Escape

Simplicity Security Self

On occasion I day dream a few times a day. The days that I don’t are days of total slavery: days that are generally pushed by deadlines or immediacy. Those days hurt, but they never seem to hurt as much as the days of day dreaming.

If I’m without task my mind breaks. My spirit breaks. I start thinking. Thought is what drives me to write outside the page. If I’m writing outside the page it almost feels like I’m cheating. Cheating society. Cheating employers. Cheating the social norm of overworking.

Each word I write takes time from what our society believes I should be doing. Working. Interpreting. Analysing. Reporting. It always steps in one direction. Stretching the workforce. New targets. Beyond capacity. Process.

I refuse to accept what my eyes and ears tell me. I refuse to believe this is the right way when I know it isn’t. I refuse to give my entire energy to a machine that demands more than what I can give, regardless of how much I give.

Money isn’t everything. Possessions are not everything.

I’ve had a few friends’ fathers who have become successful by Western capitalist societal standards. They sacrificed their good years and their time. A significant life event then altered the way they used their time. They scaled back work for the first time in 20 or 30 years. They began travelling. They eventually retired, well before the normal retirement age. These life events altered their entire lives. The events provided a kind of perspective that only true fear and loss and suffering can provide. It led to a total re-evaluation of how they spent their time. I asked one of them what they value. At no place during his answer did he mention money or portfolios or businesses or employers. His answer was of love, family, experiences and travel. His answer was of life.

It would be foolish to not heed his advice. It would be foolish to follow in the footsteps of someone from another time; a time when hard work genuinely created waves. Working smarter is all our generation can do. Providing value through proving a level of indispensability. We should strive to experience more, because nothing is certain.

My day dreaming leaves me upset. It provides no solace. The clouds move and dance across the sky. They act as a mirror reflecting back at me. The image is always the same: it is of a lost modern man trapped in a modern tower. A man held against his will without any direct restraints. The modern man’s restraints are psychological. The loss of Security at risk. The loss of lifestyle maybe? Loss to reputation? The loss of identify? Perhaps.

For those in the towers adjacent their restraints are financial, additionally. I do feel some relief in not wearing that weight around my neck. Crippling debt. Shuffling into and out of the lift each day, too weak to bounce up and down the stairs. But I look at my foot and see my chain all the same.

It all troubles me greatly. Why is my chain any different? What does the illusion of my freedom provide me?

For one, I guess, I am free to leave. I am free to walk out the door and not look back. I am free to shed the weight that pressures my mind; to finally pull out those thousand needles in my brain.

Of course, not without radiant consequence.

If I leave then I’ll need to consider my savings. Consider my future. Consider my day to day. Consider the employment market. Are these considerations actually real? Are these societal fears real?

I do not know.

Cost and benefit. Cause and effect. It really does all equal the same. I often wonder whether those who experience that significant life event, who bounce back, who trade their old workaholic life in; I wonder whether they would have had that opportunity to make the choice they made if they didn’t have financial independence? I doubt it. Which unfortunately leads me back to the start. Are we all doomed to be little miners, working until we find enough gold, then realise we’re too far gone to know anything other than the deep dark mines?

It is a difficult world. The entire landscape is changing. Today feels like a day that Emptology develops into a story of great escape from the rat race. I am not sure if that is what I need or want. Or if that is what it should be. But undoubtable there will be struggle. It is only human to write about struggle.

A squeaky clean website on minimalism or experience or travel is a website void of truth. I refuse to comply. Emptology refuses to comply. To preach value then omit struggle is truthless. There will be truth, just as there will be struggle, triumph, labour and love from these essays.

Today the clouds may show an image of the same lost man. But at least I know that the man staring back at me permeates something more from within. Today that man doesn’t permeate despair, but instead hope of an escape.