Are you one of those people that might be even a tiny bit disappointed that we didn't have a Mayan Apocalypse? Did you have your hopes up for some zombie shooting? Fancy yourself a survivor type?
What is it about your current life that makes an apocalypse look like an improvement?
There's good news. You don't have to wait for a total systems failure to radically change your life. All you have to do is to change your life.
What's the matter? Can't do that?
Afraid that maybe you aren't the survivor type you think you are? Now would be the time to find out for sure, when we are not in a total collapse. It's easier to recover from any mistakes.
Can't run away and hide in the National Forest because you'd get arrested? Did you think it would be easier dealing with the biker gang warlords that would control the area in a real collapse? Maybe you have to reconsider the whole run away to the forest daydream.
It's easy for life to slip into a rut. Your life might not be all you wanted, but it's not too terrible. TV and a few beers numb you just enough to get by. Positive change will just sneak up and happen to you one day. Maybe an apocalypse is more likely after all.
Do you really need that drastic of an excuse to change your life? Bothered by the potential criticism of friends and family? Don't let that stop you. Most people hate to see someone escape the life of the mundane. It's funny how often middle aged adults make major life changes after their parents die. They might be 50 years old, but are still afraid of doing something to disappoint their parents. Two things happen when the parents pass on. That potential disappoint is gone, and it's a reminder that you aren't going to live forever.
What if you set out on a new life adventure and it fails? I've news for you. At least part, and maybe all of your new plans will fail. Doing anything new has a steep learning curve. However, you will learn something. Maybe that's better than never doing anything new?
A fast collapse forces people out of ruts. The slow grinding collapse we are in sneaks up on people and they slowly adapt to feeling miserable. Breaking out of that takes work. Most people won't admit that anything really major is wrong. I'm old enough to remember when every building and street corner did not have a surveillance camera. A blue collar job paid as well as a college professor. Your boss didn't live in a high priced gated community but across the street from you. The collapse takes decades, not days.
If you do break free, much of what you do will be on your own. However, you will meet other adventurers along the way. They will be your tribe. These are the people you can trade knowledge, goods, skills, tools, and party with.
You've been shackled with debt, responsibilities, expectations, laws and shame. Look at your chains. Will it take an apocalypse to break them or can you slowly file them off yourself?
Freedom might require any number of disguises. You aren't a wandering vagabond; you are hiking the Appalachian Trail. You aren't living in a tent -it's an extended vacation. You are not an unemployed bum, but an artist, musician or a writer. You aren't a trash picker but a radical recycling environmentalist.
You are fighting your oppressor, not with a gun, but with something that really hurts. You are living free and easy on the land, outside of normal controls. Leaders need followers to survive, and you can be your own leader, no apocalypse required.