“Long time,” it feels like.
From “Stories. Not a blog.”
I read this post the day it was written. It showed up on the read.write.as feed, if I remember correctly.
‘i can’t leave this fucking job that i hate because that would jeopardize my future with you, and i don’t know what to do.’
The author heard someone say the above from outside an open window, in the middle of the night.
I still think about this part of this post occasionally—possibly for the same reason as the author. It is, indeed, “one of the most heartbreaking things i’ve ever heard.”
These days, some of the things I mainly think about are 1) freedom from money and 2) the inevitability of needing some money to be free from it.
I don’t want to go into the woods, never to interact with the outer world, ever again. I mean, I say that occasionally, that I am willing to go into the woods—but that is the worst-case scenario. Being willing to do that and wanting to do that is different. If I had wanted to do that, I would have done it already. It doesn’t cost a lot to find a livable hut somewhere on this planet. Even with the purchase of a car, I would probably survive for the rest of my life, if I were to live to be, say, 70 or so.
But, again, that’s the worst-case scenario, in my case.
For one thing, I want to publish what I write in a form that is reachable by the majority of the human population. This means internet, money to buy design assets or labor, a bank account (or several), electricity, and so on and so forth.
Second, I enjoy the occasional anonymous crowds that create public privacy a.k.a. big cities. This means flight tickets, room and board in big cities (expensive), clothing that at least doesn’t offend fancy city people (hopefully I’m not smelly), and so on and so forth.
To continue doing what I do and enjoying what I like, I need money. Not a lot, but some, definitely.
So, I think about building a community for people like me…
…and I also think about feeding us, clothing us, and culturing us. I don’t want to cut us off from the greater world. I want some kind of money generation system so we can interact with the world…
…and on top of that, I think about allowing us to go wherever we want to, at least occasionally. To big cities, to ocean towns, to deep forests, wherever. Actually, what would be so perfect is to have two community headquarters; in different countries; one in the countryside, another in the city…
…and then I think about the inevitability of the sheer amount of resources (time, money, labor, effort, strategy, raw material, etc) that’s gonna take to build all this.
The scariest parts aren’t all those measurable investments, however. It’s that the more love one feels (emotional investment), the more susceptible one might become to the above-quoted feelings.
That creates terror.
I am so terrified these days, it doesn’t even make sense. This is happening in my mind. I know that. Outwardly, my situation hasn’t changed much. But… Oh, gods, that guy in the quote above actually has someone he loves and he might be losing that person. For gods’ sake. What the hell. The terror.
I see why some people choose to settle for something, whether it be a person or a job or the place where they live. If you settle, you can never get hurt too badly. It is logical, almost, to settle for something that can’t hurt you. Things that can’t hurt you are nice. There is nothing wrong with nice. Nice is nice!
I don’t know where I was going with this.
I guess… this post is a reminder for future me. No matter how much $HIT TON OF MONEY I end up making, no matter how FILTHY RICH I am, I will never ever ever EVER spend my wealth on stupid things. Depending on how much I make, I will save and invest (in all forms of investments, hopefully including the above-mentioned communities) anywhere from 30% to 90% of my income.
When I become filthy rich and I start wasting money on truly useless things like… friggin… Lamborghinis… or diamond rings… or something pointless like that, someone send me a hate email with a link to this post, please.
Yes. Never forget, Ithaka. It’s one thing to never have the resources. It’s another entirely to have the resources and then blow it on useless shit.
Not saying that the man in the above quote did that. I don’t know, and the original author doesn’t know, the details of his particular situation.
This is just me hypothesizing: having the opportunity and then blowing it would be 1000 x worse than never having had the opportunity.
I think part of the reason for the cold is this. The terror. Psychology affects the body a lot. In my life, there were several major periods in which my body screamed for attention because I was ignoring what was happening in my mind for too long.
Granted, this cold right now isn’t a severe case. I wouldn’t count this as one of the “major periods in which my body screamed for attention.” But I think that is only because over the years, I’ve gotten somewhat better at noticing physical changes before things get too bad. (Ex: I am sleeping A LOT these days instead of resisting the urge to rest.) This cold could have been a lot worse. I can’t remember the last time I had a cold twice in three-ish months. Also, as I’ve said yesterday (or the day before that)—this cold is weird. It feels weird. The chills are weird.
Physical signs like this visit me when something shifts. These days, the shifts revolve around love and fear.
I’ve always been somewhat ambitious, but such ambition has been, until a few months ago, for myself. So, depending on the observer, I wasn’t ambitious at all.
There were many reasons for that. I was young(er), I was preoccupied with figuring out if I could do what I thought I wanted to do, and I guess I was just a different person back then.
I still think my core has always been the same. But outward behaviors have been changing recently, is what I’m saying. The universe/gods/higher force/the unfathomable chain reaction of chance events threw a bunch of new possibilities at me. These possibilities aren’t realistic, immediately reachable possibilities. They are literally just possibilities—possible outcomes that I haven’t thought about before.
Why. Why. Why. Why.
Suddenly, the field of vision of my mind expanded tenfold. With that, my ambition expanded. It is approaching the territory of the objectively ambitious. This is not all good. This is quite annoying and inconvenient, actually. Imagine how peacefully I could’ve gone on living without all these thoughts. But now, this! The view is dazzling and dizzying.
I think I cannot handle all this yet. I cannot handle any of this love.
This last part, I realized even more recently—in the past several weeks. So, now I am literally, physically sick.
I need an anchor. I will probably take one when it appears. Later is later. What if I don’t survive this right now?
But also, what if this was my last chance and there will be no later because I blew it in my need to survive right now. What then. Huh. What then.
That is also what I think about, these days.
Also, I want to know my death day. What I’d do if I were to die in a week is entirely different from what I’d do if I were to die in 90 years.
Damn it, I hope that man in the above quote is all right.
What is worse, not finding love or finding love and then losing it?
My answer: the latter.
There used to be a time when I couldn’t answer this question. Now I’m certain: it’s better never to know love. It’s better never to start. Some ends, I know I will not survive. The way everything else is rendered small in comparison to that one big wave is terrifying. After the wave sweeps over me and is gone, I will only have small things left—become a collection of insignificance.
But then, if that’s the case, the opposite would be true too. So long as the wave stays, it will be so significant that all ambitions of this world will pale in comparison. Nothing will be impossible. I would have the ocean on my side.
How do I make it stay.
I do not know.