It recently occurred to me that I’m different. Okay, maybe it wasn’t such a recent occurrence. When I look back at my childhood years, I’m not surprised I turned out the way I did. It’s who I’ve always been.
As a kid, I wanted to own my own business. I wanted to start a car dealership and sell brand new Chevrolet cars and trucks. I loved cars as a kid and thought that as the owner of a business like that, I would be able to drive anything I wanted. I’ve since changed my mindset about the ownership of brand new cars. I now think it’s one of the biggest wastes of money a person can possibly do. But still, the idea of starting and owning my own business intrigues me. I still have that dream.
I’m a lot like my grandpa, who’s passed on now and whom I miss dearly. He loved cars, fancy toys and taking care of them by polishing them up and showing them off. He took pride in his things and took care of them. I do the same (maybe I learned it from him). He had a motorhome late in his life that he kept nice and did all kinds of traveling with. He also subscribed to a motorhome magazine (I don’t remember which one) that I used to look through all the time. I dreamed of owning one of those fancy motorhomes someday, and even living in one instead of a house. That way, I could travel the world and take in its beauty. I loved the idea of not being planted in one location, but instead being free to pick up the stabilizers and take off.
Another dream I had as a kid was that of retiring early. I always said I wanted to retire before I turned 45. It just seemed like something I could do. I always had a belief in myself that I could do it. It wasn’t something I really ever even questioned. I still don’t. The only question today is, how much earlier than that can I retire?
So there it is. I always wanted to start my own gig and do my own thing. I always liked the idea of traveling and living a free life. And I always believed that retiring early was the best thing to do. Twenty or so years later, today, I have the same dreams, although I’m not sure I still want to live in a motorhome, but a part of me does.
Am I like most people? No, I’m not.
Most people don’t want to start their own business. Most people just want a good job. And most people think that’s just the way it should be. I think they’re nuts. I see the whole thing as flawed. At what point did this world become a place where people spend 20 years in school to learn to take orders and follow directions from someone else? That sounds to me like a waste of our individuality and creativity. Before all this came to be, people actually left the cave, went out and drug something home. They did it their way too. They used their talents, their creativity, their intellect.
Today, there are all these large, established corporations. Yes, they are a good thing because they bring us cheap things. But they are also a bad thing, and not because the CEO’s are making billions of dollars while their employees are making minimum wage. They’re a bad thing because they set the standard that this is how we are supposed to operate. We’re all supposed to go beg at the door of these giants to let us work in their big factory. They want our most scarce resource, our time. Even worse, they want us to check our unique talents, our creativity, our individuality at the door, by shoving their job descriptions in our faces and telling us how to do their job. Seriously, this has become what everyone dreams of doing with their entire adult life?
Am I alone here in thinking that the whole idea of training for many years for a job where someone else tells you what to do is a little strange? It seems to me like we shouldn’t be blaming the CEO’s of company’s, but rather everyone else for participating in all this. We’re teaching our kids, our friends, our brothers and sisters and our neighbors that we’re supposed to go get a job and work for someone else for 40 years until the government decides when we can stop working. Sorry all, I’m checking out of that strategy.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a job. I work for an employer. I have to do what I’m told do to. I’m not saying we should all protest this and then starve to death. Sometimes, working a job is the best thing for us at the time. I respect my employer and most of the time, I really enjoy being there and spending my time on our company’s priorities. But there are those times when the real me, the me who dreams big and thinks differently, slaps me in the face and says, “You know there is more out there. This isn’t the way it always has to be”.
And I come back to who the real me is, someone who questions this whole way of life, that of going to school for 20 years to be trained on how to work for someone else, then becoming and staying dependent on working for someone else because you keep spending all the money you make. And because of this endless cycle, having to work until the government pays you enough to live on. Am I the only one who sees this as less than ideal? Am I the only one who is going to stand up and say, this isn’t the way I’m going to live my life?
And so I say, “I’m different”. I want to create my own work, not follow directions, for the rest of my life. I want to escape the rat race, the endless cycle of consuming, spending all I have, and then having to practically beg for someone to pay me so I can continue spending. How about no? How about I’m not living like that? How about if I work my butt off trying to create something myself, something that reflects the unique, talented and original me, something that I really care about. And how about if I change my personal finance mindset as well. I’m not going to spend, spend, spend so that I can be desperate, at the mercy of someone else to feed me.
No. I’m escaping that. I’m escaping what I believe to be normal. I’m not doing it. Retire by 45? It was a childhood dream of mine and one that’s going to come true. It’s funny how who you are is just who you are. Who I am is the person I just described. Who are you?
Category: Doing What You Love