from it. Two months later he would start working for that same guy who sold this computer to him. He loved that job.

He also started taking care for his soul. He had been quite depressed in the past 5 years. So he started reading interesting literature in original language, mostly English, sometimes German. He read Shakespeare and Chaucer, Nietsche and Jung, Emerson and Wilber, … to name just a few. He started counting his alcohol intake noticing that 100 gallons of beer per year couldn’t be healthy for body or mind, and gradually reduced. He stopped seeing those friends with whom he drank – a daily group session it was, by those who wanted to ease their pain but who were not strong enough to face it head on. He went to watch interesting movies in stead: Peter Greenaway, Fellini, Spike Lee, and also Woody Allen, and Spielberg.

His renewed interest in life, made him forget about the ongoing depression. His new perspective on life, activated him to find beautiful and interesting hearts and minds from around the globe, an activation that never abandoned him after that.

12 thoughts on “what happened to the boy (3)

  1. Sounds to me as if he is being so successful in life. It took me much longer to reach that point. I didn’t get to travel the world a lot – 4 weeks in Europe with a singing / orchestra group. Sounds nice, and a bit scary at times.

    • I don’t think successful is the correct word. Consider him lucky in one way. Finding a first job the way he did is partly on the account of the force of circumstances. Making money this way made him able to travel more than just once. Travelling became cheaper in those days. 500 euro and you could travel by train to and all around Spain during 3 weeks. And he barely had expenses or responsibilities, still living with his father who was never home chasing women or whatever. The computer has always brought him food and travel and fun – but I think success is more than just that. People easily spot the heights during someone’s life, but barely ever see the deep trenches accompanying the heights.

    • Having ‘somehow’ conquered it, I can now see depression as a lesson in empathy … No person on this earth will ever live a life without at least once having to go through a depression. It brings humanity together: like birth and death, there is suffering. Those who repress it and refuse to face it, get the door slammed right in the face later on and are prone to all kinds of secondary symptoms like anger, fear, jealousy, envy and greed.
      I am grateful to those who have helped me in the process, a process that never completely ends.

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