Wage slave exit strategy
April 27, 2012
If you’re reading this, then probably you started to suspect that there might be something more to the life than doing some office job which is equivalent to chasing a laser pointer around the floor, with more or less the same tangible benefits. Here are some ideas that I stumbled on my way out of computers and into the real life. To break the 9-5 pattern of addiction where you replace own emotions with control of external beings or objects, or jumping into accumulation of things, you need few thing sorted out. Emotional – wise.
First, you have to arrange some emotional space to stop being time-poor so you would have some space to think for yourself. Your aim at this stage is to be able to spend about 30-60 minutes a day with yourself. No tv, internets, cellphones. Just you and yourself and starry night or something. I actually did this and it feels really awesome to calm down from the state of the alarm many around you want you to be in. You might realize that you actually are running away from some deep issues and use your daily life as a coverup of those. Many unsolved issues may drag you in many directions at once. Most issues are related to the lack of closeness and hugs.
You can arrange some headspace through downsizing and unsandboxing your life which I described before. It’s okay. It happens all around to all sorts of people. Thanks to the GFC the MTV stopped making crap and started to make few things that were really touching and watchable. Take for example recent MTV show “The Buried Life”, where people travel across USA helping other’s solve some deep issues that block their happy. Other shows that you might wanna check are “The ugly duckling” and “I used to be fat”.
Revisit all past issues and see what really drags you down and drains your happy causing you to go into ‘emotional runaway’ mode. You can’t address stuff you can’t name.
The end goal of this change is to get away from doing crappy stuff in exchange of few weeks of emotional release/freedom. Hopefully it will be about change into finding your own enough, being more in charge of own dependencies in life and doing what you feel so you can share the surplus of it with others.
You might think at first at getting some diet changes. In the long run it will help you to stop being dependent on doctors and pharmacists. On top of that you don’t have to worry about lengthy preparations and cleanups when you’re following simple vegan or raw (uncooked) vegan diet the preparation times are really fast, and cleanup times are almost non-existant (no burned meat or grease = no need for some heavy-duty chemicals, simple wipe with water works 99% of the time).
Next you have to re-examine your money sourcing part of life.
Being in a stressful situation where you work all year for few weeks of release is far from healthy. Many choose to get away from their corpo-jobs as a part of a gap year experience, no matter how early or late in their lives.
People become massage therapists, artists, sculptors, organic farmers. Surprisingly when looking at this with many of my computer programmer buddies, they told that most of pro software engineers go away from that lifestyle to elderly care or become ski instructors. After all its quality of own life that matters and picking the tribe that suits you rather than living for a prestige, or in constant fear of some imaginary threat that some might use to emotionally guilt and enslave you.
“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
One version of the end game is about settling self on own piece of land, where you can start some clean veggie growing operation, kinda like they do.
Surprisingly its relatively easy once you get to know the basics. You can even get by if you plant the plant the wrong side up :D
Setting self up on own land will cost you 10-15k€ depending on circumstances. People do that and this:
And even this:
And it works in practice kinda like so, demonstrted by single mother who on waitress salary developed barren piece of property into a wood log home, pretty much on her own alone:
For 15 years I had put myself on the back burner, where hopes and dreams of security and independence were simmering. A notebook entitled “Wants and Needs in a Home” and a filing cabinet stuffed with log and timber-frame ideas revealed my yearning. An apartment-dwelling single mother waitressing in a big city was not my idea of the good life. Something in my genes insisted on a massive medieval fortress decorated in early pioneer. I wanted a house that the wolf himself couldn’t blow down!
I diligently shopped around for a nice small town, secured a job and apartment in advance, loaded up Eric and Cynthia (along with his piano and her horse), and we were off. Happiness was Reno, Nevada in my rear view mirror!
For me it is more about being mobile so I won’t be tied to one place in case some people will start to make some dramas. I guess its land equivalent of living on a boat :) Probably I will go after either a tumbleweed:
Or aero-style house:
Maybe even use this type of insulation, since using packed-strawbale (naturally fireproof or this) on the outside looks interesting :) In extreme cases I guess it might be possible to put that aero-house on the sytrofoam floats and register it as a house-boat :)
If land is too pricey in your area, and if land-rights allow, then it is possible to acquire land through forming of corporation. In this way a 500k€ plot of land will become obtainable resource when divided between 50 shareholders. This is how it is done in Canada, where prices are stacked up against individual buyer with prices up through the roof, but pro corporations where buying land in bulk the price per area ratio becomes really affordable option. Many people use this model to their own advantage.
All is cool, but there is one caveat that I am aware of. Well maybe two.
First, you have to recreate whole infrastructure on your own, which can be tricky to start up if you have no prior experience. You have to balance things out since some stuff really is better to have sourced from an outside vendor, which operates at larger scale, hence the whole engagement is more time/cost ratio effective (don’t create brewery to drink one beer). Because of it sometimes it seems just better to get a small-ish 22k€ studio apartment in the city. Just seen today one of that value in Spain and Egypt in quite nice locations near the sea.
Second, some people who succeeded at going off grid say it is sometimes really lonely. Tho for me at this point of my life it is something to go after. At worst I will have a house on my own to fall-back when some future business will go bust. This sense of being non-needy and security that you have a house waiting there for you and idea of achievement that you owe nothing to no-one, all of this together is more than money can buy on a 30-year mortgage :-)
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad”.
“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.
“Oh yes”, said the son.
“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.
The son answered:
“I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.”
“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”
The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added:
“Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are.”
If you want to pursue this idea further, I gathered some top of the line ideas on health, farming, water sourcing and such in previous article. You might also like to take a look at my blog’s sidebar for some ideas. If you don’t believe that other life can happen, because you are surrounded by downbringing assholes at the moment, you might want to temporary break out of those surroundings. Get some ideas of happy thoughts through the wonders of the internets and snuggle up in positive media with those who are living a happy life – birds of feather stick together :)