w: ajleon

Like the World Depends On It

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep. ― Prospero

Today will never happen again.

Think about it.

When you truly consider it, it’s a sobering thought. Each and every day is a fleeting moment. Never to be replicated. Never to be emulated. Never to be heard from or lived in again. A permanent, immutable thread in the tapestry of our own impermanent and evanescent lives.

In the end, we are simply a collection of days, of moments we possessed and the memories and art and laughter and love we shaped and produced in them.

Our days, my friend, are all we have.

If at times you feel as though I speak urgently on this matter, it’s because I do. To me, there is no subject that requires more fervor.

The sky is falling.

Time is ruthlessly marching forward.

And the grand sun will set on us all one day.

And the full weight of this old verity will become manifest.

That this is not your practice Life.

That this is all there is.

__

It was 6:52 in the morning.

Exactly 365 days ago.

And I was petrified.

I sat in my Lower East Side apartment with my hand quivering over the publish button, wondering whether I had just made a huge mistake. Wondering whether it would all work. Whether people would get it. Would get me. Or whether, in the end, I would be the greatest fool of all.

I had stayed up all night.

Reflecting on the five years since I had left a successful career and an unremarkably average life behind.

It was my 30th Birthday.

But more importantly, it was Day 1.

I was about to embark on a journey to travel across the face of the planet in 1,880 days.

And I had just launched a website called the Pursuit of Everything to publish previously un-public writings about living with intention, doing work that truly matters and changing the world.

And I decided.

That I would not simply spend that year writing.

But living my one and only Life as a testament to these things.

I would spend the year creating.

Making and starting things I had no business doing.

Hoping that it might inspire you to do the same.

And so it began.

__

I’m in Nairobi.

It’s 5:20 in the morning.

Exactly 365 days later.

It’s my 31st Birthday.

And I stayed up all night again. Melissa and I together.

Reflecting on 365 days of adventure. Of making things we had no business making and of forging memories that would have never been had.

In 365 days, together with my rag tag band of misfits, I …

wrote and published a short manifesto, which has now been downloaded over 500k times.
sent Kara on the trip of a lifetime.
created a tri-annual Print creative arts magazine.
launched a social enchantment platform.
formed an underground membership.
launched a Kickstarter to publish my first book.
worked with Tyson and his team to craft and build the world’s first philanthropic coffee roaster.
initiated a project to build a windmill for a remote village in Kenya.
produced my first conference.
sold out a second one.
started a design and apparel company.
and am publishing my first book in two weeks, through my own publishing company.

I did this while sojourning over 40,000 miles on an overland adventure in my veggie-oil powered steed, The Pegasus, through almost all fifty States and all ten Canadian provinces on the first leg of my journey around the world.

And while training for a marathon, which if my knee and ribs hold up I will hopefully be running in Venice in two months time.

365 days.

In some ways it feels like yesterday, in some ways it feels like a million years ago.

And in 30 minutes.

In what will be the greatest birthday gift of all, I am taking a 4 hour drive down a bumpy road with MelissaTracyMatt and Jon to Gambella village.

To witness a shiny new windmill powered by a group of misfits who joined me in a plight to solve one real problem in this world.

And I’m smiling.

Thinking about those 365 Days. Each one of them.  Truly lived and truly cherished.

__

Always remember.

There is nothing more powerful on this planet than the reckless abandonment of those Few who commit fully. Who risk greatly. Who dare wildly. Who feel the full weight of Fear. And who do it anyways.

Those who hear with exacting clarity the whispering prophets of their own demise.

And who stand defiantly in spite of them.

And who determine, in the end, that they were not meant to be average.

You can live the life you were supposed to live, or you can embark upon a wild-eyed Destiny of your own choosing.

But you cannot do both.

And the choice is entirely yours. Every single day.

 

With love from Nairobi on my birthday

Your Fellow Misfit,

AJ

823 words

8.15.13

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