Thoughts On Financial Independence And The Daily Toils Of Corporate Serfdom

It’s the morning of a two-week vacation from my job, and I don’t particularly feel joyful, happy, or relieved. The tendrils of yesterday’s stress and exhaustion haven’t faded away just yet.

My main peeve here is that taking a few day’s vacation hasn’t put a practical end to my resident existential problem as a modern-day post-industrial-age oarsman in the underbelly of a corporate slave ship.

I spend my days in highly stressful situations, dealing with people I do not like or respect, taking orders from immature assholes with an axe to grind, dealing with unreasonable requests, being pushed beyond any considerations of human decency by cowards who want to keep their jobs, and being forced to lie to people as a policy.

To put it mildly, I hate it with every single fiber of my being.

Every single day, I tell myself, I’ve got to quit this shit. I am not made for this kind of nonsense. I’ve written and almost hit send on that resignation email, so many times, it’s no joke. But every single time I feel the tug of responsibility and the family I must provide for.

It’s killing me. It’s killing my soul. I feel like I have to drink poison every single morning of a workday. It’s making me angry all the time. I lash out at my wife and son for the slightest of mistakes, something that I later regret tremendously. It’s a conundrum, I am doing something I loathe for the sake of being a good father and provider, yet the psychological burden that I’m dealing with turned me into an asshole who cannot enjoy life with a loving family.

I am grateful for my family and everything I have. Alas, it’s extremely painful that they don’t quite understand how much I have to suffer to simply put food on the table.

No, I can’t quit unless I can find me another job or another line of work, start a business, or launch a creative career. And that is something that is utterly mystifying and challenging to figure out.

The worst kind of advice is to simply quit and follow your passion, that’s a huge mistake that will send people down a bottomless pit of low self-esteem and depression. Been there, done that.

The alternative, and more balanced advice is to start a side-hustle. A side business that will sow the seed of some business idea, or some creative endeavor that might grow into its own source of income, and that will provide meaning to one’s life at the same time. But that takes time, it requires a propellant of a regular day job, because it cannot carry or push its own weight without an income stream.

I am somehow doing that with my writing and blogging, which is a hobby and a passion and something that I tremendously enjoy. Thankfully, it does add meaning and purpose to my life. There is nothing like the pleasure of being locked into thought with my words flowing through my mind and slipping through my fingers onto the paper I see on my computer screen.

This willful act of creative expression provides its own rewards, and it’s instant, and gratifying beyond measure. I do see myself becoming a full-time writer and author, and I do believe it is my calling.

I am not entirely sure where to take it from here though, because I recognize that I am not as good of a writer as I could be just yet and that I have a long way to go. I understand completely that I must keep at it and do the work to get better, but then, again, that takes time.

Friends who support me by reading my work often advise me to get a job as a professional writer, copywriter, researcher, journalist, columnist, and the big one, book author.

I don’t suffer from writer’s block, trust me, I have more material than I have time to write about. I have tens of articles that are waiting to be finished, and hundreds more ideas that haven’t been jotted down, but are sitting nicely in an expanding list of topics I would want to write about, that is on top of 4 or 5 unfinished book projects.

This creative path is bound to take off someday, with perseverance, practice, and knocking on enough doors, something’s going to happen one day. But that day is not today, not yet anyway.

So, short of a sudden windfall, I have to keep trying to work at this thing we call life. I know everyone else is trying to do their best, and I will keep trying my best as well.

Financial independence is the direct outcome of providing lots of value to lots of people. It is also a function of how smart a person really is. So, I figure, perhaps I need to educate myself more, and try my best to provide as much value to other people as I possibly can.

That is something you too should strive for my dear reader.

There is no magical solutions. You are not going to stumble on a few million dollars left at your doorsteps, and you are not going to win a lottery ticket. You wouldn’t enjoy it or find true value in it anyways. We only find meaning in anything we work hard for.

The true meaning in life, and fortunately the path to provide lots of value to other people, lies in triumphing over your suffering. Happiness is a choice, only if you remember that it is.

Feel gratitude for the blessings that you have, find joy and happiness in life’s little things, work hard on your path to financial independence to rid yourself of the pain and sorrow of having to do things that you hate for people you don’t like.

I am writing all of this as a note-to-self. I am trying to work these things out. I am not financially independent, I haven’t cracked the secrets to be an internet millionaire, I am not a world renowned authority in any discipline, and quite honestly, I am not providing much value to the world just yet.

But one day I will, and so will you, if you keep at it.

As I was writing these words, a very close friend of mine said hello on WhatsApp and I told him that I wasn’t feeling as elated as I should be since it’s the first day of my vacation. But my friend surprised me with his wise words that literally melted whatever was left of my bad feelings:

“Don’t allow any leftover work stress to make you forget the pleasure of a new day.”

Thanks my friend, I won’t.

Have a great day everybody. Live life, and always try to enjoy life’s little pleasures.

 

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