Be Someone Whose Life Is so Interesting, No One Can Stitch Together Your Timeline
The joys of confusing people with your back story
I have a friend who I think might be a spy.
In fact, I have two.
Both of them I’ve known for a number of years and yet still, I can’t get a handle on their background stories because they have done so many weird and interesting things, I don’t understand how they’ve fitted all their jobs and escapades into each of their 45-odd years.
Hence why I think they’re spies.
I jest, of course.
All jokes aside, these are two of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. They’re curious, they say yes to any interesting opportunity that comes their way. And because everyone else finds them interesting too, those opportunities are abundant.
They’re the sort of people whose timeline doesn’t stitch together.
I love people like this. People who say “I’ve done this, I’ve worked here, I’ve achieved that” and no one can quite believe them because there’s so much of it and it’s all too interesting.
It means a life has been lived, and lived well. People like my friends aren’t tinged with fear of the unknown - or at the very least it doesn’t stop them. They take the chances life throws at them.
I want to be like my friends. I want you to be too.
Be someone whose backstory is so interesting, no one can quite believe it.
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You don’t have to be rich or privileged to live an interesting, filled-to-the-brim life
One of those friends I talked about here grew up in social housing. His parents were far from wealthy and he’s never earned a lot of cash. Yet he’s managed to:
Work as an aid worker in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.
Hitchhike from Oxford in the UK to South Africa.
Get arrested in St. Petersberg train station wearing just a dressing gown.
Live on a Croatian island for 20 years.
Nothing that he did was down to money, it was down to will. It was down to not giving a shit about the trappings of modern life — the big house, car, stuff, status. It was down to giving a shit about people and experiences and life instead.
I love meeting people like this because it’s a healthy reminder that the thing we’re all told we must have before we start to live life to the fullest - money - is not what will get us there.
In fact, the people I know with the most money are the ones who do the least in life. They can’t afford to because their bills are too high to do anything more than work 50 hours a week in well-paid but soul-crushing jobs.
Whereas the most interesting people I know don’t come from privileged backgrounds and don’t earn a whole lot of moolah.
When I established my wine store and bar 10 years ago, I had no money and no prospects. Yet I managed to achieve what is probably the thing I am most proud of — a successful business in an industry I loved.
Having no money at that point actually made the jump into the unknown all the easier. The way I saw it, I had nothing to lose. I’d not forced myself into a corner with huge bills and commitments — no one would have given me a mortgage or rented me a big house or car anyway — so I had the freedom to do something different.
It’s an exciting prospect, that money is not the driving force behind living a life well lived. It means that many of us have so many more opportunities than we realize.
How are you going to make your back story so full, people don’t believe it’s real?
Nowadays when I meet someone, I get to tell them that at the age of 38, I’ve already had 2 major careers — wine and writing. I’ve also had 2 other failed careers. I’ve already traveled to scores of countries.
My own non-stitchable timeline is coming together and I can see it in the confusion in people’s faces when they try to figure out my back story.
Travel and weird-ass entrepreneurial careers are how I’ve chosen to fill my life, but there are countless ways you can do this for yourself. You’ve just got to figure out how you want your interesting life to look.
Whichever way you do it, it can’t be found in the floor plan of a McMansion or under the hood of a Tesla. And it will certainly never be found in the approval of people around you or chasing status.
It’s yet another big win for living a simpler life.
Simple living gives you options. Having the opportunity to live a full, interesting life is probably the biggest and most important option of them all.
I want to finish my life with more to show for it than a big house and lots of stuff. I want to finish life with people wondering how the hell did she fit all that into 80+ years?
And the best shot I have at this - the best shot we all have - is to live simply. Because then we actually might have the time and inclination to live a full-to-the-brim life.
The Capsule Pantry is now on TikTok
Despite my less-than-stellar track record for social media, I’m throwing caution to the wind and giving TikTok a go for The Capsule Pantry, Simple and Straightforward’s food supplement.
The Capsule Pantry is all about cooking flexibly in the fight against food waste. I’ve already stuck a couple of recipes on TikTok and would love to see you over there is you’re on the platform.
Follow The Capsule Pantry here.
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I really appreciate this refreshing view of what some might call a lack of focus or commitment. I’ve done a variety of things and sometimes feel bad that I did not make a “career” out of any of them. Still, I’ve had interesting jobs, met some really good people, had cool experiences, and have mostly been happy with my life. How is that not a successful life?
You're friend sounds like the best kind of person to share a coffee with! Would love to hear the stories they have to tell.