We’re in this Together

We’re in this Together

Written by Emilie

Topics: Lifestyle Design

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…

Friendship

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.

Connection

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.

Just go

  • 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

22 Comments

  1. Lach says:

    Have you seen the film Into The Wild? If not, I highly recommend it. It’s about a young guy who turns his back on society and the template life and follows his own path into “the wild”. There’s a great line in it that’s always stuck with me: “I think careers are a 20th century invention”.

    Yes. Yes they are. The “careers” you’re offered at university come in particular pre-defined packages because they’re designed to fill existing needs in industry. It’s what the corporates are asking for. Notice that they’re all based on technical knowledge and skills. It’s about the field—the medium. What schooling expects you to do is choose a path through life based on a specialised set of skills. And it’s conditioned you to look at the world as divided into those boxes.

    But you’re not. You’re eclectic. You’re forging your own path. You’re not concerned with someone else’s boxes. And the essence of your creativity is not about any one particular field, media or technical skill—it’s about a message that you’re bringing to the world. Focus on what the message is about. Define yourself based on that—not based on the particular outlet you happen to be using today.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Lach,

      I haven’t seen ‘Into the Wild’, but I’m going to check it out tonight, cause it looks great!

      I completely agree with you about the educational system, especially in very specialized fields. Thankfully my program in undergrad was pretty broad. It was based around media, but all kinds. I chose to focus on film production, but I also got to explore sound, digital media, theory, and writing.

      Law school was a whole other beast though. Pretty painful and way too focused on ‘skills’, rather than mindset. Skills are overrated. What’s more important is the ability to think creatively.

      Thank you Lach. Your core message is really inspiring to me as well!

  2. Great ted video. (I see you there in my mind already..hahaha evil man laugh but seriously great post.

  3. Hey Emilie! What a fun post. I’m really looking forward to seeing you too – thanks for pimping the tour. :)

  4. Jacob Sokol says:

    Hey Emilie… This line caught me “If you’re lucky, there will be revelations, triumphs, setbacks and growth” – Great stuff and thanx for the link love! -=)

    • Emilie says:

      No problemo Jacob. I loved your interview on BlogcastFM. You have an awesome mindset on this stuff. I might shoot you an email shortly actually, because I have a few “impossible” dreams in the works and would love to get your opinion on my strategy.

  5. Peter J says:

    “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?”

    Sorry but i have to answer that one with a no. Simply because people loose the energy to keep going.

    My grandad started up his business with huge intentions of doing something big with it. But i think you get to the point where you no longer want to expand things. At some stage in your life your going to want a good house to live in and a solid way to provide for your kids (if you have them) so that your not forever running around lost.

    My attitude towards everything; get on and do it all now. After being in an un-declared stage for 15 years. I’m positive that there would be something you could see yourself doing forever.

    Great post Emilie :)

    • Emilie says:

      haha it’s funny Peter. You and I have radically different views on this stuff. Still, I appreciate your input and I always enjoy a little friendly debate.

      I just disagree. :)

      I don’t think that developing new interests and settling down with a family are incompatible at all! Plenty of entrepreneurs, artists and thinkers do it every day. Haven’t you met any adults who speak, write, run businesses and make art all at once? I certain have.

      One of the first people I met in Denmark was a cab driver who drives taxis for a few months a year, runs a clown business with his wife (no joke) and sails with his family in the Caribbean 6 months of the year. He has 7 kids.

      And I don’t think multipotentialites are “running around lost” either. Both are common misconceptions brought about by society’s conditioning regarding what’s “normal”… The idea that everyone needs to settle on ONE thing is complete garbage, in my opinion.

      The thing is, I’m positive that there will NOT be something I can see myself doing forever. And I’ve embraced that. I’m actually thrilled about it!

      To each his own. :)

      • Emilie says:

        Also, you realize that by calling my dream ‘impossible’, you only make me want to try harder to prove you wrong, right? :)

        It’s an instinct I’ve developed.

        • Peter J says:

          I’ve got the same instinct also. I’m used to everyone telling me i have no hope in doing something and that makes me want to try even harder to prove them wrong. So at least we can agree on that one :)

      • Peter J says:

        The only idea I can get in my head right now is my granddad owning 6 houses and finally deciding to call it quits with all his passions.

