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Reboot – Part 1: Drastic Changes

Grey arrows going in a circle, the last arrow, a red one, breaks the cycle and points in a new direction.

It’s been a year since I’ve started this blog. In that year, so much has happened, but sadly, very little of it was reflected here.

Shortly after leaving the comfort zone of my former employment, despite all my plans and excitement, I crashed and burned. I have lots of theories about this, but I’ll save that for another time.

I think a big part of my problem (?), is how easy I find it to stop doing something that goes against my grain. The moment I discover that a job/company/work environment stands in direct contradiction of my ethics & principles, I’m out of there. I’ve gotten a little better over the years – actually trying to stick it out and fight the good fight; to try to change things for the better. But in a corporate world, any perceived threat to “how we’ve always done things”, is instinctively fought from the get-go. It’s exhausting and I’ve almost always found it entirely fruitless.

Thus, I found myself in this situation again – having left a “safe” job that went against my principles. However, this time I had big plans. Still, another of my problems, is how easily I come up with plans – lots of them, all the time – but how my fear of failure keeps me from executing them. And yes – some of these plans may be utter nonsense, but at the same time, there may just be a great one among them.

Stewing in my dilemma, unable to choose any course of action, I sat around at home, worrying, getting depressed, even manic… Then, at some point, I decided to at least tell my parents (they had no idea that I was unemployed at this stage). I figured if it became necessary for me to become completely dependent on them, they at least deserved to know how I got to that point.

They then asked me if I wouldn’t consider moving back home to live with them. This was not what I had in mind for my new life of freedom, and I immediately rejected the suggestion. They suggested that I could clear my head, start afresh and do my planning from there.

From a financial point of view, it made sense, but in no other way could I think of this as a practical move. My parents live in a tiny town in the southern Free State. It’s extremely rural, unemployment rates are sky-high, and frankly, there is no work even remotely related to any of the fields I’ve studied. I couldn’t imagine it being a good place to start from. It felt like it would set me back even further than I was already – unemployed with no prospects, but now also in the middle of nowhere, 200km away from the nearest place that can actually be considered a city.

The irony is that, even as far back as 2010, I’ve expressed to another friend how much I’d actually love to live in my home town again. I’ve always loved the peace, the relative solitude, being so close to nature. When he asked me what was stopping me from moving back, I pretty much regurgitated the previous paragraph with some minor changes here and there. It came up again one day. He asked me again what was keeping me from doing it, and when I started listing the reasons again, he interrupted and said that I was just making excuses, because nothing I was telling him sounded serious enough or insurmountable to the extent that it should actually keep me from doing it.

But still, I stuck around, trying to “find my way”.

The turning point came in late April (2013). One day after I was due to go and see a Life Coach I had met to try to sort out my issues (and couldn’t, because my unreliable car gave up on me), my mom phoned me and told me that my dad had been taken up in hospital. He had had a minor stroke. Continue reading Reboot – Part 1: Drastic Changes

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The Ides of March

March was a rough month. Despite the fact that I left my job at the end of February, filled with excitement and passion for the blank slate of the future, I crashed and burned very soon after.

My biggest problem was that I still really didn’t have any idea of what exactly it was that I wanted to occupy myself with. Even though I received a much larger payment than normal (because of excess accrued leave), there were also much larger expenses that I needed to make – three kittens to get spayed, two bent rims on the car to get fixed and a tyre to replace.

After paying most of these, I realised I could actually only afford to get one rim fixed and not even a tyre replaced before I start going very far over budget.

I started thinking about the things I own that I absolutely never use and might be able to sell for a bit of extra cash. The only one that came to mind immediately, was a Marshall amp that I haven’t even plugged in since 2009 – ideal candidate.

Except… That’s roughly when the stress started settling in. Even though I’m trying to follow Leo Babauta’s tips for simplifying my life and getting rid of things that just clutter up the place and that I never use, there’s this stigma attached to selling your things in order to have money to survive. It smacks of desperation and calls to mind some sort of serious addiction. I was feeling like a dismal failure… Continue reading The Ides of March