Friday, January 31, 2014

CEOs of Nothing + The Next Big Thing

Since our road trip, and my realization that the break did me a world of good, I've felt myself saying, "I need a break from this," whenever I'm doing just about anything. It's definitely time for some changes.

For some years, I've been following people online who've left their more socially acceptable lives in pursuit of a back-to-basics life.

I was attracted to their freedom, but I've noticed one group who I might call CEOs of Nothing. I'm sorry to say it, but they don't really do anything. Their stories are all kind of similar: they left their cushy life in a big move and are now living unconventionally, and boy oh boy, are they happy.

They survive by writing e-books about their big move or becoming life coaches. Their big move was their big contribution; it wasn't a jumping off point for something even greater. Others' previous experiences have allowed them to become consultants or freelancers. 

They seem to be not just resting on their laurels but building empires on them, and I'm over it. I don't fault them for making a buck, but ultimately, their lives aren't models for how I can live. We can't all write e-books for a living.

And I'm not saying people shouldn't try different lifestyles for their own sake, but how much can we celebrate living in voluntary poverty when that's the norm for much of this world? 

On the brighter side, the message still holds true: Less is more. There are people living basically socially acceptable lives out there who manage to live by that message. Some of them work full time, some work freelance; some of them live in small spaces, some live in larger homes. It's a spectrum.

I need a break from my unfocused life. My quest for freedom hasn't been particularly liberating after all. 

I'm going to focus on the one thing I do best and the one thing I actually get recognition for, and that's teaching. I'm applying to full-time teaching jobs, and I'm going to put all my effort into being the best teacher I can be. No more side jobs unless they'll help me further this professional goal. The good news is that my job entails a lot of dabbling, so I don't think I'll be getting dull anytime soon.

As always, thanks for reading. 

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