We Have Enough Stuff

As a barista I met some interesting people with some great one liners. I met a simple man with a simple belief. He told me, “I have more stuff then the Queen of England had 300 years ago. Why do I need more?” This statement blew me away. A second gentleman said, “Everyone is running around all over the place but no one knows where they’re going.” These are the people who made me feel comfortable with my decision to be a barista 5 years after graduating from Duke University. Why was everyone running around? Why did we want more stuff? I was trying to learn how to enjoy the simple pleasures human conversations and free time.

That was about 5 years ago and as I look at my life, I think I might be working hard to get back on a bus to an unknown destination. It was easier to be a free spirit at 25 because I still felt like I would get many more chances, but at 31, I’m definitely pushing the limits on any of these “buses”. But do I really want to get on a bus? Don’t I want to take the path less travelled? Won’t that be more rewarding? Forget the Queen of England 300 years ago. I can buy toys on my graduate student income that my parents couldn’t have dreamed up 40 years ago. I’m not on a quest for more stuff, and I certainly don’t want to run around for nothing.

I don’t think my life is meant to follow a traditional path, but I also don’t want to get lost. I want to surround myself with strong individuals who are actively creating their own destiny. I want to share my path with individuals who believe in something better than a world defined by our possessions and title. I want to live a life full of love and without fear, accepting whatever adventures life presents me. Maybe meditation will help me find other people who are choosing to walk their own path instead of getting on a bus. Time to go meditate.

2 thoughts on “We Have Enough Stuff

  1. Elena

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    Reading your posts, I closely relate to your experiences. This one in particular touched me. In the last paragraph you mention your belief of not following a ‘traditional path’, and your fear of getting lost. Very good. Many of us out there are on the same quest. It’s hard not to be drawn into a life that forms around attaining possessions and building a mundane routine, especially when mortgages and kids come into your life.
    I’ve had the fortune of meeting individuals and families who have chosen to walk away from this path and inspire me with their stories. They range from Nomads, to artists, to people juggling three different jobs in different fields to fulfill their gypsy hearts.
    One certain thing in my life is that as long as I maintain a regular Vipassana practice, I will not be lost. This has been proven to me in many instances.
    Feeling secure in life comes and goes at different times in different ways. Following the Dhamma path is like wearing an excellent pair of shoes that will provide you with the comfort, warmth and protection that will allow you to walk onto several different roads, no matter how dry, cold, and rocky they may be.

    Best to you.

  2. ryanshelton7

    Thank you for this comment Elena. It’s both inspiring and comforting to hear this from someone who is further along the path than I am. I’m not sure where my life will lead, but I’m learning to trust Vipassana to guide me. Easier said than done!

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