The Detoxification of Andy Beck

2 Nov

Some people have asked me if living in a space as small as a large walk-in closet ever drives me a little nuts. To be totally forthcoming, yes, sometimes, and herein lies the problem. I am a product of a world of excess, misguided priorities, reliance on things and not myself, selfishness as opposed to selflessness, ever increasing distractions that clog the mind and discourage the heart, and, perhaps most importantly, the concept that the more that you have the more value you have as a person. God did I screw this one up. Time to detoxify.

 Right now I am writing from a snug little berth in a tiny corner of a medium sized sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay. The dimensions my berth are approximately five feet wide by six feet long. I am 5 10” so I have about one inch of wiggle room past my head on one end and my feet at the other. After a year of living on Tango I can honestly say that this small space meets my needs completely. Part of my detoxification is to pair down my expectations about what I actually need as opposed to what I want, or more accurately, what I’ve been trained to believe that I want. I need to break this addiction to the ever increasing list of wants or I will be consumed by it.

 Don’t get me wrong, those of you who know me know that I love my gadgets. I have an entire basket of odd cameras, old electronics, wires, connectors, and other bits. I have a Macbook and an iPhone always at the ready. The thing is I want to put them in their respective place in the grand order (or disorder) of my life. Right now these things take up a large portion of the limited area on the plate that is my life and I don’t want that anymore. This purging will take time. Over the course of the next two years or so on this journey I hope to get back to the basics of what it means to be a world citizen and not just a consumer of things. Never was the need of purging more evident than when I read an online argument between someone who espoused the virtues of an Android phone and someone who felt that the i-Phone was the better choice and I seriously thought about getting in on this argument. Time to detoxify.

I am excited to get started on this journey. Robin and I have sold most of our possessions including beds, couches, computers, and, most recently, our cars. Part of the detox is to be ok with the parting of these things and remember that they are just that, things. I have to admit when the nice young lady who bought our car started driving away I started to get a little misty as that little car and I have been through a lot together. Again, herein lies the problem. It’s a car. It’s a tool to move long distances in a short amount of time. As Cameron Frye shouted in one of my favorite movies, “Who do you love? Who do you love? You love a car!”. I’ll get clean some day.

So, where does this leave me at 12:44 AM on Friday, November 2nd, 2012? I have a sense of optimism about this journey from Maryland to Washington State via the Panama Canal. I hope that experiencing life outside of my normal comfort zone, on an artificial island that lacks the physical space for all of the distractions will shock me into a state of “wantlessness”. I am done with the comfortable burdens that weigh me down. 

The first step is admitting that I have a problem. 

3 Responses to “The Detoxification of Andy Beck”

  1. Chris November 2, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    An Andy without gadgets…. this will be strange but you can do it.

  2. Ellen Lester November 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Nice Andy!
    Someday I want to be like you!!
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful, bonding, learning, and exciting time as you travel the seas.


  1. Life Lessons on Great Harbor Cay | Life Aboard S/V Tango - December 5, 2013

    […] an offer of genuine friendship? Was the walk more important than a human connection? I think that my “detoxification” is not yet complete. My cynicism about humanity is illustrated daily in my cranky rants on various […]

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