My decision

Some time ago I pondered quitting everything and retiring into seclusion in a cheap location for the rest of my life.  In fact, I’ve been considering something like it for a long time – see this post and this one.  My most recent effort was greeted with a diversity of reactions from my valued commenters.

Having done the dry run and consulted with a few people who know the ground, I’ve reached a decision.

I think that I have enough to live on without working again.

However, it would not be a very lavish lifestyle, and it might become harder to maintain when I’m older and need increased medical care or to materially compensate girlfriends.  Let’s be honest here.

Also, with idle hands and an overly taxed dick I am prone to dissipation.

So, all things considered, this is what I’m going to do:

  1. Take a year off starting next northern summer.
  2. Move to a cheap, mid-sized SEA town which I already have penciled in but won’t publish just now. PM me if you’re a mate and I’ll tell you where.  No, not that place.  That would be the end of me.
  3. Spend the year trying to (a) stay within my budget and (b) pioneer alternative forms of income. I have a list of possibilities.  Some of them will almost certainly work to some extent while others are pie in the sky, but why not give it a go?  That’s what this year of freedom is all about – trying something new.  There’s no harm in experimenting with a crazy idea if I’ve got the time on my hands and the startup costs are low.
  4. Aside from the financial aspect, I need to exercise strict self-discipline in order to avoid collapsing into abject debauchery and dying of seventeen simultaneous cock-rotting STDs or from bullet wounds inflicted by dozens of jealous boyfriends. I think this is going to be the highest hurdle.  As previously noted, I’ll limit dating activities within reasonable limits.
  5. Accept that if things are not working out (not enough money, not enough self-control, or some unanticipated problem) I’ll simply have to give it up after the sabbatical year has ended and go back to work for a few more years. Realistically, it would be best to decide within six months or so in order to complete necessary job-hunting activities and secure a new contract.

Taking one year off to ‘travel’ in my field is no biggie, but two would not look good and might limit my future options.

I know I could easily get a job at a place I’ve previously worked (they’ve already put out the feelers) or secure an inferior job.  I’ve thought about it and I reckon I could live with the shit-kicking job if required.  But hey, let’s see if I can make it doing something new.

On paper, it makes more sense just to keep doing what I’ve doing for another five years or so and then I could most certainly cruise for the duration.  But my life is not on paper.  If I don’t try something different, I’ll never know what might have been.  And I feel like, after all this talk, now is the moment.  If I don’t take the plunge next year I might not have the courage to dare later in life.  Sad!

I am a bit of a coward.  I find it hard to try something new and challenging unless someone puts a rocket up my arse – and who is there to do that, aside from myself?  I don’t have a nagging girlfriend whining about my lack of ambition.

Now that I’m psychologically prepared to quit, I’m already looking towards the end and feel I absolutely need to take at least a year off.  I’m starting to see every little hassle with new eyes, and I’m thinking, why do I do this?  Surely I don’t have to.  The same old shit over and over is annoying.  Now that I rethink it, going back to this job after time away might be very hard.  But there are easier, lower-paid versions of it that might be more acceptable if the need arises.

I’m feeling an exquisite combination of elation and terror.  Though life back here in the jungle is as dull and joyless as ever, the months remaining seem suddenly short and the cliff at the end, with God knows what lying at the bottom of it, appears close and is approaching like a freight train.

I keep asking myself, am I mad?  And I answer, probably.  But I’m doing it anyway.

Comment welcome, but my mind is made up.

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3 comments

  1. Vincent · January 4

    Excellent! Please keep posting.

    Like

  2. 6monthlayoff · January 6

    Been reading you since before your ill advised shutdown. You are an inspiration.

    Like

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