One of the greatest things I’ve gotten out of the Manosphere is a newfound ability to examine myself objectively. I’ve not yet always been able to rectify things about myself I’m not happy with, but at least I now know where the problems come from.
Likewise, I’ve learned that many aspects of myself I’ve tried to bury or rationalize away are actually not only intrinsic to who I am, but also positive. My longing for adventure isn’t immaturity or a refusal to grow up, it’s one of the most important things about me. Without even recognizing it, for the longest time I’ve assumed that my desire to experience new things was somehow the opposite of my “mature” desires to earn a lot of money and leave a positive mark in the world.
But what I’ve found is that they’re actually just different aspects of the same thing, my Self. The energy I use to create is replenished by rewarding experiences The more I create, the more fun stuff I can do to fill up the “well” even more quickly. I’ve been worried, too worried, that if my life gets too good that I’ll get out of balance, that I’ll just dive into the fun stuff and forget about doing what it takes to pay for it.
Yet balance goes both ways, and for fear of becoming irresponsible, I’ve gone too far in the other direction. Like I described during my breakdown post, for far too long my life has been almost nothing like I want it to be. “After I accomplish x, I’ll be able to travel, etc.” Yet I’ve never quite achieved the goals I’ve set out to achieve largely because I’m holding off on all the stuff that makes me feel alive. Sure, it feels great to finish a blog post I’m proud of, but when the only rewards I can give myself for anything bore the crap out of me, it saps the energy I need to write those posts. “Delayed gratification” delayed indefinitely becomes merely ungratifying.
So I’ve got to change, and I’ve got to do it fast. Accomplishment need not be torture. Discipline doesn’t have to bring drudgery. I don’t have to wait until I’ve pulled off some amazing accomplishment to have a happy life.
I’ve therefore decided to leave the country. The lease in my apartment ends in July. After that, I’m outta here.
Could this be described as “irresponsible”? Perhaps. I have a decent job with good benefits, and I’ll have to give that up for either something less prestigious like teaching English or something even more risky. However, as “good” as my job might be in some respects, it utterly drains me. I’m bored to the point of pain.
Furthermore, with the hours I’m currently working and other crap I’ve got to take care of, I’ll never finish a book. If I never finish a book, I doubt I’ll ever have enough money to move on. The only way I’d have any chance to finish a book would be to all but abandon the blog, which would make it doubly hard to sell many copies of the book. Something must needs break the cycle.
I love America, and if I ever have kids (which is looking to be a big “if”), I may well return to raise them here. However, for what I want now, it bores the crap out of me.
It’s not that hard to find people who like me, but I find it incredibly difficult to find many people I like back, at least not enough for me to make much effort to spend time with them. In Europe, I make tons of fantastic friends with incredible ease, but here I feel like every conversation is a repeat of hundreds of others I’ve already had.
People are idiots everywhere, I’m well aware. However, in big cities in other countries, there’s enough of a concentration of people for me to find what I want from them; it’s easier to develop an abundance mentality when there’s an actual abundance. Furthermore, even though in many respects I’m very American, there’s something about Americans (especially women) that I find hard to click with. I know we’re not alone in being spoiled, but there’s something here that strikes me as being worse somehow, a hard edge or cynicism or something I’ve rarely encountered in other countries.
On the other hand, despite my contrary views on everything from politics to religion, Europeans tend to like me. For whatever reason I’m always hearing that I’m not like other Americans and that I’m incredibly interesting. I’m well-liked here, but not for the reasons I want to be liked. Nobody gives a damn about the stuff I value most about myself.
Besides, if I stay here I’m going to need a new car pretty soon. If I have to do that, no money for travel. At least not for a while.
I’m going to get a lot of gruff for this decision, especially from family. Some time back, it occurred to me to return to Europe, but my mom put a little block in my way to keep me from doing it. It was a tangible block, but more important was the feeling it inspired that doing such a thing would be irresponsible, so by the time the tangible block was gone I had just accepted that I had moved on from that sort of thing. Time to grow up.
Only I haven’t really “grown up”, I’ve stagnated. Mom loves me, but I’ve read enough Rollo to recognize that as much as our mothers love us, as much as they may want to help us, they often have no clue whatsoever what’s best for us. Nobody else has exactly succeeded at molding me into being or doing what they want, but I’ve allowed them to let me psyche myself into not being or doing what I want. The result has been far too much of nothing, and I find it hard to believe that that could be what God wants, either.
This probably means postponing having any sort of career connected to politics, but that probably wouldn’t have come until after a book or two, anyway.
In the meantime, I’m sick of strip-malls, entitled princesses, and spending weekends at home because there’s nowhere else nearby I really want to go. I want to live somewhere with buildings that have been around a century or two (or more), I want conversations with people who don’t seem exactly like other people I met last month. I want to be able to go somewhere interesting without a car and feel motivated to get my errands done quickly so that I can make the most of my post-writing time in a museum or exploring another old neighborhood.
Nothing’s yet set in stone in terms of exact places or plans; I only realized this in the last day or so after I finally got over my disease. I have places in mind and alternates if those don’t work out. I’ve got a lot of research to do, some money I need to save up, and a couple of tear-filled conversations with relatives to navigate my way through.
But there’s no way in hell that 2014 is going to be like 2013. I’ve got to move on.
Regular posts to resume next week.