I am an incredibly lucky person. I have a loving family and lifelong friends. I am educated. I am secure. My fiance and I are self-sufficient, supporting ourselves independently just over a thousand miles away from where I was born. Life is good. But if I had to name a single dissatisfaction, it would have to be that in order to sustain my current lifestyle I am required to exhaust 40 hours a week of my valuable time advancing the interests of others.
I work for a very successful private company experiencing rapid growth, and I do my job well. Consequently, I have no fear of being laid off. Through my job I meet MANY new people who tend to be intelligent, young, and attractive. They often have a technical background and share similar interests. Some put in 60+ hour weeks and/or travel 75% of the time, but not me. Admittedly, I have it real good over here. But after three years I am not as interested in the work as I used to be, and resent the way it prevents me from being free to travel and enjoy the experiences and people that REALLY make my life so rich.
Don’t I sound like a big complainy-pants? Some people would kill for a job like mine in this economy. And yet despite all of the advantages of staying put (there are many) I cannot help but feel that I am missing opportunities elsewhere.
I am well-compensated for my 40 hours a week, enough so that I am able to use one third of my earnings to cover ALL of my expenses and put the rest away where it can work for me. That is my solution, my ticket out. Those savings will yield further savings that will compound until I am able to live off the interest ALONE by the age of 35. I am still rankled that I have 10 more years of 40-hour weeks to go; this is not because I feel entitled but rather because I could have reached my goal of financial independence earlier by being more proactive and managing my money better as a teenager and student. But at least I have a plan now, and a yardstick with which to measure my progress.
To satisfy my wanderlust I will change jobs over those 10 remaining years. I will move to other cities, and the change of scenery will help me endure the proverbial treadmill, consoled by my private knowledge that my treadmill is shorter than most. I will go on reasonably priced vacations using “vacation days” given to me by my employer. And I will save, save, save until the day when I can step outside of the system.
I am advantaged; I admit it. I’m not a wage slave flipping burgers, or an immigrant working fields. I may be able to reach my goal of financial independence sooner than most. And I have less reason than most to want to leave this system. But at the end of the day I’m sure we all feel the same way about this: nothing is more important than your time, and your freedom to spend it however you wish. Now you understand the justification of my pursuit.
Happy Friday Everybody! Enjoy your weekend, because on Monday it’s back to the salt mines…