We’re all interested in other people’s lives, but now, today, for the wrong reasons. Regardless, perhaps we can learn from each other. We can mimic their actions to attempt to attain their results. We can see their suffering and steer clear of their path.
Our fallacy is the over saturation. Our error is judgment. Our problem is vanity.
Information comes at us from every direction. It leaves us unable to process. We are caught up in another person’s fabricated social media dream to a point where we are unable or unwilling to find ourselves.
It is with the above in my mind that I tread lightly as I describe to you my path. My rationale for disclosing what follows is after considering that you may find it contextually important, but I hope you consider it only to assist you to understand my world view and not to satisfy unhealthy voyeuristic curiosity.
To understand key aspects of my position is to understand my disposition. Through Emptology I only want to share what I have learned.
My upbringing was unremarkable. I didn’t come from money, but I was without serious trouble. I seemed always comfortable in social settings, which cost me allegiance and belonging. I was reasonably isolated. I recall a school report card which stated that I ’was well liked by [my] fellow students’. It provided me no solace come lunchtime.
I ignored traditional study and hated the classroom. My grades reflected my apathy and effort. I recall a high school ‘book oral presentation’ performed without reading a single page: ad libbed based on third party material. That grade was above average, and served to solidify my distrust in a broken system.
I found my peace in music, and it eventually took. I played guitar every night from about the age of 12. It became my meditation by about 15 years old. I took up drums, and found beauty in the math of it. I worked an awful job and bought a keyboard. My ears lead and my fingers followed. Through music, I found life long friends. We played together. We created together. We recorded together.
Once I graduated high school I was as lost as we all were. Some continued study in different fields without conviction. Some continued a trade, developing labour skills which left them broken and tired. Mostly, I drifted.
I began a degree in design, dropping out as soon as I discovered that 'design' was code for 'advertising'. I began a degree in pharmacology. Music nagged at me. Music appeared to be my path at the time. I dropped out of university all together. The logical end was to turn music, which had become my developed skill, into a career.
We made some records. We won some awards, we saw airports and cheap motels. We recorded in LA. We gained US airplay. The hopes, dreams and fun of those years is irreplaceable.
Regardless, as time ticked on, the reality set in that I had turned my childhood meditation into a machine of production. It slowly but surely crushed me. To pursue your passion as a career is game with high risk; the stakes, your identity. Worst still the industry my passion just so happened to be in couldn’t be more rotten under its shiny surface. The real music industry, the one I knew, could be best described as a fully stocked supermarket in Pyongyang.
My experience shaped me. Other’s experienced other paths. The majority of musicians that I know sacrifice everything for their art. I have the utmost respect for them. I either was not strong enough to continue the pursuit, or I had seen enough.
I internally and figuratively yelled if you can’t beat’em, join’em. I turned my back on music and went to law school.
By this point I had developed a deep interest is computing, and my mind had become analytical: years of focusing on the frequency, tone, room, decay, release, and effect levels on one particular track, in a song made up of 58 individual tracks, does something irregular to the brain.
My formal education was as uninteresting as my previous schooling. The content provided some worth, but was still only akin to giving a mechanic's apprentice the task of aerodynamics, or giving a dishwasher a culinary torch. The delivery was stale. My grades reflected as much, and my effort was spent elsewhere. My learning continued extra-curricular.
I met a likeminded group of friends at university, each as perfectly imperfect as me. We grew together over those years. I began writing opinion editorials. It provided creative relief once the ritual of a dark stage, the glow of a pedal board, and a piano stool faded into an altogether much more romantic memory than the monotonous reality. I began researching and publishing in the legal academic sphere. I developed a great love of writing.
I kept my mouth fed and a roof over my head by working as an analyst; producing reports for a tech company, investigating company regulation, compliance and producing better internal systems through database development. My education and employment intersected to a point close enough to lawyers to confirm that although I'd probably end up OK as one, I didn’t particularly want myself to be solely defined as one; a characteristic soon adopted by all of them due mostly to their working hours. I began making significant amounts of money.
They say there is a point where once one’s income reaches a mark, happiness levels stagnate. I confirm and attest.
My opinion editorials began to bring me less joy as I felt more and more overworked in my career. My method was to bite off more than I could chew, choke, then spit out small bits until I found a point of perpetual concurrent consciousness and choking. It was sadistic in nature. I recall a nine day straight 12 to 15 hours a day stint. The memory haunts me. Approximately 20K words were produced in that stint. Some sent off to high places, others sent off to higher places. I fear for the errors throughout from day seven onward. I had truly lost my sense of Self.
My academic research was an ember but failed to act as a creative flame. I began exploring the trend of minimalism to gain more time. Time for me to fulfil my creative desires. I found that the more I explored and the more I learned, the less it aligned with my developing views. Learning from someone who you think is wrong provides just as much benefit as learning from someone who you think is right, solong as the difference can be recognised and applied. I began learning about financial independence. I developed my own ideology. One in which I could live a more intrinsic life without sacrificing comfort. Working less through working better. Forgetting protest and civil unrest, and looking within to ask myself whether I am the best person I can be. With that I decided I could then hope to affect those around me; not directly, but by permeation.
This is Emptology: the art of freedom, protection of identity, and utilisation of time (our ultimate commodity). Time to write. Time to make music. Time to create. Time to learn. Time to experience everything and anything.
Minimalists create time, but fail to see that quitting a 9 to 5 isn't for everyone. I like food in my mouth. I like a roof over my head. I like Security. Emptology creates time to spend on yourself, for yourself. It is minimalism for those who seek financial independence.
I started coding up this site. First came the pillars on which this site stands; Simplicity, Security, and Self. Three ideas I value. Broadly what I have come to hold as important. Then the definition was created and refined; a blueprint for the articles, guides, essays, and stories to come.
This site won't dive any further into my life beyond anecdotal necessity.
Emptology isn't supposed to be my personal blog. It isn't my personal journey or extensive biography. In a world obsessed with others, each with an agenda, each fighting for precious attention, Emptology simply will be.
Emptology is for you to decide its worth. You decide its value, weight, and its applicability to your life. Apply Emptology in a version that fits you, and stand tall with a well developed sense of Simplicity, Security, and Self.