It’s been a very long time since I added to my blog. I think the truth of it is that I only really started writing because I was miserable. My life was messy and becoming mixed up in the wrong things. I begin to write again now because my life has become interesting.
This time last year I was a ‘successful’ and ‘professional’ desk monkey. Time passed, yet I had ceased to grow. To many, my life may have seemed on track, as if I was achieving goals and advancing my career. Perhaps if I was someone else I would have agreed. But I am my own man, and have my own goals and desires that are not in line with the ‘norm’.
It’s been 9 months now since I threw in the Engineering profession. In this time everything has changed, I have successfully removed the shackles that people chain themselves with (all except my car) and I now lead a very simple and happy life. I have had more experiences and met more people in this short time than in the previous 4 years combined.
I lived and worked on the Snow in Victoria for 3.5 months. I traveled inland, to Mildura, and discovered first hand just how abhorrent my country treats travelers looking for their second year visas, and how widespread the exploitation is. I left my friends in Mildura and traveled solo to Adelaide with no plan, searching for something better. I lived in Port Adelaide for a few weeks, by the water with the dolphins and jellyfish, and then in the CBD, with the urban country folk, for a few more. I met many people and experienced Adelaide for what it is, however found nothing to make me stay. Only a girl with whom to go.
We drove west. With no real plan, we drove and stopped as we pleased and saw so much of Australia which I was before completely ignorant. The sand dunes, salt lakes, deserts, rock formations, the Bunda Cliffs, the wide variety of sea life and so much more, until we landed in Fremantle. As far west as anyone can get in this country. Here in Fremantle is where our journey takes its leave. But not the adventure. We traveled north to the Pinnacles and for snorkeling, we traveled south to Margaret River and a series of caves further south again. I found a job I enjoy, with a boss I respect and peers I enjoy the company of. I clean pools now, and live in my favorite place in Australia. For a while at least.
Who knows what comes next. For now I am happy and settled. In two weeks I travel to Bali and in 2 months, with the sad departure of my travel buddy, I take a trip to Thailand. What a journey it has been so far. One I will write about. In the hope that a few of you readers might follow my own steps, in your own way, and throw in your careers for an uncertain adventure. I wont be the one wishing I took that risk or did that thing when I lay on my death bed, and I hope you wont either.
Supposedly, the easiest time to eliminate old habits and form new ones is whilst undergoing a major change in living circumstances. For example moving house. So I figured that given I am going to be moving to Falls Creek for the Snow Season I should start thinking about what habits I currently have that I should cut out and what things might be worth trying to adopt regularly in my life.
In the last 2 months I have already had huge success in changing my lifestyle for the better. Primarily with regards to smoking and excessive spending. Though there is always a way to continue to improve. So what is next? Ironically (though I guess it couldn’t have happened any other way) whilst obsessively scanning facebook yesterday I began stumbling across a whole bunch of content (such as the videos below) regarding how obsessed with technology we have become and how dissociative it can cause us to be.
I definitely spend too much of my time on social media. I have begun to loose the art of conversation and am numb. My phone is always on me and I easily check it 100 times a day. There is only so much I get out of digital conversation. They lack emotion and tone. They are checked and optimized and lack genuine error. I do not truly know the people that I converse with online and they do not know me. What defines us is so much more than anything anyone can write on a screen.
So when I get to Falls Creek, in about a months time, I am going to leave my phone at home during the days. I’m only going to check it in the morning and at night. During the day I am going to commit my complete and full attention to everyone and anyone that wishes to share some of their time engaging with me. I am also going to make an active effort to engage others, simply to share a short moment in friendly conversation. I wish to learn to converse once more and make some new genuine friends. Some friends that get to know who I really am and not how I appear online.
Well. I was going to try and come up with a few new habits to try and adopt, but my work break is nearlyover. Running. I’m going to try and run at least 3 times a week. But lets not commit to too much hey. The phone is already a big one
I have been contemplating a lot lately the concept of living each day like it is my last. I look around me and see people living in fear of the future, only not realizing that in fear they are neglecting to live in the present. So how do I make sure that I live every day like it is my last? What does this really mean?
Tomorrow I must go to my desk. I am hardly convinced that by doing so I am living each day like it is my last, however I find myself part of this absurd world which has allowed me to put myself in a position where (temporarily at least) I must continue to do so. Perhaps in this world it is not possible to live each day as if it were our last. If we have a dream, a goal for our life, we must work towards that goal in order to achieve success. In this process we are inevitably forced to not live as if we will die tomorrow. There will be days, weeks, months and even years full of tiring hard work. Right? Hard work that will not result in immediate gratification. Hard work that may not ever pay off at all. Could it be that it is the journey, and not the destination, that really counts?
