Dear Puttylike reader, this is a classic Puttylike post. Meaning, it’s from the early days–from before I really found my voice or knew what I was doing. I’ve chosen to keep this post online for the benefit of Puttylike readers who have worked their way backward through the archives. And also to highlight the fact that everybody starts somewhere! xo, Emilie
Walking down a new path isn’t about reaching an end destination, it’s about the things you experience along the way.
If you’re lucky, there will be revelations, triumphs, setbacks and growth. You will change in profound ways and develop a sense of invincibility as you take control of your life, redefine your limits and accomplish what others declare impossible.
But best of all, you will meet other travelers on that same path.
Beginning the journey
When I launched Puttylike, I knew I would learn about big ideas. I knew there was a world out there where the norm of modern day life had been turned on its head, where people weren’t tied to 9-5 jobs, where they traveled freely around the globe and worked minimum hours to achieve maximum freedom.
This freedom was used consciously to pursue passions, make art, visit exotic places, build non-profits, volunteer, change the world.
I knew there was a way to turn money into more than a burden- to not live in constant survival mode. It seemed like without money as an obstacle, anything was possible.
I knew this because Tim Ferris told me so.
When I began my quest, it was all very theoretical. And I had questions.
Is it really possible?
Were people actually living this way? Was everything I had been taught about ‘adult life’ really false? Was the career development office at my law school full of shit?
When a friend of a friend told her guidance counselor that she wanted to move to LA to become a television writer at 18 and heard only laughter in response, was that a ‘normal’ reaction? Was that okay?
How could anyone know what’s possible without trying it themselves? Had we really become so cynical? ‘Don’t even bother trying’ is the advice we now get from the people who are supposed to push us to fulfill our potentials?
I set out to determine whether I could be “undeclared for life”–whether I could continue to radically change my proverbial major every few years. Could I keep switching paths and taking on new challenges or would I have to settle and be pigeonholed as a musician or a film maker or a lawyer?
When I embarked on this journey, I was hoping to answer these questions and more. What I didn’t expect was the form in which my answers would take…
I learned that there are indeed others out there on the same quest for freedom, and they are some of the most thoughtful, accepting, socially-aware, creative people I have ever met. They are not the hippies and hedonists that many people assume inhabit the world of lifestyle design.
No one is basking on the beach for months on end. Most have goals larger than themselves- to give back, educate and inspire. Most are on a mission to create a better world. They want to live consciously, consume less, and connect more.
I’m only four months into this journey and already I’ve made some amazing friends. I haven’t met them in person yet, but I feel closer to them than I do to people I’ve known my whole life. It wasn’t proximity that brought us together, the way school or a job might. It was our dreams and values.
And so, as Chris Guillebeau begins his Canadian unconventional book tour, I am excited, not only to meet a personal hero of mine, but more importantly, to meet the other unconventional dreamers who turn up.
Here are the dates. If you have similar dreams of subverting the status quo and you live in Canada, then go.
Don’t be silly and let fear get in the way.
- St. John’s – 7pm, Monday the 10th, Chapters at 70 Kenmount Road
- Halifax – 7pm, Tuesday the 11th, Chapters at Bayers Lake Power Center
- Charlottetown – 7pm, Wednesday the 12th, Indigo Books at 465 University Avenue.
- Fredericton – 7pm, Thursday the 13th, Chapters at Regent Mall
- Montreal – 3pm, Saturday the 15th, Chapters at Indigo-Place Montreal Trust (as far as I can tell, this will be at Indigo, NOT the Chapters located 2 blocks away. But it’s a little unclear so I take no responsibility if I’m wrong. Get there early to be safe… and say hi!)
- Toronto – 2pm, Sunday the 16th, Indigo Manulife Centre
- Winnipeg – 7pm, Tuesday the 18th, Chapters at 695 Empress Street
- Calgary – 7pm, Wednesday the 19th, Chapters at 66 Crowfoot Terrace
- Regina – 7pm, Friday the 21st, Chapters at Southland Mall
- Vancouver – 2pm, Saturday the 22nd, Chapters at 788 Robson Street