A Post-grad Degree in Adulting

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I'M PLEASED WITH THE FACT that I fulfilled my plans after college – escape my parents, rent an apartment in the city, work a high paying job, indulge in shenanigans and weekend trips. So far, so good – then I realize one thing: I'm still part of the rat race.

Hear that? That's the sound of my shattering ego.

I feel under-accomplished, like I'm basically a nobody. Here are bare facts:

  1. I just started to build up savings. I am nowhere near the “6 months worth my monthly salary” figure.
  2. I created a blog at Medium (which is bare, zero audience).
  3. I got skills, been working hard for the past three years, but all of it had just been for the sake of earning disposable income. There's no proof my earnings and except for my surfboard, laptop, and clothes.

I made an assessment to estimate if I could afford to buy a piece of land with a small hut and live in the countryside. Could I survive the wilderness? Could I make a living just writing or doing some online gigs?

The answer was Mia's Audition piece in La La Land.

THERE'S A SAYING IN MY LOCAL CULTURE that only dreams come free. True, you won't get taxed for having your head in the clouds and imagining that perfect day where all your plans have come true. However, actually fulfilling these dreams comes at a big financial cost, and most people don't even have the capital or means to achieve it. In this case, dreaming is an exercise in futility.

I wrote in a post how my perfect life would be like. I was painting a picture of life as I would want it to be upon escaping the rat race.

The cost of this dream would be...well, the cost of buying a land somewhere in the outskirts of the country. Looking at the salary I earn now and the money I regularly save, it would take at least 4 years before I could afford 100 sqm piece of land.

Or, I could probably just rent. Articles such as this one support renting over buying, with the main argument that renting is affordable and you could better invest your money in other things – like maybe a business – that using it to pay off mortgage.

So let's say I just find a good spot to rent, what's next? How can I bring food on my table?

Tweaking the dream a little bit and saying that I'll live in a community an hour's drive away from the shore, still in my little nipa hut, can I make a living off writing? Will I have enough writing projects to begin with?

That part is completely up to me; I have the choice to make the best of my time and build my product and market while I work to save for my piece of land. Sounds like a fun, feasible plan, with a little bit of luck.

Sometimes there's too many requirements for living a relatively comfortable and successful life. Don't you think?

It can be overwhelming to have a job that requires my attention 40 hours a week and juggle personal improvement (getting in shape), mental health, social connections, family (which I have ignored almost completely), weekend trips to go out and surf, and giving my writing career a direction at the same time. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but why am I even doing this?

To be honest I can just work comfortably until I'm 60 and wait for my pension. That's the norm. But the problem is, I am different, and I can't be a weekend warrior until I'm 65. I've gotta live the dream. I can't keep on participating in the rat race. I am an outlier. I am a maverick.

I got to where I am now with enough hard work and making good decisions. I could think of this phase as another “college life” (earning a degree in adulting, perhaps?) And when I've graduated, that would be the time that I'd be living the dream.

I can't be young, dumb, and broke while forever carrying dreams in my pocket and throwing rocks at the moon. I gotta be adult about it. Yes, I might be just a kid at heart, but to be a kid for the rest of my life, I gotta learn how to be an adult first.