Freedom can numb you
When there’s no place to run to
It feels just like Novacaine
-Ellis Paul, “The World Ain’t Slowin’ Down”
Warning: Stream of consciousness-style writing ahead. This is more writing for me than for you, although you’re welcome to comment if like.
I am in serious need of a road trip. Or something. I am just so freaking bored with my life right now. It’s like an itch just under my skin that I can’t quite get to, a constant niggling feeling that I need to be anywhere but here.
I have lived in the upstate of South Carolina for most of my life, although my junior high years were spent in a podunk suburb of Atlanta. I’m just generally tired of this part of the country. Spring is coming, and I know what that means here in the South: 90% + humidity and 90 degree + heat. Miserable, gnat-infested, soul-sucking weather, with the occasional, blessed relief of a rainstorm.
I’m ready to see the rest of the country. To see other parts of the world. To do something different.
My biggest problem is that not only do I have no idea where to go, I have no idea how to figure out where to go. Most of my contacts that could potentially get me a job are here in SC. (Yeah, I really screwed up college. College is not for learning things, folks. It’s for making friends. As many and as deep as you can. Don’t screw up like I did. Graduated Summa Cum Laude, but don’t have any good contacts outside of the Deep South.)
Lately, I’ve been feeling more and more like I need to just run. Just pick someplace and go. Go to Nashville or Flagstaff or San Francisco or Ireland or Alaska or somewhere.
The problem is that I have too much “good sense” to just run off without some kind of plan, without some source of income. I’ve got enough savings to last for a couple of months on the road, but I know that after that, I’ll need some kind of income stream.
That’s the other part of this equation. I’m ready to leave my job and do something else, but I don’t know what I want to do. I know I’m not the only person who feels this way; I’ve heard this referred to as the “quarter-life crisis.” The “what the devil am I supposed to do now?” stage of life.
I don’t know what I want to do. I haven’t found anything that really excites me yet. I want something that I can look forward to doing. I don’t want to dread my job every morning. I need something that’s dynamic, that isn’t the same thing every day, that isn’t living my life on a loop. I want something that’s meaningful.
I want a job with as little bureaucracy as possible; ideally, I would work for myself. Freelance work of some kind. I want to minimize pointless busywork, eternal meetings, and unnecessary paperwork.
I want something with flexibility to it, so that I can act on the impulse to travel when it arises.
I’m less concerned about having a huge salary & benefits package; I’m single with no prospects, so my needs are fairly small for the time being. I need enough to cover an apartment, food, gas, my cell phone, and a high speed internet connection. More is better, of course, but money is less of a priority to me than meaningful, dynamic work without the overhead of a large organization.
Actually, my ideal job would be writing for a site like Lifehacker. I’d get to be paid for writing about tools and hacks that would let people run their own lives better. Unfortunately, Lifehacker isn’t hiring (as far as I know).
But professional blogging of one kind or another appeals to me. It’s a job that’s flexible and as meaningful as I make it. It’s one that can be performed anywhere in the world, so there’s the ability to travel. But while I did just say that money isn’t my primary motivator, I do want to make enough to live on.
But what could I possibly write about that isn’t being covered in-depth by someone else?
Perhaps that shouldn’t even be a consideration; I should just write about whatever appeals to me, and if it’s good enough, it will be noticed, even if the topic is well covered. (Although it would be good to stay out of the “tech news” side of things.)
The other advantage to professional blogging is that I can work on it now, even while I’m continuing to work in my “boring” job. I can sort of gradually transition over into pro-blogging as my popularity (and ad revenue) increases.
Anyways, for now, I can’t run somewhere else permanently. But I might just take that road trip some time soon.