Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Where are you and where are you going?
Crazylemon
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Crazylemon » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:53 pm

Best of luck whatever you choose.

But work shouldn't be 'horrible'. Not as amazing as doing exactly what you want is pretty much a given (100% overlap between work/play is very hard). Your latter point seems to recognise this a bit but if every day you are going to work hating it it won't be sustainable. As theanimal has said. It won't be sustainable. Even for the theoretical 2 years is might just take.

I say this also as one of the 'lucky/cursed' millennials who found this place while still in education.

Personally enjoyable but slower is my preferred method (easy to say having done the slower bit already). Even with a job which is 90% enjoyable I still have days where I think about just leaving. I can't imagine it day in day out. But maybe becoming accommodating to this and living my life around this is a step to far down the road to complacency for you.

My partner went through the same sort of soul searching as you after being let go from the high power job. Probably the best thing that happened in the end. His new work pays (nearly) as well and he actually likes work now.

An attempted sprint to the ERE finish while miserable the whole way would be a very fragile strategy, and not much fun.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:55 pm

1. If you can make it more collegeiate (living cheaply/ERE and near friends) it isn't so bad.
2-7. Yea.

Although that doesn't necessarily mean to only go after the most well-paid job. I liked doing moderately well-paid blue collar work (surveying) than highest-potential-paying white collar financial type work (mortgage banker & corporate purchasing)

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:57 pm

Crazylemon wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:53 pm
Word.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:16 pm

DEC 2017

Work: Completed two interviews earlier this week that pay at least 35K, and one that pays 55K tomorrow. Let's see which one(s) work out.

Van Living: I ended up sleeping in a Toyota Yaris at a campsite for the first time. Wasn't an issue at all. Plenty of covers for warmth. Even watched Finding Dori on C's iPad. There was a humidity issue, but I imagine that can be solved by leaving a window a bit open or just wiping down the windows with a squeegee. Still trying to figure out how van living would work while staying in a place full-time, rather than moving about from place to place.

Grad School: I've decided to bail on this idea. I don't want to spend any more time in education when the prospects of a job may still be dismal afterward. Same with spending assets down pay for it. It's a huge opportunity cost, similar to college.

Orthognathic Surgery: COBRA-continued health insurance eats up $750 a month (!), but I'd like to at least find out if jaw surgery may be covered this month or next. The alternative is to start from scratch with another insurance company on the public market. Braces would be another 6K. /:

Life Path: I'm still convinced that I don't want children, pets, or other dependents going forward. I've further decided that I can't or won't help out the parent's financially in their retirement years. Is what it is. I can help them most by just being there instead. Moreover, I am perfectly happy with a simple, inexpensive boat, room, van, or tent for the foreseeable future. As for food, simple and wholesome is best. And any labor that needs doing, I'd do. I want to adventure travel full-time for the foreseeable future, write about different trips, and possibly start a tiny house homestead. All of this doesn't require much financially. I could work like crazy and get to 500K-1M, but I don't see the point. I could die during year 1 of adventure travel full-time. No, instead, I'm going to save around 200K and just go. I think this is the best approach. It avoids superfluous full-time work, but also allows an asset-backed cushion. I have been happiest in my life while hiking a trail or hanging out outside a vehicle by a roaring fire. In the meantime, I'll go on local hikes and campsites. I'll also make sure to keep in touch with friends and previous partners. I do think the biggest risk with this approach is healthcare. I'll need decent health insurance, and to take excellent care of my body and mental health. It also means I need to practice as many good safety practices as I can.

Musings: I fail to see the point of life besides just spending time with people you care about, experiencing/doing interesting things, and completing meaningful work. For me, that means helping environmental causes and having lots of time to adventure travel. It means spending time with close friends and partners. I am having trouble visualizing what else there is to life besides these things: good food, water, shelter, safety, financial security, a strong social network, and meaningful work. One really doesn't need much to achieve these, so...what else is there to do? What else is there to spend money on, really? (I'm ruling philanthropy out since there are foundations that already do that).

Society in Decline: If we are indeed a civilization in decline, I'd like to see all the things there are to see while they're still there to see. I would still like shelter and good food while I'm at it, so I see the purpose of saving up an asset base for a while. Here's to making the accumulation phase as much an adventure as possible.

----------------------

Networth: 64K

classical_Liberal
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:24 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:16 pm
I could work like crazy and get to 500K-1M, but I don't see the point. I could die during year 1 of adventure travel full-time. No, instead, I'm going to save around 200K and just go. I think this is the best approach. It avoids superfluous full-time work, but also allows an asset-backed cushion.
I like this plan because:

1) It forces you to stick with a job for at least 2-3 years. This is good, often the first year at a job is the toughest. You start to feel more like you're contributing after that initial period and become more competent, which intern raises satisfaction.

