One year ago, I was sitting at a desk. It was a nice desk. The chair was padded and it swiveled; I had an entire drawer dedicated to colored paper, glue sticks, and craft foam; a painted alligator made of egg cartons and cardboard boxes watched me work. It was a lovely desk.
Fifty-two weeks ago, the end of my desk life was in sight. I was leaving my job at the end of June and embarking on a new adventure. I was ditching my office desk for a collapsible one my dad and I made that fit snugly into the back of my car. Farewell to my padded chair and hello to a bright red camping chair that had a single cup holder in the right arm. Spontaneity was swapped with security. AC was abandoned for smoke-stained Western air.
Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days ago, I thought I was taking a break from the 9-5 lifestyle. Just a couple months of wildness, I told myself. Then I’ll be ready to start again.
But those couple months stretched and stretched, until here I am, one year later, with no foreseeable end in sight.
The past 525,600 minutes feel heavier than those that came before them, weighed down by the places I’ve visited, the trails my shoes have pressed against, the people I still daydream about. Time passes without significance in the cogs of routine, but adventure forces you to be present every moment.
3.154e+7 seconds ago, I was a different person. I loved fewer people. The world felt more hostile. In this narrow space of becoming, I shed my skin and ran, growing with the world instead of against it.
One year ago, I left my lovely desk job. I haven’t looked back since.