the path not taken

We are taught that our life’s purpose is work. In order to make work fun, we’re taught that we need to find something that we’re passionate about so we just want to spend our lives toiling away. For many, a path is clear: you were meant to be a mechanic, a doctor, an engineer, a teacher. But, for those of us without a clear vision, figuring it out can be a long and arduous process. And for me, the idea that I wanted to be free, free from schedules and bosses, free to entertain creative inspiration, free to jump from one thing to the next, well, it was wrong.

The result that I stalled out. I’ve been so busy figuring out what I wanted to spend the next 40-50 years of my life doing- what I wanted to be, I put everything on hold, put myself in a temporary mindset, and got myself into a bit of a financial pickle and just wasted time. Not intentionally, of course. But I never knew what I wanted was right there – I just needed to jump in and take it.

We don’t have to be anything but ourselves. We can look at jobs as tools to get us to where we want to go. They don’t have to become a career or a life-long commitment. Jobs do not have to be an extension of our identities. We don’t have to find that one thing we want to do forever so we don’t hate our lives.

I’ve wasted 20 years on this idea that you figure out your passion, monetize it, spend a lifetime doing it. Why do we do this? Mostly to buy stuff and to buy big adventures. We’re consumers. We make other people money.

What do I want for myself? I want financial independence. I want to camp, kayak, travel, hike, write. I want to spend as much time as I can engaging in those interests. How do I do it? By checking out of the consumer-driven society and saving and investing as much money as possible.

And now that I’ve sorted that out, I’ll get on with it.