2) Your feelings toward your work will have large impact on your decision to bail at 200K. If you, at least, somewhat enjoy your job, I would venture to guess you will become a bit more conservative financially. If you very much dislike it, you can still jump ship per plan.

3) Make sure you draw a hard "line in the sand" re financial stability if you bail at 200K. IOW, have a plan, if inflation adjusted assets fall to "x", you must find ways to rectify immediately. I had to restart my life with zero at age 32, while it was kind-of invigorating, the whole process would have felt better with 100K as back up. I find it highly unlikely a mid-20's ERE'er will never find ways to contribute to society again ;you'll likely earn more money anyway, but better to have this line in place.

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bryan
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by bryan » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:19 am

TopHatFox wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:16 pm
Musings: I fail to see the point of life besides just spending time with people you care about, experiencing/doing interesting things, and completing meaningful work. For me, that means helping environmental causes and having lots of time to adventure travel. It means spending time with close friends and partners. I am having trouble visualizing what else there is to life besides these things: good food, water, shelter, safety, financial security, a strong social network, and meaningful work. One really doesn't need much to achieve these, so...what else is there to do? What else is there to spend money on, really? (I'm ruling philanthropy out since there are foundations that already do that).
Regarding "what else there is to life," certainly throughout your life feelings will ebb and flow as you achieve new states. I suppose one tip may be to fight inertia, generally.. For instance, a young brilliant scientist/engineer might go through a typical ERE accumulation phase (a few years of anticipating "the number") and just as ta hits it, ta somewhat realizes that in ta's position at the corporation, ta has some nice control of vast resources that would be all but impossible if ta were tinkering in ta's garage. All of a sudden ta may want to give up some independence for some bigger cause? Or maybe not? At least ta will start thinking more about that..

Your voice there reminds a little of "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens.. you being the son. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:04 pm

LATE DEC 2017

Second day today: Today was a lot better. Found 32 potential candidates for a Senior Manager role at a bank. 2 are being suggested to the client. Thought that was cool. My supervisor is nice to me and gives me compliments when I do well, and patient feedback when I need to change something. I'm at least used to working all day and know what to expect from the previous job I had. I had my first cup of work coffee today.

Blood/Sleep Teeest: I got a blood test after all the free time I had when I got canned from my previous gig. Everything within normal range. In fact, I had slightly too much protein. :P I also had high levels of white blood cells, but that was because I was about to get sick at the time. Little did I know. I'm thinking this new mattress will be good. All the other stressors I'm experiencing could be compounded by sleep deprivation from trying to sleep on the Thai mattress for 5 months. I dunno, excited to give it a shot. I was scheduled for a sleep study yesterday night, but the clinic asked me and my doctor for paperwork the day of for something scheduled months in advance. Very professional of them.

Food Adaptation: I bought a $20 mountain-of-salad today at work. From now on, I'm carrying peanut butter and whole grain bread in my bag at all times. Plus some fruit and other food. Oo, and a 64 oz water bottle. I'm also completely going to quit eating out at restaurants, not to mention only shopping in bulk at Aldi or this local food stop I found. I've been carried 2 fold-up bags in my day-pack. They've been useful for improptu deal shopping. I work way too hard for NY to screw me on every purchase.

Community Work/Coaching: I reached out to the Habitat for Humanity near Aldi to volunteer over the weekends. I've also reached out to the food shelter to volunteer there too. It'll give me something to do while learning some skills. I still need to reach out to a therapist/coach to listen to my shit and help me apply my own logic to myself.

Surgery: It turns out my COBRA insurance doesn't have a deductible. So, all in, surgery will cost $300 plus monthly premiums of $757.86. I only need to keep it until the surgery, which is scheduled within 6 months from Jan. So that's 4.5K premiums + $300 OOP + $5.4K braces =10.2K

-----------------

Expenses

$757.86 COBRA
$550 Rent
$150 Food
$100 Public Transit
$20 Phone

-----------------

Networth:
63K

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plantingourpennies
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by plantingourpennies » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:11 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:04 pm
LATE DEC 2017

Second day today: Today was a lot better. Found 32 potential candidates for a Senior Manager role at a bank. 2 are being suggested to the client. Thought that was cool.
Just wanted to say congrats on this. Having a quota (and hitting it) can be a grind, but it's one of the best ways i've seen to reach FI quickly.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:18 am

Yeah, my Executive Recruiting co-workers earned 150-200K this past year. More than many of the bankers they help place. I'm looking at 50-60K as a researcher this year if I do well. Then giving recruiting a shot. I don't know though, it's 10x easier for me to interview well and get a good job than to actually become good at it. My boss seemed to think I did a good job the first week, but I don't. Time will tell.

