Why am I writing here…? An update.

5 Feb

I wrote my first post on 31/08/2011: What is the impetus for this weblog?

I described a sense of listlessness and uncertainty. Since I first put those words to screen, this feeling has been kicking around my subconscious and I believe it is responsible for a number of major changes in my life recently. I thought I’d take the time to explore and explain this a little more before launching into a rejuvenated attempt at maintaining a blog.

Perhaps first, some background: I was born in Sydney and have grown up in Melbourne, Australia. I live a comfortable life with a fantastic family. I was lucky enough to be sent to a great school, where I achieved decent results and consequently went straight into a scholarship at University. I figured at the time if I stopped studying and took a year off, I wouldn’t be able to get back into it. Besides, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Over 90% of my schoolmates were going to Uni, so that seemed like the correct path for me.

I was fortunate to be offered a Graduate position in the midst of the GFC after studying Commerce and IT. I allowed myself a little time off for a whirlwind overseas tour, but was quickly back at work being inducted into my comfortable job. I was proud of myself. I’d seen getting to this point akin to finishing a video game, and was happy that I had achieved it faster than the majority of my mates. Suddenly I was salaried. I had business cards and suits. New shoes, clients, important meetings. I rushed around the city importantly, charging cabs and generally acting like a young Bud Fox. I was a suit.

Once I’d gotten over the excitement of it all I started looking at my next goal, the next level in my game. I realised that it was all laid out for me – two years here and I’d be a Senior, another two until manager. Then just six more and I could be a partner. Once I was partner, I’d make bank for 30 years and then retire. Wait… what?

Here I was, staring down the barrel of 40 years (at least) of full time work. Four weeks annual leave per year. Ten personal days. Unpaid overtime. The firm comes first. 3,500 private-school, commerce grads along side me. The novelty wore off quickly. I’d look at the people a few years ahead of me. On the surface, it looked glamorous.  Hatted restaurants, cocaine-fuelled after-parties with Melbourne’s A-List. Luxury hotels and tailored suits. It could certainly be intoxicating. But the day-to-day reality was completely different. I had little sense of purpose, of meaningful connection in my work. I was not emotionally invested in the complicated finance. I enjoyed the by-product (money) of my job, but couldn’t stand the actual work. This wasn’t a vocation or a calling, it was renting out the most valuable thing I have in the world.

Many people die with their music still in them.  Why is this so?  Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live.  Before they know it, time runs out – Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Like many others, before I knew it – I was on the path that society expected… a stable job, a mortgage, family and children and a couple of weeks of holiday a year. I don’t want to take time off from my job to live my life. I don’t want to die with the music still inside of me.

In October I quit my comfortable job at one of the big 4 professional services firms. I went to Fiji and volunteered for a while. I wrote my bucket list and decided that I wanted to start living my life. Before I start – I need to pay off my debt, so that’s my number one priority at the moment. I’m aiming to be completely debt free by August 31, 2012 – one year after my first blog post. I’ve got until then to start preparing for all the amazing things I’m going to do and write about before August 31, 2013.

The adventure has begun,

Tom.

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