Being true to myself. Pursuing my own dreams and pleasures. Facing my fears. Taking risks. Perhaps to live each day as if it were my last simply means to live each day doing those things that I am passionate about. But therein lays another problem. What if the thing that I am passionate about do not get me paid (yet)? Then I am forced, by the pressures of this absurd world, to earn an income by another means.
It is here, in earning an income, that I believe many people make a profound mistake, myself up to now included. The mistake being learning in order to get paid, chasing a high wage and a promotion by becoming progressively better and more efficient at some specific thing. But this is not living. I no longer fear the future. Not because I know what it is going to bring, I don’t have a clue. But rather because I know that I have the ability to achieve my wildest dreams and I have so much time.
From May 23 forward, I work to learn, not for money (though it is required in small amounts to survive), then I will apply my knowledge in my own life and in my own business. Not only will I work to learn, I will work only in fields that I have a genuine and real interest in. Life is meant to be lived! Why not be who we want to be? Why not really live it? Is it ignorance that causes so many of us live in fear? I only have 23 more days of work behind a desk left. From then on my adventure really begins. Every day, I will ask myself these deep existential questions. Who am I? Why am I here? Am I living each day as if it were my last? I don’t expect to ever find an answer to any of these questions, but I will live as if the answer is just around the next corner.
24 more days behind a desk and my life is going to drastically change for the better. Though a big part of this change includes a pay cut of more than 50%. I have made my mistakes now, and even though I have been professionally employed on a very good wage for over three years, I am left only slightly ahead of the starting line. So I must now do things differently. I will be a wealthy man. I will not be working at 65. I will hopefully not be working (by necessity at least) at 35. So the question for me now is “how am I going to do this?”. If I rely on saving, then when I can afford a house I like, buying a house and starting to pay down the mortgage, not only will I get myself tied down and unable to live a life of adventure and travel, but I will also never get truly ahead and certainly will not escape this rat race by 35.
Luckily I already have a lot of ideas, coupled with the will to work hard and the guts to make a decision. I have already made bad decisions. But a bad decision is a lesson learned.
I once heard a comedian commenting on pursuing his dreams. At one point he said that one of the best decisions he made was to leave his well paid corporate job in order to have more time to focus on what it was he really wanted. This rings true with me, and I can only hope my life works out in a similar way. I remember times in my life when I have been working on projects and ideas that I have had a real passion for, and I can so clearly remember the drive and enthusiasm that is still inside me, but has been dormant now for too long.
“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come” – CS Lewis
I am in the process now of removing the distractions from my life. In the process of putting myself somewhere I can be truly grateful for being. Somewhere I can smile every day, without someone elses stresses pushing me down. Somewhere I can get more in to my own work and my own ideas. It is time to continue my education, both academically and culturally. There is a whole world to experience and learn from. It is up to me and only me. There is no handout. No free ticket. So how?
The full time professional world has sucked up so much time now, time that I have not been able to pursue my own dreams in (though I never stopped working). A big paycheck every fortnight has been very nice, but ultimately it is not worth the time invested in someone elses business, and I only learnt how to live within my pay-scale. I may not see pay from my own ideas for a very long time. But when I do, it will not be capped at what my boss is willing to pay me. The limit to which I will pay myself is dependent only on my ability to create and innovate.
Three months from now I will be leaving (at the very minimum) my home state. If things work out ideally I will be working for a full season on falls creek (THE SNOW!). Though after that the worlds my oyster.
Given my education and my willingness to work, and work hard, it seems I have many options. Primarily I am interested in travelling to either the UK or America with a few pit stops on the way through potentially Thailand or Vietnam.
The UK: The UK provides me, and anyone else with a direct link to Europe. Staying in the UK would mean simple and cheap travel through such a diverse range of different cultures and languages, not to mention food (and who doesn’t love food). I have never been to France and had an unfortunately short stay in Spain once and would love to get back there. Also, the Visa process is quite reasonable, given my education I can easily apply and be accepted and start a working life.
America: America is big…. Really big. Exactly where I would prefer to live I do not know. My bucket list will not be complete however until I get to at minimum Peru and walk the paths of the Incas. The green card process does seem a bit ridiculous though and I don’t feel very comfortable moving in to a gun culture. Guns are silly. Melt them. Seriously. I would also love to experience the Atacama desert in Chile, the only place in the world where we have found no water (obviously only in very dry and desolate parts). How amazing the sky must look from such a place.
These are my current thoughts and they do not even come close to an exhaustive list of my options. My UK visa application is beginning tonight. It seems America will be saved for a later date. Honestly. Too much hastle. For now.