I reached out to a few therapists in the area and hope that will help get me through post-grad depression. My goals for this new year are (1) not dying, (2) orthodontia/surgery, and (3) successfully working any job. Ah, simplicity.
Last edited by TopHatFox on Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Scott 2
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Scott 2 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:30 am

Glad you are seeking help. Make sure to understand how your insurance coverage works for mental health. It can make the difference between totally paid for and a couple hundred dollars per session.

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BRUTE
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by BRUTE » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:58 pm

go Fox. maybe this is a great industry for TopHatFox. being good at a commission-based job can be incredibly lucrative, even above professionals in the same industry.

the not dying part is easy if TopHatFox is good at his job and has fun :)

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:09 pm

JAN 2018

Recruiting Job
I think the sales career path isn't a good fit for me either. I've already felt super depressed after a many of my work days. The work is repetitive and multi-tasking and speed are valued above all else. I think my boss is being nice, but I believe he's picking up on my lack of skill/enthusiasm for the trade. I'll keep working hard at it until I either get canned or find something else. I spoke to a career counselor at my college and they said that the year after graduation doesn't go as planned for pretty much everybody. You're almost expected to jump from thing to thing until you find something that fits. She also mentioned that yes, most of the high paying jobs with only a Bachelor's are in tech, finance, or even law. Anything else will pay 30-40K if that, or require a Master's degree. Meh. /: She suggested reviewing the Vault Guides for career ideas, which I will do. I still really want to try working in counseling or outdoor education. At this point, I don't give a shit if I'm paid 30-40K - although even that may be expecting too much. I just want to actually like my day to day existence most of the week.

Blood/Sleep Test: I ended up reaching out to the original sleep clinic and got a sleep study the day of haha. I went, had some wires strapped all over me by an ex-commodities trader now sleep, therapist. Will see the results in the next few business days. Also got a Leesa mattress, which has returned sleep pattern to those of college. I may try a Japanese Futon and see if that is a good in-between the Thai mattress and Leesa.

Food Adaptation: I found a Hispanic grocery store near work and have been eating lunch there. That works, usually a few bucks a day. Cheaper than eating out or remembering to bring food into work every day.

Housing: Been on the hunt for a $400/mo room. Found one on a train line to the recruiting gig, but I think that's silly considering I don't know if that job will last. I may ask my current landlord if he may allow me to split my current room with a second person for $225/mo. I use to think it'd be a big hassle, but I haven't had many visitors at all to my apartment (usually I just go to my gf's place), so the company would actually be nice.

Community Work/Therapy: Too tired to do the Habitat for Humanity work, so I've started doing some projects around the apartment instead. Ripped out old carpet and hung up tapestries. No response from the food shelter, so there goes that for now. Went to my first therapy session. Was mostly a meet and greet type of thing. She suggested coping skills for suicidal ideation and basically said that people in my generation have been f*ked in more ways than one.

Orthodontics/Surgery: Officially getting braces the day after tomorrow. I'm excited! Although not very excited at all for the $5.4K cost. What are the tax consequences of selling assets from a ROTH again? Only selling the dividends causes a taxable event right, not selling the initial contribution?

-----------------

Income:

$2.7K Recruiting

Expenses:

$5,400 Braces (impending)
$757.86 COBRA
$550 Rent
$200 Food
$100 Public Transit
$30 Phone

-----------------

Portfolio:

9K Savings/Checking

57K Portfolio

33.5% US Large Cap Blend (Brokerage)
19.5% Total International Market (Brokerage)
18.5% US Small-Cap Blend (Retirement)
28.5% Total Bond Market (Retirement)

-----------------

Networth: 66K

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:07 pm

Talked to the therapist just now. We decided that I can't stick around in corporate jobs. It just isn't sustainable. It'll be fine as a temporary role to help defray bills. Instead, I'd be better off vying for a job in healthcare, mental health, or similar. Next step is to change my resume around to make it read more like a resume of a counselor or a programs coordinator. I also came to the conclusion that it'll be OK to get a job that pays 30-40K flat, since even that will have steady progress financially, even with COBRA and braces. More importantly, I'll actually be in flow more often and much happier. Fuck being miserable every work week. Now to try and get something around here as I proceed with orthodontic work.

I also decided that I have to get the hell out of NY. This state isn't well suited to me and needs to go. I'll probably move to Denver once orthodontics and surgery are done. Younger people, booming economy, and lots of outdoorsy stuff. Sign me up.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by jacob » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:19 pm

Yeah, it really is okay to earn what is still more than half of everybody flat. I think the present pf-sphere is overly dominated by software-engineers these days leading to the impression that 60k+ should be the expected starting salary for anyone coming out of college and that better be over six-figs within a few years.

