Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Where are you and where are you going?
classical_Liberal
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by classical_Liberal »

I'm all for Semi-ERE and for experimenting with different lifestyles. I also think certain things are best done at certain ages, and now is the best time for you take on these adventures. A couple of devil's advocate points though.

1) It is highly likely your priorities will change later in life. Van-life, slow travel, thru-hiking may not be what you want to do in a decade. So keep this in the back of your mind. There is nothing wrong with changing lifestyles, just don't put all your egg in one basket at such a young age. Prepare yourself for a successful transition to other lifestyles in the future if your priories change.

2) You have a ton of things going for you. Great savings for such a young age, low level spending skills. However, another you should consider is your education. You have an undergrad degree from a top tier university and soon will have a Masters. This is a huge asset that gives you significant "street cred" in the salaryman and workingman quadrants. This opens up opportunities that 90+% of the population does not have. Without usage this asset will depreciate. A decade of nonusage will make it highly unlikely this education provides you anywhere near the leverage it gives you today. I suggest you design the "seasonal work" and "projects" part of your plan to utilize your education in some form so that it does not lose value.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

1) Priorities seem to change daily/weekly here ;)
2) Comparison is the thief of joy

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unemployable
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by unemployable »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:50 pm
2) You have a ton of things going for you. Great savings for such a young age, low level spending skills. However, another you should consider is your education. You have an undergrad degree from a top tier university and soon will have a Masters. This is a huge asset that gives you significant "street cred" in the salaryman and workingman quadrants. This opens up opportunities that 90+% of the population does not have. Without usage this asset will depreciate. A decade of nonusage will make it highly unlikely this education provides you anywhere near the leverage it gives you today.
As a point of reference, I am finding my engineering degree from a top-10 university, not to mention a very difficult to obtain professional certification, is essentially worthless after nearly a decade since my last real job. Now I made that bed and am surviving on a sub-4 withdrawal rate, but try to stay hungry and don't stagnate.

I would have tried to do a better job of networking while still working and leaned on it more after my first couple years of quitting. Work sucks, I get it, but try to build bridges rather than burn them.

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Jean
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Jean »

same as unemployable. Your degree is probably worth much less than you imagine. Don't rely on it alone.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:50 pm
1) It is highly likely your priorities will change later in life. Van-life, slow travel, thru-hiking may not be what you want to do in a decade. So keep this in the back of your mind. There is nothing wrong with changing lifestyles, just don't put all your egg in one basket at such a young age. Prepare yourself for a successful transition to other lifestyles in the future if your priories change.

2) You have a ton of things going for you. Great savings for such a young age, low level spending skills. However, another you should consider is your education. You have an undergrad degree from a top tier university and soon will have a Masters. This is a huge asset that gives you significant "street cred" in the salaryman and workingman quadrants. This opens up opportunities that 90+% of the population does not have. Without usage this asset will depreciate. A decade of nonusage will make it highly unlikely this education provides you anywhere near the leverage it gives you today. I suggest you design the "seasonal work" and "projects" part of your plan to utilize your education in some form so that it does not lose value.
I'm not really sure how the priorities would change to be honest. I've been dead set on not having kids since I was a kid tbh. What else is there to do besides staying healthy, developing hobbies, traveling, and trying to form some decent relationships? Seriously, what other priorities are there?

I agree though, the future is unforeseeable, and at least some sort of part-time work would be good to keep healthy anyway.

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Jean
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Jean »

Sacrificing your life for the future of other's people kids?

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

Eh

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by unemployable »

TopHatFox wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:09 am
I'm not really sure how the priorities would change to be honest. I've been dead set on not having kids since I was a kid tbh. What else is there to do besides staying healthy, developing hobbies, traveling, and trying to form some decent relationships? Seriously, what other priorities are there?

