Monday, October 10, 2011

Unqualified but not disqualified

Winged Victory. Just do it, already!
One of my favorite bloggers is a fellow with the French-sounding name, Chris Guillebeau, who writes The Art of Nonconformity. He has a book by the same name, which I encourage you to pick up at Amazon. He talks about his near-perfect lack of credentials, which nevertheless has not kept him from living a life of world travel, a life of living-outside-the-cubicle.

Guillebeau challenges me, because I'm constantly attempting to pull myself out of ruts, caused by being depressed, by being anxious, by feeling stuck or powerless to change my circumstances. Do you ever feel this way? Like your life is really not enough? That you're not giving your wife or kids enough great memories to carry them into their lives? Do you ever wonder, "What would life be like if...."? Guillebeau asks that question, then goes on to answer it for himself.

But what if you don't feel credentialed enough? What if you don't have "what it takes," whatever that is, to really break free and live that life-worth-living? How does one jump over the wall, crash through the troops, strike down that giant? Everybody's life is a hero struggle (as James Joyce beautifully captures in his Ulysses), and I've got my own mountains to climb, starting with that stupid first step.

I want to travel the world, taking my wife and children to China for the pre-Ming tea-picking; to climb the Himalayas and drink tea that is one-day-old fresh. I want to see the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival. I want to return to Europe and breathe Alpine air again. But I feel stuck, because to do all that, I need to reconfigure my business and life arrangements. And this takes a lot of courage and hard work. And, frankly, sometimes I don't feel up to it. The cares and worries of this world are pretty heavy burdens that seem to get me off of my goals, out of sorts with my real self, and into a funk.

And so: Tea. I like to drink tea. I don't have any tea qualifications. I'm not a tea master, nor have I studied under great Taiwanese Tea Masters, as has Stefane. I'm not a certified tea sommelier working with upscale restaurants and hotels to demonstrate to the foodie world how to enjoy great, vintage teas from around the world.

All I've got is the ability to type 90 wpm, a nose and a mouth, and a lively interest. And the ability to speak English fluently.

Guillebeau reminds me that somehow, even one such as I can break out of the mediocre into living the more abundant life. Jesus promised it to us, and I want it. Though I don't really know yet how to become the globetrotting life-drinker I want to be, I will put my faith out there that it can still happen, and I won't give up. I may be unqualified for that life, but I'm not disqualified from the race.

(Please visit Chris G.'s blog, The Art of Nonconformity, if any of this resonates with you.)


Alex Zorach said...

I started writing a reply to this post, and it got longer...and I decided to make it into a whole blog post: What do you bring to tea blogging? -- thanks for the inspiration!

Unknown said...

Alex, thank you so much for your interesting comment. I went over to your blog, as well, and wrote my respond. Wow, you're prolific! I look forward to further perusal of your archives.