by Life Anthem on May 12, 2013
I’ve been preparing for this move for years. Maybe I wasn’t sure until recently if it was actually going to happen, but now that it is, I can’t believe there is still more to do. It’s literally never-ending.
I’m moving from Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S., to Auckland, New Zealand in the South Pacific. That’s about as far away as it gets, which is sort of the point. Over these past, let’s say, 3 years, in addition to saving as much money as I could, I was slowly whittling away possessions. If and when I could turn those possessions into money, I would. The issue for me now are the things like software in the box, owners manuels and other things that should be digital, but aren’t. What do I do if I want to sell my electronic devices?
Well when it comes to owners manuels I’m just tossing those into the trash (ahem, I mean recycling them). I can look up an owners manuel online easily and there are always youtube videos where someone is showing others how to do something on any camera you could imagine. That’s the beauty of the digital world; but what about something like that start-up disc for your Mac? Who want’s to have to keep track of that incase your Macbook crashes and you need it?! Well, oddly enough I can’t find it anyway, so I’m not worried about it this time, and if worse comes to worse I’ll just pray that a repairman has a solution. All of this is making me wonder why in the hell these huge companies like Apple would even have people still having to keep track of something like a start-up disc. Also there are so many cables and adapters etc., that come with electronics. And so much packaging for everything we buy. It makes me not want to buy anything because of all of the crap that comes with everything. Every time we buy something, there is this responsibility that comes along with it that I hate, but I’m learning what I need to keep and what I don’t. I think there is just going to be a certain amount of risk I have to take to stay light and not feel compelled to lug around all of this stuff.
I think I’m doing great so far. If I don’t see myself needing or wanting something in a month’s time of living normally, I’ll just throw it away or give it away, unless it’s something that I can easily sell. Also if it’s something that I can just borrow, trade or buy cheaply again then I won’t bring it with me. I’m not going to spend money re-buying essentials, but within reason and if the benefit of carrying it along outweighs having to buy it again then I’ll bring it along. Pretty simple.
I’ve pretty much shredded, burned, recycled, donated, sold and given away anything and everything you could think of.
This is the last week I have to get my life into a couple of suitcases.
To be continued…
by Life Anthem on May 10, 2013
I did this interview for our department newsletter before my last day at work, which was the Wednesday before this writing. The News Letter came out, and it was this sort of surreal experience looking at it in print. Like looking into a mirror, yet with thousands of other people looking into the mirror with me.
Over the last 3 weeks, since I resigned from my job and people started to find out that I was moving to New Zealand, the question that I’ve been asked the most is: “do you know anyone there?”. I don’t know why, but that is such a strange question. Why does it matter? I couch-surfed nearly the entire country of Argentina and didn’t know a soul and left feeling like I was friends with the entire country.
Just now, I finished speaking with an agent at Fidelity Investments. My 401k retirement plan is held there, and I’m having it rolled over into an IRA account and letting an investment manager handle it. Earlier today I sold my car as well. That was a sad sight seeing the vessel that took me to and fro from work to home, driving away as barren as the day I bought it. I’m over it now.
This is happening. A good friend of mine wrote to the group of us guys on our whatsapp messenger group : “I can’t believe you’re actually doing this”.
Well, yes this is happening.
On Wednesday night I randomly fell on the sidewalk and ate a little pavement. My face was just scraped a little and my lip swollen. I didn’t loose my tooth thank god, but what was even harder was convincing everyone that I wasn’t punched in the face by someone at a bar, that I actually did just clumsily fall and, unable to catch myself, ate the sidewalk. I magnified it for a couple of days as a sign that something or some being was trying to tell me something, maybe to stop with my plans. Today, as I’ve had some time to rest and meditate on the situation, I realize that it’s a metaphor for my life. Every time I fall down, I get back up and recover.
So if I am going to fail with this decision, at least I know that I’m going to get back up and fucking try, try again.
by Life Anthem on May 10, 2013
I’m fascinated by the way totally different things, from different eras, have influence or a relation to more modern ideas and creativity. In New Zealand the indigenous Maori people have a traditional utilitarian dance of sorts called a Haka. It has penetrated popular Kiwi culture from what I’ve seen, and in the very popular sport of Rugby in New Zealand, the tradition is important before games.
What I find interesting, besides the traditional display above, is that it really reminds me of the modern dance style of Pina Bausch’s choreography. She created a dance company in Berlin not long ago, before her death. For example, as you’ll see in her most famous work, The Right of Spring, there are so similarities. The hitting of the legs to express emotion and other subtleties. Just an observation.
by Life Anthem on May 9, 2013
Yesterday was my last day. After nearly a decade, I quit my job. I just did something that everyone I know thought I was bluffing about. I spent years reading the stories of others who’d done the same, so when the time felt right, I did it. That 3 weeks notice that I gave flew by and now here I sit without a job.
I’m moving to New Zealand in a little over a week. I’ve got to sell my car and everything I own, pack what I can into a suitcase or two and get on a plane, one way, across the globe. I’m excited, nervous, sad, scared, uncertain … you name it and I feel that way. People have done much more daring things, and they do them every day. That’s why I don’t feel like I’m special, I just feel like in some strange way I’m making more progress doing something like this than I would be sitting in an office angry that I wasn’t being rewarded or given a promotion or recognition. I feel sort of stronger knowing that I’m taking my reward for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years.
When I arrive, the plan is to stay in a temporary place while I buy a car and look for a more permanent place to live. I want to stay flexible though and not get back into some sort of daily, mundane grind just like I was in here. I wrote to my colleagues telling them how grateful I am to have worked with them over the years and that I really did learn a lot. After all of the stress and dissatisfaction I faced many times, I have to say that I really did get a lot out of the whole experience.
So now I guess all I can do is press on and just be excited about what’s to come. This is part of why I’m doing something pretty drastic. I simply need to learn how to go with the flow and enjoy each day instead of worrying about whether or no I’m doing the right thing.
Slowly but surely.