You wake up in the morning and you make a decision, or possibly just recall a prior decision, of exactly what you’re going to do that day. We did not evolve to drift from the familiar; we like the familiar because we know it intricately, and it is all we know. Without the familiar, we are newborn babies left floating on pieces of driftwood in seas of new and scary experiences.
One day I had had enough of something: the job, the routine, the money, the knowing… I wanted to escape. I would look out of the window while working my eight-hour day, peering outside, and my gaze would often shift to a roof wrapped in potted plants, weaving vines and leafy trees. I was on the sixth floor so I had the advantage of looking slightly down on this enchanting roof. I could see, amongst the greenery, a moss-covered bench and a table. In the middle of Berlin amongst keyboards tapping and managers plotting I had found an inner-city personal oasis of an unknown person. It became my refuge. For a few moments every day from then on, I lived vicariously through the imagined presence of this person in their little oasis. The intimacy with nature, within such unnatural surroundings, defeated me in my day. It left me tingling and yearning for something more significant than what I currently had. I needed more of something.
I was young and unsure as to the nature of my yearning, because for my entire life the idea of a satisfying metropolitan, day-by-day, eight-hour-by-eight-hour, existence had been sold to me. It was the light at the end of the tunnel. School seemed like punishment and so naturally I assumed that it was all for something. It was to get my ticket, so that I could get on the train of life with something more than the breath in my lungs. This is what we were told. Alas, one arrives, and realises it was all fiction.