The Hidden Green
My feet dangled lightly off the cliff. I gazed at the shore below. The water pushed in, pulled out, and spun into small vortexes as it met.
It was a moment of reflection. I had graduated university and a few days earlier landed my first real job. "What a ride this damn life's been," I thought.
I walked home across the park. My good friend's parents were at the house.
Inside my friend's mom greeted me with a warm hug and said, "Congratulations on your new job!"
We released and I turned to my friend's dad. I had expected a similar congratulations as he stuck his hand out. But instead, I was met with these words, "Welcome to the world of the working dead."
"Jesus," I thought as we shook hands. "That's not any world I want to be a part of."
Since then I've thought a lot about that phrase. Its deep roots in our culture. Its deep roots in how we view the span of our lives. Its wide acceptance as a hidden truth -- you will work 40 years and (if you're lucky) then you'll retire.
And I've come to the realization that's just not what I want. Whether I love the work or not. I don't want to be stuck doing work for a boss or a customer for 40 years.
Deep, deep down this is what I want.
I want to travel the world. I want to wake up every Monday and think, "How lovely, what shall I decide to do today?" I want to shred waves in Hawaii for 6 months of the year and carve light powder in Colorado for the other half.
I want freedom.
Freedom from the worry of coming back from my travels with $0.00 in my bank account. Freedom from the Monday through Friday construct we've become so accustomed to. Freedom to follow the beauty of the seasons and play outside in all that nature has to offer.
And I want those travels to be endless. I want each day to be filled with true creativity no matter the day of the week. And I want to surf, snowboard, and kiteboard amongst the gorgeous natural world without limitation.
But I don't want to do this as a bum. I don't want to exile myself from the comforts, marvels, and enjoyments of civilization. And I don't, ever, want to stop contributing to society.
That is what I truly want. And I can not give up 40 years of my life to working to make money.
So what do I do? I fall in love with money. It sounds disgusting, I know. It felt that way to me too. But if I want this freedom, I need to know how it works, how it can jeopardize and benefit me, and how I can become free from its constraints.
So two years ago that's what I did. I dove head first into the world of money. And I've learned it's not that bad.
I've learned you can do well with money no matter your income level, no matter your job. I've learned that living a wonderful life in the present and making sure your tomorrow looks just as good is the opposite of a sacrifice. It's empowering! And fun! And I've learned that it's easy. It truly is. Money is easy.
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Look here in my financial diary. This shows my life financially before and after I decided I want freedom. Life's been awesome throughout it all, but now I am on a trajectory to endless travels, ownership of my Monday's, and everlasting adventures.
I'm going to blog to show how to accomplish what's above. How to get on the trajectory to freedom and live beautifully while you're at it.
So if you're interested in the freedom I'm talking about, wonderful. Let's do it together. Here's your first step: Sign up for mint.com. Take 15 minutes. Find your average monthly spending and income over the last 3 months. Bring it with you to the next post.
See you there, my friend.
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Keep reading. You won't regret it.