Photo by vooey
Alright! Listen! I’m going to put you:
1. on an island where nobody can understand you.
2. where you won’t have any Internet
3. where your favorite shows are all gone (yes, that includes Heroes).
4. where your favorite malls and restaurants have vanished.
Would you be able to survive?
Years ago, I found myself in this situation when I came to China to work for a year. I had to start from scratch and adjust to nearly everything. In the process, I found myself making do without a lot of ‘necessary’ things that days before if someone had told me I’d be deprived of them, I would’ve whacked that numbskull’s head and scolded him for uttering such blasphemy.
What happened was a series of unfortunate events that would have given my former self nightmares. I had no internet for nearly a month because I had to save up and plow through the numerous Chinese service providers. I opted not to have any channels installed in the T.V. because all of them were in Chinese. How the heck could I understand? It was very hard missing American Idol, I tell you. I had no fridge for four weeks because the Chinese way of fixing appliances is to always call and cancel. The best supermarket was an hour away (and by best, I mean that it sells cream and at least three kinds of cheese). Worse of all were the absence of English bookstores, blogs (hail the Great Firewall of China) and Mexican food. These were things I used to take for granted in my country.
But somehow, I’m still here, surviving.
And that’s when I realized my world doesn’t revolve around MTV, American Idol, GE, Blogspot and WordPress. I had survived without them for a year and I’m still fine. Deprived yes, but most importantly, still breathing.
It’s amazing how self-reliant we can be when the situation calls for it.
During that time, I felt like I had just woken from darkness and into a bright morning full of possibilities and said to myself, “Hey, I can do this.”
Do you find that you attach certain things to your identity?
“I’d never be without my IPOD!”
“I can’t survive without my iPhone.”
“Me without my Palm Pilot? You must be joking.”
But take them away. You might cry. You might feel incomplete. Or you might just move on. For centuries, humans have been surviving solely on their instincts and ingenuity. At that very moment when you’ve been stripped down to your most basic and barest essentials, you will discover yourself without frills and as Ralph Waldo Emerson calls it –your self-reliance.
Spread the Art of Stripping!