I read a lot today. I read my own writing, from my first blog post up until now. In hindsight, I believe this blog saved me from a much darker fate. The act of putting something in writing for the world to see, be it an idea or a thought, an emotion or a desire has strengthened my will to achieve my dreams, and I am proud to say that since the time I started writing publicly, my life has completely changed for the better.
It was sad to read many of my posts. The first 3 months I spent blogging was a very bad time in my life, wrought with depression and other vices that were leading me down a rabbit hole I could not see a way out of. The truth of the matter is that I am usually not a very open person. I find it very difficult to confide in people, or even talk about my state in the simplest of terms. Yet in writing, I find myself telling the world, openly, all the things I cannot seem to tell even those people that are closest to me.
I read posts about freedom and failure, materialism and minimalism. I read about my plans to remove all of the clutter from my life and about the way I want to live. As of this moment I am happy with my life. I travel, I see, I do and I feel free. Since leaving Melbourne I have learned, and learned very quickly, just what is important in my life. I own less than I ever thought possible, yet find myself wanting nothing more than a new book occasionally, or a block of chocolate. I live well, I enjoy my work, I eat well and have good accommodation, and all for less than I could have ever imagined.
Perhaps the hardest hitting revelation I had in this process is recalling just how depressed I was in my ‘successful’ life. Were it not for me putting in writing many of my thoughts I would no longer remember just how much I hated my life. The depression I felt now seems so distant, and my blog serves as a reminder to me that my well being is in my own hands. My current situation is a direct effect of acknowledging that I was not happy and making the hard decisions necessary to change. It wasn’t easy. Much of the journey has not been easy. I have had several serious setbacks and many unexpected turns, but never lost sight of my goal. However, no matter how stressful, or how broke and hungry I may have found myself in the process, the depression that once gripped me has loosened its hold and no longer exists.
Being a Lifty is great. But the accommodation for a Lifty? Yeah. Not so great.
Nissen 2 – Sunny Side
The majority of the Lifties and Instructors on Falls Creek live in two buildings called Nissen 1 and Nissen 2, right at the top of the village. These buildings are known by the locals and frequents as being terrible.
I live in Nissen 2 on the top floor of ‘sunny side’. When I came up for training week there were so many problems with our room. For starters (and probably the worst), we didn’t have a hot water tap in the shower and had no way of getting the hot water on, so we had cold showers. Our heater also didn’t work and the bathroom door handle kept falling off. Perhaps the funniest fault was that our fridge was on the coldest setting and the knob we needed to turn it up was broken, so our food and drink kept freezing……. Oh, and our microwave didn’t work and the power was out half the time.
(My room mate just walked in home from the pub in a short dress and bra stuffed with toilet paper and makeup, ripped the toilet paper out of his bra and said “man I can’t begin to tell you how itchy my nipples are”. This is Nissen life)
Nissen 2 is a three story building. The bottom floor is used by resort maintenance and the top two floors are a series of dorm like apartments about 3.5m wide and 6m deep. Bathroom, beds, kitchen, living room and all included. It’s cosy. Moving here was a complete change. For the first month and a half I was quite uncomfortable in this building, but now I love it. It grows on you. Socially this place is brilliant, every night there is something going on and there are always people everywhere.
Last week I was in the bathroom preparing for a night shift, and when I went to leave, I discovered that the handle had fallen off (after maintenance had been and fixed it) and that I was stuck. For about half an hour I was yelling through the vent screaming “ROOM 49” and various other things. But no one came. Eventually, given the uncertainty of the time and the consequences of not arriving at work on time. As well as knowing that my house mates are at work and wouldn’t be home in time. I decided to kick the door in. I got to work. I also had plenty of time.
On the plus side, our broken door is now the most functional it has been all season. There is even a little hole where the handle used to be to pull it by.
This place took some time to adjust to, but there is no where in the world I would rather be right now.
20 days ago I abandoned my career as an Engineer in search of something else, something unknown. I would like to say that my world has been turned upside down, but it’s more true to say that it was already upside down, and that it has now turned the right way up. For the first time in my life I feel truly free.
There are two simple statements that have been resonating with me of late. Two simple statements that can be heard loud and clear by anyone, but take great attention and contemplation to fully understand.
The first is “Just Do It“. Here and now. This really is it. Right now. Next year we will all be older. Soon we will be dead. There are many things I want to do in my life. My biggest hurdle has not been an inability to achieve my goals, but rather an ignorance of my options and a fear of change. What will I do without my high Income? Will I be able to get another Job? Where will I live? These questions only served to keep me still. To keep me stuck in fear of change and perpetually failing to really live the life I have. The future is uncertain. But regardless, it is always possible that I might fail at what I don’t want to do anyway, so why not at least try and do something I really want to do? Why not pick that thing I want to do, and Just Do It?
The second is “Live and Let Live“. I spent too many years in hate. There are many people in this world, and many different ways of life. Yes, there is one and only one truth about life, the Universe and all that is and will ever be, but who am I to think that I am right in what I ‘know’. I may see many beliefs as silly or unwarranted, but who am I to tell anyone what they should or should not believe. We should express ourselves and our thoughts, and we should listen to others, it is the best way to grow in self. But we must learn to just love each other regardless of what we each choose to believe, be it out of introspective conviction, faith, science, ignorance, whatever. I have found great peace in the past weeks by learning to just accept anyone for who they are, regardless of whether they are willing to accept me or not.
