We live in such a weird world and sheep are prevalent throughout (nothing wrong with being a sheep mind you).
This is a picture that I saw on reddit
Notice the man in the car is following the herd and you know who the herder is? Society. I will more than likely receive flack for this post, but I think it must be done. I too am a sheep, one that has many fears and looks toward the almighty society for validation and protection.
It all started when I was a boy, I wanted the latest and greatest but our family wasn’t the most well off and that’s when I had the brilliant idea that I would become rich one day. I muddled my way through school and started college. Originally I majored into Finance but decided to switch to something else because I didn’t want to gamble other people’s money. Along came a woman named Ina who convinced me to go the Accounting route and I switched over. I was accepted for an internship with United States Army as a contractor for a company called Vista Sciences Corporation. Of course I was gung ho about coming, counting down the days until I would leave on January 22, 2011. When I finally arrived in the Quad City Airport I was ecstatic to see snow and be able to make money while experiencing living on my own. How so very wrong I would be.
Walking out of the airport I see white stuff falling from the sky and the cold air whip across my face with negative number wind chill. I drove with another intern to my apartment where I set up my home away from home and began to live. Several weeks go by and the lack of vitamin D from a clouded out sun makes me start to feel a bit depressed. As my time here goes on I feel more and more depressed as I continue to work in a building where no one cares about the work, there are no windows, and I must be there. All of this suffering for $500 / week pre-tax and a little less than $400 / week after tax. Despite moving from the crippling heat of South Florida to the ice cold weather of Iowa / Illinois, I found myself in Hell.
Now things have changed slightly. I’ve turned down another shot at interning here because in the end I would have to move back up here and it just isn’t for me. Even though the money is great for my net worth statements it isn’t good for my mental health seeing nothing but gloomy days. I’ve come so close to killing myself while here mentally (not in the physical sense, more like shutting down). I’ve gone through depression by not being able to see anything but work. You never feel so cornered when friends are busy and you have nothing to do for hours on end. The world isn’t the same and you suffer a paradigm shift of the worst sort. Speaking to my girlfriend I’ve tried to call it off several times because it felt like she had no time to talk (we’ve both been busy). My friends who I loved playing games with online, I no longer enjoyed. My brother who I could sit around and shoot the wind with, I could no longer spend two minutes with. Such sad and terrible traits seclusion has brought out from me. This was my first foray out from my house and invaluable lessons have been gained.
The first lesson that I’ve learned is that I can live on very little. Give me some shelter, a bit of food and I’ll survive. I won’t be happy without people but my heart will beat and my lungs will take in air. Minimalism is the way to go, there is no need for me to take my house with me, unless I can stick a friend or two in my suitcase. While money is great, it doesn’t make me happy in the least. Finally time is a finite resource and no amount of money will change that. Finally if you focus on money you’ll lose sight of everything else.
I’m not a religious person but while here I’ve been giving death some thought. Regardless of what type of life you live, whether you are poor or rich you will still die. Knowing this it really made me question where I’m going in life. Endless money thus far hasn’t made me happy, maybe I can sleep better at night knowing I have food but that’s about it. Every morning I worry about people losing faith in it, the forex market killing the dollar, and the government printing away its worth. Materialistic things definitely don’t make me happy, I’ve never felt so good having so few things. On the flip side of money and materialistic goods being 100% isolated from my friends and family definitely hasn’t done my mental health any good. Maybe it’s as my good friend Omar says “moderation is key”. Could it mean that for now I simply combine family, friends and minimalism? It would be a simple solution to a big problem, and might as well experiment.
I guess we’ll see where life takes me. Either way my attitude needs to change and I need to be happier. Millions of people would kill to be in my place. Having read Siddhartha, he goes through something similar and settles for a path of solitude. If I can fulfill my basic necessities independently regardless of what ideology I choose I will be in better shape.
Thank you for reading this boring rant. What do you think besides me being crazy?
The Crossing limits and lines, how I almost killed myself by Prompt Retirement, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.