When You Have Nowhere to Be, You Can Truly Be Where You Are

It’s been too long since our last post so we want to put something up. Eight state lines crossed (we’re granting DC statehood) and we’re bidding farewell to beloved Wilmington, bound for Athens in the morning.

Thus far, our trip has been incredible. We’ve had countless wonderful interactions with innumerable humans- strangers, new friends and olden pals. We’ve dumpstered treasures and driven over a thousand miles, busked and bartered, conversed and camped, learned and loved, played and pondered, hiked half days and slept through them. Living this way has been exhilarating, fulfilling, and inspiring. The generosity, kindness and concern of people here in the USA has exceeded our expectations and humbled our opinions.

Unfortunately, for the blog, all this living has detracted from our focus on writing enough about it yet. So until we have more material ready, I figured I’d post this wee nugget and attach my resignation letter from FedEx. I wanted to post this at some point anyway and it will only become less relevant as time passes. It also explains many of my reasons to shift priorities and lifestyle, away from the corporate world, consumerism and a deep sense of feeling trapped, toward being the change I want to see in the world, being more honest with myself and others, and living out my questions.

Much thanks and love to all our friends and family, to all we’ve encountered so far on this journey, and to all of you reading our blog.

September 17, 2012

To whom it may or may not concern,

I am writing to give you four weeks advance notice of my intended departure from my position at this company, FedEx Ground, with my last day being October 12, 2012. Below is a somewhat brief explanation for my decision, which I invite you to read if you would like to. If you find yourself without the time or inclination to venture beyond this paragraph, then please let me thank you for your consideration.

It’s been a good run, I feel, and I’ve learned a lot from my many experiences at this company and in this town from the many people I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know professionally and personally day after day. No doubt, I will carry a lot of what I’ve seen, heard and absorbed with me as I venture forth into the world. That is, to put it concisely, why I will be leaving my job here.

There’s a big world out there and what I know of it is almost entirely comprised of third-hand experiences from books and maps and the internet and the occasional personal anecdotes of people I speak to who tell of their travels. What little personal experiences I’ve enjoyed throughout my few years in this brief life has been, while very rewarding, also hindered by the very nature of having a daily life full of time constraints and responsibilities such as a job and rent and the like. As I have not, at least yet, chosen to take on the responsibility of children, and as I have been born in a position of great privilege that has afforded me many hours to think about the nature of life and society and my role in it, I feel it is time to take advantage of the vast and wondrous choices in front of me. Indeed, a great many challenges lay ahead and each of those challenges do I anticipate with eagerness.

There is a lot I feel we take for granted in life and, I believe, there are a great many illusions we operate upon as if they were truths. One thing we take for granted is money, and in turn jobs. Money is a means, not an end. And for many, certainly for me in this role, a job is but a means to that means. This sets daily life up as a means and yet to me, life is a process in which the only true end is the moment we find ourselves in now.

I want to live each day, and each moment, doing exactly what I’m doing for the sake of itself. If somehow that in the end falls together in a kind of order that adds up to something greater as a sum of its parts than each of its parts individually, I will surely be happy. However, sacrificing my time and energy for a greater abstract goal, at least for now, is not something I feel I must do. Instead I feel compelled, obligated even, to experiment with new ways of functioning day to day and to explore, listen to, and learn from a world that we are all personally connected to yet mentally and emotionally detached from.

There is also the illusion of stasis. I have found, however, that the universe is in a constant state of change. Given the perpetual flux of existence, I find it borderline insane to act as if I can predict what the future holds and to then sacrifice my time and energy chasing rainbows of financial security, material abundance and the like. If the ends (wealth, materials, security) for these means (money and jobs) are indeed ends I find valid and necessary, to spend such a majority of time and energy on a means to a means for those ends seems- to use a business term- inefficient.

I am excited for the many roads ahead of me and the many possibilities in store. The great unpredictability of a life with indefinite goals and plans is something I anxiously anticipate experiencing. I look forward to all there is to see and learn from the innumerable people and places upon this planet. I hope you understand and can, in some way, share in that excitement. I hope also that whatever paths you choose in the days and years ahead, you find equal enjoyment and satisfaction, for without that, I see no point in maintaining a routine devoid of such enthusiasm. We live but once!

If I could close with one parting thought it is this: to keep people above profit. I have been refreshingly surprised by how often many of the people here in *ZATH- in the building and on the road- seem to genuinely care for each other as people, and embrace one another as individuals. That is quite counter to the attitudes of many in the business world including many I’ve encountered visiting from the upper echelons of this company. I hope this tendency to treat one another first and foremost as valuable humans, and not merely as participants in a work environment, grows as time passes.

With sincere gratitude and excitement,

Jesse Houle

*ZATH is the company’s code designated to the Athens terminal.


4 thoughts on “When You Have Nowhere to Be, You Can Truly Be Where You Are

    • Kyle!

      How are you? I hope everything at Inspirational Grounds is going awesome. I think it’s so awesome that your dad decided to change careers to do something he really enjoys and believes in. We feel, strongly, that if everyone just committed to what they already believe in, we’d have a fundamentally better and more just world. So I encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t matter what you believe is good, right, and enjoyable (I trust your judgment); just go after it!

      We’re currently in Vancouver, Canada. There’s so much world to see, such an impact we can make, and so many great times to be had. Don’t waste any part of it doing something because you feel you have to. You can do something that will help people and will be a lot of fun. Have an awesome day!

      – Adam

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