New Beginnings (because every first post deserves a cliché title)

I created this blog a good while ago and it’s sat idle until now. As I wrote about recently on Whiteboard Pig, I’ve always known I wanted to write about something less irritating than politics – preferably my outdoor adventures. I haven’t been sure what direction or angle I wanted to take. Outdoor adventure recounting blogs are a dime a dozen and most of the bloggers have me beat in both photography skill and equipment, as well as story telling ability – a writing style I never have and probably never will excel at. “Stuff to do in Colorado” type blogs/websites aren’t any less common. News9 has someone writing up some bullshit almost every day. I certainly wasn’t going to start simply writing trip reports, because 14ers.com already has those in spades and with all the constant mishaps and questionably non-fiction (read: incredibly dramatized or straight up fabricated) writing in those reports, I’d rather just read them than write my own.

I thought that if I gave it time, some epic climb or misadventure would occur and be worth writing about. But those came and went, and still I never felt compelled to write. I spent twenty minutes that felt like twenty days with only two, extremely marginal points of contact on the side of a 50 foot cliff, sans rope, and never felt like writing about it. We were nearly whited out with storms rolling in at the top of Colorado Mines Peak, and while the moment I heard my trekking poles buzzing is seared into my memory, I didn’t care to write about that experience either. At the end of the day, those would still just amount to trip reports. Even with all the dramatizing I could possibly muster, there are a million and one people out there doing far more hardcore and crazy stuff and writing about it and/or taking awesome pictures. If it’s not even interesting enough to write about, then strangers certainly aren’t going to want to read it either. So what would the point be? Unfortunately, none of that really even put a dent in my desire to actually put some content in this blog aside from the skin’s stock photo/example post that’s graced the front page mockingly for months.

Something most people don’t know or don’t understand (or possibly can’t even comprehend) is that the primary purpose of moving to Colorado was not a change of venue or desire to do new things. Certainly those benefits factored in, but far and away the primary purpose of the move was to take the first step towards a radical change in lifestyle. Most in my generation are slowing drowning while attempting to get a career launched. Some still live with their parents while they milk college for literal decades. Others work what jobs they can get and make the best life they can. The ones unlucky enough to have careers are slaving away to advance them and attempt to save for a retirement that’ll likely never happen. None of these options appeal to me. Not only have I not pursued career advancement, I have actively avoided it – taking promotions only when forced on me. Although I enjoyed college and there are many things I’d love to study for my own edification, I can’t even fathom going back to school while working full time. Being less than a year away from 30 also brings with it a life perspective that no longer includes the “I’m young, I’ll do that later” filter.

This all brought about the idea for a change. A life spent sitting behind a desk at a job that is neither mentally stimulating, nor beneficial to society is a life wasted. When thinking about these things I often recall a story I was read when I was a child. So as not to increase the length of this already excessively long post, the extremely Cliff Noted version goes like so: A young boy discovers a magical ball out of which feeds a piece of thread. This thread slowly feeds out of the ball and disappears. This thread ends up representing his life. He can pull the thread out of the ball to fast-forward his life. He begins by using it sparingly to fast-forward through illness and very unpleasant times. As the story progresses, he pulls the ball with increasing frequency and during increasingly minor inconveniences, ultimately bypassing major chucks of his life until he very quickly finds himself old and realizing he skipped most of his life. The moral of the story was supposed to be about taking the bad times with the good. However, I’ve always looked at it differently. Every day at work I pull that string. Every Monday morning that I wish it was Friday I pull that string. Every time I daydream of that upcoming week of vacation, I pull that string. Every time I do something at work to “kill time”, that’s literally what I’m doing, wishing my life away, killing myself. And when I’m old, just like the kid in the story, I’m going to have all the same regrets about “killing time” my life away and spending 60% of my waking hours wishing it was already the short, five hours of the day I’m free to do as I please.

So why not just get a more fulfilling job? Seems like the obvious solution. Truth is, I don’t want to work 40 hour weeks at any job, no matter how rewarding. We all have one life to live and I want the absolute maximum amount of time to do as I please and actually bond with my fiancé rather than spend five days per week texting on breaks, then staring at a TV at night in a burnout coma. The more fulfilling job is my backup plan, not my goal. But how is anyone supposed to survive without working, especially in Colorado with its absurd rent prices? It’s easy. Wealthy people do it all the time. With a top marginal capital gains tax of 15%, if you have just a million dollars you can easily live a simple life off dividends alone. If you have more than a million, which most do, you can live lavishly while contributing absolutely nothing to society or even actively destroying it… but now we’re getting back into politics and I promised I wouldn’t do that.

Well, I’m not independently wealthy and don’t stand to become so no matter who dies, so there needs to be another way. As anyone with even a shitty CCSU business degree can tell you, if you can’t increase revenue then the only way you’re going anywhere is by cutting cost. Thankfully, my fiancé and I retained decent paying jobs through the move and are not penniless hipsters living in a tent in someone’s backyard in Boulder (jk, faux progressive Boulder would never allow that shit – buy a mansion or go to hell, aka somewhere on Colfax). So we have some money saved and a current income:expense ratio that allows for plenty more to be saved if yummy food and REI could please stop interfering.

You know what? People these days have the attention span of half a goldfish (dead goldfish concentrate even more poorly than live ones). I probably already lost 90% of readers in the first two paragraphs. I’m just going to hit the publish button now and make this a multi-part series (that scores some blogging cool points too). Stay tuned for part two, which will be out in as long as it takes me to write it…

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