These last few weeks have seen me completely lose who I thought I was. I now know, with absolute certainty, that money and happiness have absolutely nothing to do with each other. All of the best memories I have made over the past year have been in the last few weeks.
My First Game of Jenga
A Road Trip Break
Playing Jenga for the first time. Having a secret party under a bridge. Watching the clouds from a mountain top. Road trips. My friends bucks night at the pub. But most of all, what has brought me the most peace and happiness is people. I have met many new and amazing people.
Craigs Bucks Night
Secret Party @ Undisclosed Location
I don’t know where I will be in 4 months. But wherever it is, it will be somewhere I want to be. Otherwise I wont stay.
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 don’t really know what to think at the moment. I’m happy. I’m excited. I have taken control of my life back and am on my way to somewhere I want to be. Though wherever that ultimately is I will only know on arrival.
I just had the call from Falls Creek (Snow in Australia), and in less then 2 months now, I can confirm, I will be on my way up to work for the whole snow season. This moment feels truly liberating. I have escaped the corporate world, likely never to return (as an employee at least), and have started my next phase. The phase were I really get to live my life.
I am no longer worried about my immediate future. I just need to continue existing as an engineer for another 50 days.
My professional life is over in 51 days now (34 more days behind a desk). The closer the date gets, the more i’m thinking about what is going to happen. Truth is that I have no solid idea. Perhaps my need to know, my need to have some degree of certainty as to what the future holds, is something I need to let go of.
Today I have been trying to shift my thinking. Rather than thinking about what is going to happen. I’m asking myself what is important? Life is uncertain, and I do not have a solid plan. I only have ideas that may or may not work (though i’m largely optimistic) and a desire to actually live my life. So perhaps I should just let life happen, enjoy the moment and focus on the important things. But what are the important things?
These are the things that I think are important. This list has not been planned and perhaps I will use it as a ‘live’ record and update it as I make my journey. But for now, this is what comes to mind:
I have recently been put in contact and inspired by a few people who have already taken the leap I intend to take. Individuals who have thrown away the ideals that we have been taught, and have become truly their own people. I hope to learn a lot from these incredible people.
I have also had many conversations recently with older professionals, including people in my current workplace. Many times I have heard that one of the biggest regrets they have is not taking a similar risk when they were younger, and choosing to just continue in the corporate world, year after year.
So i’m going to try my best to focus on what is important, and just let life happen, whilst trying to experience and travel as much as possible. If I end up in the gutter. I will end up in the gutter happy. I have no idea where I am going. But for the first time in my life I feel that I am beginning to discover myself, and not the person the world expects me to be.
In ideal circumstances, it is now 2 months from the day I go to Falls Creek (the snow). There is a good chance this will not happen, but in any case whatever my next step is, it will likely either be somewhere distant or on the way to somewhere distant. So I must be prepared. For those of you that are reading my posts, you will know that being prepared involves getting rid of all of my stuff. Besides perhaps a small selection of things that I will leave with loved ones.
For the remainder of today and all of tomorrow I will be photographing and listing every single book, CD and DVD I own, love and have left, for sale. Those that don’t sell I will be giving away for free. Be it to anyone that wants them or a charity store. Most likely the remaining books will go to the Melbourne Central book exchange shelf.
I wish to see more of this world, how that happens I don’t yet know and I will likely always remain uncertain about what comes next. The biggest step will be to get to the next place. The first place. And to start learning how to live with less.
The life I have been leading has now left me empty, depressed and wanting for more. But more it seems, is less. More is to enjoy the moment, to find myself in good company and in laughter. To leave behind the office and the seemingly endless professional repetition. I no longer have any desire to strive for a promotion, or a pay rise. These things are now meaningless to me. As of this June, I will no longer work jobs I do not enjoy. I will make sure that I am either somewhere I want to be, or working towards somewhere I want to be. I am the only person in control of my future. I want no handouts. I will make myself.
So for now. It is time to start taking photographs, weighing books and listing things for sale. Once I have started getting a decent amount of things listed I will place some links here.
In about 2.5 months now my professional life is ending and I am being thrust in to the world with a fresh start. Whilst I maintain an optimistic long term outlook, it is a lie to say that I am not scared of my short term future. I have grown accustomed to a lifestyle where money is no issue and have spent what I want when I want.
I know now that I will never earn my millions working for a boss, and that my time, my imagination and ability to innovate are my greatest assets. What I really require for long term success is my time. So I must learn, for the short term, to live on much less, whilst finding a way to experience my country and the rest of the world at the same time.
I do not know where I will be living in June and I do not know where I will be working, only that I will not allow myself to be homeless and that I can and will get a job. A job that I will enjoy. Out of university it was more important, especially given the fears that were embedded in our brains about the difficulty of finding employment to just get a job, as opposed to find a job we enjoy. As a result I jumped at the first opportunity. Though I have learnt so much, which I can and will ultimately use in my own life to benefit me, I now find myself miserable in a job I have no passion for.
I now know that the work force is kind to those that are willing to work and that are willing to put in just a little bit of effort to do a good job, but I do not know what it is that I will truly enjoy, only that in time I will find it. I am anxious and I am scared. Perhaps fear is good for me, maybe I need it, maybe it will trigger a true transformation in my life. I know I need it. It has been a long time coming.