I agree though, the future is unforeseeable, and at least some sort of part-time work would be good to keep healthy anyway.
Well, those are really vague goals. What hobbies? What kind of relationships with what kind of people? "Staying healthy"... don't we all want that? Travel where, and what kind, and to accomplish what? Do you want to go to Nepal to see what Nepal is like, or are you there to climb Everest, or are you there to hook up with some Nepalese babe and take her back to the States?

I didn't think I'd spend 10 summers in the Colorado mountains. Nor did I think that after spending so much time in the Colorado mountains I'd be looking at living somewhere else. I certainly didn't think I'd be looking at buying a place to live somewhere without a like $150k/yr job.

My life and outlook thereon has been completely different at 19, 29, 39 and 49... well I'm not 49 yet, but I've changed a lot in the last decade. Gained a lot more focus, for sure.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by jacob »

TopHatFox wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:09 am
What else is there to do besides staying healthy, developing hobbies, traveling, and trying to form some decent relationships? Seriously, what other priorities are there?
Wealth, wisdom, fame, power, enlightenment, making a difference, legacy, estate, status, respect, security, honor, competence, compassion, faith, authenticity, fun, winning, liberty, independence, dependability, ... and many others. Which one are prioritized in slogans, toasts, mission statements, or coat of arms says a lot about what a culture or a person values. Think of the selection as the filter of possibilities. Adding one or subtracting one can completely change what you're driving for.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by classical_Liberal »

TopHatFox wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:09 am
I'm not really sure how the priorities would change to be honest.
No one is sure, that's life. The only sure thing is that they will, if they don't you haven't grown much as a person. This is why you shouldn't burn bridges, it might come in handy later if you even want to cross a certain river again. Two people chimed in on how your education will be worthless in a decade if you don't use it. Since you're gonna need some income, choose to earn it by using part of your education. Then that bridge is maintained for later usage.

Or burn it, it's your life.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

I don't think I have an issue with using my education or working. I think that's fine and it can be good to work to keep sane and buffer the portfolio/FIRE plan. I think the larger issue is using the education/working while doing the things I want, such as thru-hiking, van travel, and other adventures.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

I've been thinking today that I have actually come pretty far. When I was 6 I came from a South American country with no documents. I went through elementary school, middle school, a fancy high school I got into, a fancy college I got into, got residency then US citizenship, and started a Masters for free, in addition to now having 100K. I've had plenty of good relationships, close friendships, and flings too. I even overcame a latent bite and orthodontics issue that took years to resolve. All in all, I have had it pretty good, and yes it's been a ton of work.

All of that is to say that even if I am unhappy at the moment, I am a lot closer to my goals now than even a year ago, and most definitely 5 years ago. Still, now being 25, I do feel like at this point I am becoming more bold in my life paths. Nobody is going to make my life interesting or worth living except me frankly, just as pretty much all people will not pay my way should things go poorly, nor necessarily care about my health.

Not really sure where to go from here. Join the circus? I do know that my next job will be more interesting. I don't really want anything that includes sitting at a desk doing paperwork. If I can get to 30 having done some interesting jobs and 250k, that sounds good to me.

Dave
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Dave »

Hey THF, haven't messaged you in a while. Just wanted to drop in and say you're making solid progress. I think taking the time, like you're doing, to be grateful for how far you've come is a great life practice to do periodically.

Like you said, as long as you keep moving forward on the dimensions that matter to you, things will be fine. You've built up a nice portfolio for your age - just keep it growing while building skills. And I'd echo what others have said about things changing as you get older. I think you'll find that true for yourself if you go back and reread your journal. This is part of it, and navigating that change successfully is partially about keeping an open mind and doors open rather than closed.

And so you don't get the wrong impression, I'm 30, and when I started my ERE path I was about your age - I'm not too far removed from your situation :-). But even in these 5 years, things have played out much differently than I forecast.

Looking forward to following the next 5 years - keep it up!

