What if Your Ride or Die Chose YOU?
How to cope if something you are destined for is on its way.
The concept of a “ride or die” was in my head before I knew that term. It made me shiver with dread/delight to think that there might be people in my life who might one day ask me to stop right in the tracks of my day and take a wholly new course, one that was big and scary and somehow important. I called my concept of this my “go-bag friends”. Go-bag friends are humans who I trust enough that if they showed up at my doorstep and said, “ANNIE. Grab a few things. We need to go. I’ll tell you more on the way,” I would feel the plummet in my stomach, the flutter in my heart, and . . .
I would go.
Later I learned this is similar to the “ride or die”. The friend you’d accomplice through whatever they needed because you were that close. If you’re Thelma, they are Louise.
Both of these ideas involve people you already know. But what if your ride-or-die appointment is someone or something you don’t know exists? NOW that’s something juicy. That is where epic stories are told.
When the unwitting and reluctant hero has their tap-on-the-shoulder moment come, they finally realized that they never knew they dreaded this moment and yet wanted it more than anything in the world. They wanted to be that relatively normal yet dreamy human, confronted by the unexpected visitor at the metaphorical door. And as a result of that confrontation, you are asked to push the escape button and jump. Instead of Thelma, now you are Neo. There’s no Louise, only Morpheus.
I got thinking about this today after skimming a New Yorker article on pet ownership and rescue. I found a nearly throwaway line about that invitation to a new life that we never saw coming:
“In 2014, after watching an anti-animal-agriculture documentary called “Cowspiracy,” he sold his jewelry company and dedicated his life to animal welfare.”
For this person, his knock at the door was a documentary. What if yours is something similar? Let’s think about that sentence, and strip out the particulars. For example:
“6 years ago, after witnessing an emotionally challenging event, they <quit their job / sold their possessions / moved to a new location> and dedicated their life to this important cause.”
How does that make you feel? It makes me feel…. ALIVE. Energized. Like finally, maybe, SOMETHING is ready to tell me what the fuck to do with my life. OR at least “my life” for now. Because I’m open to remarkable.
Yes, remarkable. In this wonderful bit of advice from design world legend Debbie Millman, she offers a thought to “young designers” but that could just as easily be “burgeoning idealists”,
“In order to strive for a remarkable life, you have to decide that you want one.” - Debbie Millman
Do you want one? Are you prepared to hear that knock at the door?