Travel though the desert with just a pack of cigarettes

This post is a bit of an ode to an apartment-mate of mine named Tristan.

I was 22. Tristan was 27. He worked in a neuroscience lab, smoked cigarettes, drank gins and tonics, had parties, dressed stylish. He was french and had an awesome accent. One time, I was cooking eggs at 5am and burned them. The smoke detector went off.  Tristan got up and slammed the smoke alarm with his open palm like it was a volleyball. It shattered and pieces fell to the floor. That was the end of that problem.

I asked Tristan what he wanted to do after he finished this neuroscience gig. Tristan said, “I want to travel through the desert with just a pack of cigarettes.”

This image sticks with me. The other day, I was in the airport. I overheard a girl say on the phone: “I land at 2pm. Don’t worry about picking me up fast. It’s no rush.”

On the plane, I was reading a book about mindfulness and the author said that it’s possible to do things fast but mindfully, not in a rush. The difference is that when you are in a rush, you are all scattered and stressed. When you are doing things fast, you are focused like a beam of laser light.

I drew this picture:

rush vs. fast

I had a layover and ate my greek yogurt and granola concoction. I ate it way too fast. You could say it was a rush. Just after finishing my little life-coaching book and drawing, I inhaled all this greek yogurt because of some vague fear of not finishing it in time for my flight.

I look at birds and how they fly through the frigid skies of Buffalo. They’ve got nothing to their name, not even a pack of cigarettes.

We can be free if we let ourselves be free. Jew fast, birds fly, Tristan smoked and traveled. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for everybody, but freedom from vague fears is a great thing to experience.

Thanks, Tristan.

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