Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No Recipe

Use the mirror and cut to the heart of things and uncover your true self. Use the razor to cut away what you don't need. The life you want to live has no recipe...Live the lifestyle instead of paying lip service to the lifestyle. Live with commitment.With emotional content. Live whatever life you choose honestly. Give up this renaissance man, dilettante bullshit of doing a lot of different things (and none of them very well by real standards). Get to the guts of one thing; accept, without casuistry, the responsibility of making a choice...Burn the bridge. Nuke the foundation. Back yourself up against a wall...You ask about security? What you need is uncertainty. What you need is confusion. Something which forces you to reinvent yourself, a whip to drive you harder.

-Mark Twight

Until this morning, I have never read anyone else's words that essentially mimicked the ass-kicking I unleashed on myself this past summer. I was tired of "dabbling" in so many activities and mediocrity was taunting me.

A few years ago, I got married and bought the house with the proverbial picket fence in Pleasantville. After realizing I made a really bad choice in people to marry, I got divorced a short six months later. I have changed my career goals, changed majors and changed jobs more than a few times throughout my twenties.

The one thing, however, that has always remained constant within me for as long as I can remember is my fire. The heat from the flame of this fire has always pulled me away from the "recipe" Twight so poignantly coins in this passage:

Mix one high school diploma with an undergrad degree and a college sweetheart. With a whisk (or a whip), blend two cars, a poorly built house in a cul de sac, and 50 hours a week working for a board who doesn't give a shit about you. Reproduce once. Then again. Place all ingredients in a rut, or a grave. One is a bit longer than the other. Bake thoroughly until the resulting life is set. Rigid. With no way out. Serve and enjoy.

Twight's blunt words prevent me from putting this book down. His intent to provoke is alluring. He ends the article by saying that it "affected several people cIose to me in a positive way. It allowed them to recognize their own adherence to the recipe, that they were trying to fulfill other people's expectations, but not their own."

I don't closely identify with the anger that is an evident driving force throughout his intriguing life, but he speaks of the "jackal" that pulls him to climb. Sometimes this jackal is quiet and other times it attacks.

His jackal is my fire. 

And when it roars inside, nothing stops me. This fire is my intense drive and my unparalleled, beautiful passion for those close to me, for life and for the mountains. It has always burned inside in varying intensities, but now, more than ever, it burns for adventure, authenticity and for true freedom to confidently believe in and follow my heart.

I have spent the past few months cutting away the things I don't need. Some of the scars from those sacrifices will remain for awhile, but the bridge is burnt. Foundation nuked. The fire is raging inside. No more lipservice, no more dabbling here and there. 

With refreshing clarity and simplicity, I will start here:

                                    I am going to ride my bike.

The beauty and thrill of the ride that will ensue is what I crave. Truly living my life with a focus. Fully awake. A passionate pursuit...The goals and dreams I am chasing will come together somewhere in the miles I pedal.   

                                                *      *      *     *

Ha! So here's a cheat sheet. Don't worry, I had to look these words up too:

  1. An amateur, someone who dabbles in a field out of casual interest rather than as a profession or serious interest.
  2. A person with a general but superficial interest in any art or a branch of knowledge. (Sometimes derogatory.)

 1. Specious or excessively subtle reasoning intended to rationalize or mislead.


  1. More essays by Twight (if you haven't already visited his site):


    I haven't been able to find anything as intense as Kiss or Kill, however, he has some work here in which his style is evident.

  2. Anxious to read more. Thanks!