There was once a child with a limitless imagination. A undeniably happy child much like yourselves, no doubt, at that young age. The world was new and anything was possible. However, time went on and the child began to learn as we all do. The world began to teach him. Some of it was good. How things worked, where to go, and what to do in different situations. But the child grew into adolescence and the world began to weigh on him. The happiness faded. He didn’t fit in. His imagination was put on the back burner for more concrete facts, numbers, and grammar. He continued on to a dream he remembered from when he was little.
When he became an adult, he didn’t feel like one and didn’t exactly act like one either. He was intelligent, yet humorous. Perhaps, a bit to immature by being raised by television. College changed him. He made friends, learned a lot, and graduated. But he was not a rich person nor was his family, nor did he get substantial assistance from the government. He took out student loans like the majority of college students.
After graduation he found a weight over his head, along with the inability to get a job in his field. So he worked minimum wage jobs for a year and a half to buy a vehicle, fix it up after numerous break downs, and save up to chase the dream job. He then got the chance, but the wait had been so long; he took the first thing that was offered to him. It was not his dream job, it was close, but not it. He just wanted to get out on his own. He’d been caged to long. He moved more than a few states away and escaped his hometown. He was good at his job, but slowly found that his heart was not in it and that he missed his friends and family. With the job being 24/7 on call, he didn’t have time to make new friends or go explore. He reflected on all of his past mistakes and it hurt him, reshaped him into a different person, a person that wanted more out of life than a straight line. A person that was tired of waiting to live. A person who wanted to stop talking about future dreams. A person who wanted to live those dreams.
He began to think about what he truly wanted out of life and that’s when the idea was born:
What is the one thing most people wish they could do, but never get the chance?
See the world.
What is something that you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet?
To many to list.
What was the last thing that you’ve done that you’re proud of?
Graduating college. All the hard work, all the minimum wage jobs, just to escape.
What was something you’ve experienced recently that was different? Out of the ordinary?
He stopped here. He couldn’t think of anything…and that’s when he decided.
He knew what he had to do and it hurt him more than anyone will ever know or understand. He quit his job and moved back to the hometown that he had tried to escape for so long. But he had a plan.
In order to see his plan realized, he had to be completely free. Remembering the heavy weight he carried, brought on by the student loans from college. He first had to be rid of that weight, so he began to hammer it away by getting a job with his father. Construction, a job he hated and working with family rarely ends well. But his heart was set on it’s course. He would pay off his student loans in a year, when most people take 10 or more.
And so he worked the year (2014), and he planned. He decided that first he would see all of his own country. As he began to research, he found that there were so many places he wanted to see, right in his own homeland. He also gathered the needed equipment, but the majority of every paycheck went to getting that weight off his back.
He often dreamed of the day that he could throw that weight aside and would finally be free. Sometimes it would bring him happiness, other times it would bring him sadness because he saw how much farther he would have to go.
“How much longer do I have to do this?” (Referring to his job) and the question would be answered before the question was finished being asked because he always knew exactly how much longer he would have to go.
The end of the year came and he didn’t have the weight off of his back. The torment of not being free of it, nearly broke his back, but he continued on. He had made progress. He had defeated two of the student loans and cut the last one in half. If work kept up, he would only have 12 full weeks of work to go. So he continued on towards his dream. A dream that was forming and evolving more and more everyday.
This is where we will begin our story. A hero fighting for a dream. A captive slowly breaking free. A man choosing to live life outside the norm.
This is my story. This is the story of Seth Stivala.