“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.” (Inception Motion Picture)

Have you seen the movie Inception? If not, go watch it and then come back and finish this article. In the movie a group of men try to infiltrate a man’s dream in order to plant an idea that will influence him to do things when he is awake. There is a question throughout the movie regarding whether or not it is possible to plant an idea in someone’s mind that influences them. I believe it is possible. I did this to myself.

This is my story of inception.

Eight years ago I left a job at a stable company for a higher paying job at a less established company. I felt like the opportunities of the new company were worth the risk. They had never had layoffs and they seemed to have a lot of growth potential. Once I had completed five months at my job, layoffs began. I felt like I was going to be let go since I was one of the newest employees.

The insane workings of my panicked mind came up with a plan that I shared with my beautiful bride. If I were to lose my job, we would sell everything we owned and go on a cross-country trip. My partially insane wife agreed, and we were comforted by our dream of the freedom of the road as layoffs continued.

The economy turned around and my job seemed to gain some stability. We no longer had a need for a backup plan. The dream of living on the road was repressed and only appeared in that time between wakefulness and sleep. I would fall asleep with a smirk on my face as I thought about what might have been.

Over the years, the dream of the freedom of the road burrowed through my brain. I could feel a tickle or a pull at times when we would go on a road trip, but I was never fully aware of what was happening in my subconscious. The rhythm of the tire on the asphalt and the calming sounds of small town talk radio as we drifted over an open prairie seemed to awaken a part of my soul, only to recede when I would return to the normal life.

Last December we felt like we were going to have a big change in our lives. That change is self-imposed. We are going on the road. We love our home and our neighborhood. I have a good job, and we love the many friends we have here in Utah. We didn’t want to leave but we had planted an idea in our own heads. That idea grew like it had a life of its own. Now we have our house up for sale, and we own a fifth wheel. We are saying good-bye to stability and security and saying hello to adventure. An idea had taken hold in our head, and it had become impossible to eradicate it.

Michael Johnson

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