Friday Reflections, Volume VIII
In A Trough
Parental Warning; this is a grubby, soul searching post that may come across as self-pity. I bare all for your reading pleasure.
For 8 Fridays now, I've been thinking about my progress each week. Thinking about what the hell this is, why I am doing what I'm doing etc. Just trying to document the various twists and turns of my online journey. So let me be frank; this week has been tough. We came to Australia for a better lifestyle, certainly in comparison to central London. And so far, so good. We're in a nice neighbourhood, with a pretty house, and a wacko dog. All filling me with vast joy.
But it is a fleeting, fragile joy; I still experience a gnawing anxiety from Monday to Friday. It is a strength of emotion that no amount of lifestyle upgrades can seemingly shift. And why is that, you may ask? Well in exchange for this beautiful environment, I gave up a large chunk of freedom. On a couple of different levels. Financially, we exhausted a large amount of savings to secure residency rights, make the move and settle in. As a result, I returned to salaried employment to refill our pockets. Something I thought I would escape by building online. So for the time being I am professionally hamstrung; taking orders from above, and sacrificing precious time for money.
Typing this current scenario makes me fill a little sick, to be honest. Perhaps I'm coming across as ungrateful? In fact, I know I am. There are so many folks out there who would kill for this setup. Gainful employment and a roof over your head. Especially in this current environment. So maybe I should stop writing, march back into the office and accept this as the price for better weather and a local beach?
My Own Medicine
That's not the plan, amigos. First of all, I feel happier already by baring all. This website is essentially Proof of Work for my self-therapy. I just had to get those words off my chest and see them in plain sight. Christ, it's not like I am in actual prison. Although it can feel like that, there are many ways out. This is one of them. The fact that I even return to this, even when down in the dumps, is very instructive. Whiz up the laptop, smash on those keys. And clear out the white noise in my head. Rinse and repeat.
This is what these Friday Reflections are all about. It's also a weekly reminder to practice what I preach. Let's zoom out, shall we. I've barely arrived in a new country. I'm still learning the art of publishing. This is a mere bump on a winding, fantastically varied road. And sometimes you need to take a few steps back to leap forward. This is temporary. You know that (although the managers may be surprised).
And what of our old friend anxiety? He is a right pain in my arse, and at times unbearably so. But I'm much more accommodating of him (or her!) these days. I extinguish the emotion by putting on screen and on paper. And by using my mental tools, I can turn this force into a superpower. Anxiety is a flashing red light that says 'this ain't your thing buddy!'. Without it, I would have embraced steady, familiar comfort. And an unfulfilled life.
So was this a mistake? Did we make an error in coming here? In ripping up our previous (pretty reasonable) setup, did we underappreciate what we had? I have to admit, my fingers are typing a little slower here. I'm really thinking about this one. Because I want to be completely honest with myself. And that answer is absolutely not. We were both guided by our strength of conviction when investing in our migration costs (financially, physically, mentally, you name it). I experienced an internal peace when faced with the big decision to come. Even in the middle of a pandemic (we arrived July 2020).
Instead, let us zoom back in a bit. I've made many little mistakes since I've been here. Perhaps I took a salaried job too quickly? Perhaps I should make more of an effort to enjoy the role? Who knows really. But I'm learning from them. And I'm using the anxiety they generate to force me towards greater things. Like this post. This website. The whole damn internet. Whether it takes 1 year, 2 years or 10 years, I'll be working towards that freedom.
And I'll have a bloody nice lifestyle to accompany it.
Signing out, Steven.
PS. Here is something more inspiring!
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