        I certainly do agree that there are entrepreneurs out there who can tackled doing six different things at once. (I would love being able to do that myself too!) But i can’t seem to find anyone that’s 50 who still loves living an unsettled life?

        Or maybe that’s just another notion society has bashed into me… Must escape it… :)

        • Layla says:

          oh gosh Peter, you *must* read Refuse to Choose, if you haven’t yet!!

          It’s not just about being ‘broke’ and ‘clueless’ it’s about being open to adventure, and sometimes you can accept and embrace a ‘great enough’ job or career, or get an umbrella career..

          There’s a judge in our country who has written a ton of books (some are pretty um, X-rated!), acted in some films (his brother is a famous actor here), he’s also a poet, scriptwriter/dramatist, singer in a choir (and occasional sorta-manager/PR person for them) and has plans for recording films together with young people etc! (he does have a supportive wife!)
          Oh, and he’s 70+ or so.

          Here is also a guy who was a printing and bank professional, wrote a ton of books on ethnography exploring a certain valley, was editor of a magazine/newspaper and still writes an article every week, so he still does journalism & still researching archives – he’s really wondrous and inspiring! (Oh, and he’s 80 years old! &submits articles on an USB key! and buys a new car every year-??)

          On the other hand, your Grandpa sounds pretty fascinating and I’d love to hear more about him too!! :)

          I can relate to what you write about losing energy to keep going too… It’s definitely easier if one is ‘undecided’ or ‘open to potential’ in teens or twenties than later… (and there are some dangers out there…)

          I think it’s easier for men, in a way… (women are also expected to be moms or at least ‘support 3/4 of house life’, together with cooking and house maintenance etc. Which are all multi-faceted roles anyway.. So you have stuff like ‘interior designer/professional organizer/psychologist/PR person for kiddie at school’ etc etc)

          On the other hand, we have Oprah or some other amazing multi-faceted women out there! And my Grandma started writing poetry (!) when retired!!
          (She was a cleaning lady most of her life and only had primary school, war stopped more…)
          There are some amazing people out there the world knows nothing about…
          Some are in a ton of non-profits/amateur societies, having the fun of their life… running herbalism or fruit-growing circles, or theatrical societies, some for profit, some for fun…

          • Emilie says:

            Great points Layla! Always nice to meet another lovely Barbara fan. :)

            I would actually LOVE knowing more about the examples you mentioned. I want to profile some lesser known scanners on the podcast in the future. Feel free to shoot me an email (emilie@puttylike.com) with those names, if you don’t mind. That’s be awesome!

  6. Bev says:

    Hey Emilie,
    I found your website/blog through a comment you made on Yaro’s blog, http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com.

    I watched the video on your home page and LOVE what you say about not conforming to any specific lifestyle but going through life as if it was a fun adventure and not something you ‘have’ to accomplish. I, too, have done a bit of this myself and I have to say, it’s been rewarding and exciting. Follow your intuitive leadings and you’ll succeed at whatever you do.

    And, Peter, I’m over 50 and love the adventure of living life as if it were fun, never unsettled. Not sure what your definition is but if it’s a fuddy duddy way of living, leave me out.

    Continued success to your Emilie!

  7. Bev says:

    Oops, my blog is: http://www.theresonlyus.com Guess I was off somewhere else – :)

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Bev!

      Thanks for stopping by the blog and for the encouraging words. Always nice to hear from readers of any age. :)

      I will be checking out your site as well- Sounds cool!

  8. Layla says:

    Great talk by Chris Guillebeau!

    I’ve never heard of him before (I think) but now I’m a fan!
    (And I can oh-so-relate to the non-profit thing! lol yikes)
    Okay, I think I stumbled upon Unconventional Guides before, but never knew he could be so inspiring! (or knowledgeable about non-profits! :) and uhm, crocodiles)

    And yes I do think Fear is #1 thing stopping anyone to do anything… (sometimes it’s rational and helpful, sometimes not so very much) Still trying to figure out how to make friends with it – very inspiring blog!

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