The vast majority of people don't earn like that. The median salary has now risen to about 30k/person, but it's only some years ago that it was sitting around 26k/year. When I was your age and in grad school, that's about what I was making. At 28, I became a postdoc which bumped my pay to an astounding 40k---it was astounding, because I was still spending on the order of 6k/yr and saving the rest.

What's important is that I was still enjoying the journey and in fact has enjoyed all my working activities for 80-90% of the time to the point of naively insisting that "I would do this for free". I suspect many who has the "just do hard time" attitude are so oriented because they know that they're earning 3sigma level salaries that are unlikely to repeat. If it was me and I already had such a position secured, I'd probably stick it out too ... but for most it doesn't have to be that way.

You could draw a lovely 2D diagram where on the x-axis you had love it vs hate it ... and on the y-axis you had high salary vs low salary. The only quadrant you don't want to be in is the hate it/low salary ... but personally I'd rather be in the low-salary/love it than the high-salary/hate it quadrant. The high-salary/love it quadrant that's available from the get-go only exists for a few rare professions.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:27 pm

@Jacob, and for a few rare professionals. Namely NTs, like those succeeding/staying in finance, engineering, or tech. The only way to get down to 6K/yr in NY is to van live or have a roommate in your room. Still, 12K isn't half bad either. From my experiences over the past few months, I've grown to dislike Mr. Money Mustache's example. Live on 20-30K per year, earn 60K+ and eventually 100K+, and you'll be good. Yeah, exept that to work a 60K+ job you're likely in corporate, and if you can't do corporate, 20-30K per year is almost your entire salary.
Last edited by TopHatFox on Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by jacob » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:31 pm

@THF - No, not even that ... recall, that what's reported are average salaries contingent securing employment in that field. So the number is the average of people in the field---so some will be lower and a few will be a lot higher (it's usually skewed). More importantly, some with a relevant degree go work in other fields. Most physicists [by education], for example, don't work in physics. Rather they are part of the "teacher" or "tech support" salary averages.

Add: You probably meant NYC ... if not, just head up to Herkimer county :mrgreen:

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:33 pm

Yeah heh, NYC or Westchester area

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by jacob » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:55 pm

I'm somewhat reminded by my angry people post in particular how it relates to different kinds of capital (ERE book chapter ... 5, right?) and how I---and I think you---are fortunate that at least none of your capital dimensions are negative(*). All of us [bloggers/voices] tend to attract "similars". MMM is the voice for the high-income techies and does an equally hard job convincing them, because this stuff is mostly tricky from a Wheaton level scale as nobody who are able to read stuff on the interwebs live in abject poverty w/o resources. Of course MMM's lifestyle wouldn't work for the median income single person seeking early retirement because a 30k income coupled with a, say, 15k spending => savings rate => ~15 years to become FI instead of at age 30. Similarly, anyone who can decipher my writings probably suffers from an above-average level reading comprehension as well as ditto patience and frustration tolerance and that kind of capital is able a big plus when it comes to making superior choices. Not surprisingly, a lot of my earlier readership were underpaid academics (like myself).

My point is ... salary/income is just one dimension of the full picture. Don't sweat it too much. ERE is way more than FIRE.

(*) Imagine "negative social capital" e.g. living with a crazy family member who keeps you up at night or is physically violent or engage is other kinds of shite behavior.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:03 pm

Yeah, I suppose you're right. My difficulty seems to have been in mentally accepting that a lower income will be the way to go; that my path will have to be a lot different than the highly compensated tech/finance worker. Agreed that ERE is broader than living on your portfolio and exiting the rat race.

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BRUTE
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by BRUTE » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:42 pm

brute would like to point out that health care jobs are TERRIBLY stressful. the humans brute knew who worked in that field (doctors, nurses, care takers) all complained about not only the long and biologically unsound hours, but also the stressful nature of the work, mentally and physically.

it might be fulfilling, but it is apparently extremely stressful.

Colorado sounds nice for TopHatFox. all Coloradans (demonym?) brute has ever met are aggressively outdoorsy and so overtly in love with Colorado it's almost disgusting. kind of like the stereotype of Texans (that brute has NOT found to be true) minus the hats.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by jacob » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:05 pm

There's a risk that CO will turn into the FL of the southwest within the next several(!) decades with the state splitting over #waterrights #climatechange #aztec yet being bound together by historic political boundaries like FL.

I wouldn't settle there for the long term but a decade or two or flipping or renting might be nice.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by James_0011 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:47 pm

Consider that case where you get a new job, but youre still unhappy what are you going to do than?

Also, I would be weary of anyone who enables you to feel like a victim (therapists).

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:15 pm

Man, can you guys be any more negative sometimes -_-

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BRUTE
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by BRUTE » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:23 pm

yea tbh that therapist sounds a lot like she nods her head for money

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:32 pm

That's nice brute. Either way, my life is getting better.

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