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Stahlmann
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Stahlmann »

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Last edited by Stahlmann on Mon May 25, 2020 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

Work is so stressful right now, I feel like I might quit at any minute. I have enough assignments to last several weeks and new assignments get thrown in everyday. Previous assignments get « status-checked » and I have to fend off these requests while handling new requests. I’ve told this to my boss and he hasn’t really acted on getting me help. On top of that, I hate the place I’m living in, the last time I had a real relationship was a year ago, I’m seeing the very beginning of balding (could be from surgery), and I’m not sure I even want the jobs I could get with an MPA anymore. I feel strongly that I’d prefer to be a counselor or therapist or something in the outdoors. Feeling super depressed & stressed at the moment and unsure what to do. All of these make it harder to do my job.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Step 1 - shave your head
Step 2 - ?????
Step 3 - profit

niemand
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by niemand »

Sit down with your boss(es), list your assignments and clarify what you should prioritise on. Communicate pro-actively, set realistic timelines for each assignment, give status updates to the relevant people if anything changes without them having to ask. Be seen to manage your time well.

Now a bit of tough talk, sorry, it is well intended:

To me it feels like you are fairly junior and haven’t been in a real job for longer than 5 minutes. You may not yet have a real understanding of how to avoid or handle overload or other work stressors.

Take this is a learning opportunity. Problems like these will occur again in some shape or form in the future. Even in outdoor counselling or whatever your dream job is right now. You need to become more resilient and internalise the appropriate coping strategies.

Ask yourself how much of the problem is you and how much of the problem is outside of you. Work sucks right now, ok I get it. How much of this is your fault? I have a feeling the problem is more homemade than you think it is, and I think a lot of it could have been avoided if you had applied the right strategies.

You are stressed right now, but you don’t seem equipped to cope with it well. You project out a lot. You talk about how work is bad. Then you go on and list other thinks that suck - hair loss, your city, your relationships, the job path your free(!) degree offers.

The magic solution always seems to be to quit and move/restart somewhere else. This is not healthy. I have a feeling your problems will travel with you wherever you go. They have so far. It is not likely that there is a magic place or job or lifestyle that will fix you. It may be time to get some help.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@niemand, nah, I don't think I've tried moving enough. Thus far, I grew up in Miami (didn't like it then), moved to Amherst (really liked it there), moved to NYC (really hated it there), and went back to Miami (where, surprise, I hate it still).

As for jobs, thus far I've tried being a financial analyst (hated it), Recruiter/Sales (hated it), Accountant Assistant (absolutely hated it), Office Manager (dislike it), and residential counselor (loved it)

It's not about finding the perfect job and place. Instead, it's about finding a place and job that fits well. I suppose the only real way I'd know is by trying out more jobs and places.

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Lemur
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Lemur »

@TopHatFox

I agree that this dilemma is not about finding the perfect job and place but finding a well fit. I went through a big lifestyle change myself...left military, transitioned to career as a budget analyst; didn't like that either and landed in a data analyst role which I enjoy now - took me roughly 8 years to get to a job that makes me feel like not putting my head in a wall. As far as location, I don't like where I am at either (DC Suburb) but I settled for scenario 3 since I can make due with this. I wouldn't settle for either scenario 1 or 2:

Identified Scenarios + Solutions

(1): Hate Job and Hate Location (Develop coping strategies in the short-term and plan total exit from both career and location.)
(2): Hate Job and Like Location (Find the positive aspects of your work in the meantime but plan exit to a different career / job.)
(3): Like Job and Hate Location (Find a way to transfer within career to another location if possible; works well if you work for big corp.)
(4): Like job and Like Location. (Manage mental health to maintain homeostasis in this situation; be grateful for the holy grail here as this is rare.)

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@Lemur, I think you're on to something. I'd say my different combinations have been:

1. Growing up in Miami (1 or 3)
2. Living and working different jobs in Amherst (4)
3. Doing Finance jobs in NYC (1)
4. Doing Administration job in Miami (1)

The main theme seems to be that I like places emphasizing compassion, community, intellection, and nature. I dislike or hate places that emphasize the rat race, superficiality, apathy, and concrete.

I like jobs that include working with people on personal problems, careers, mental health, or other topics. I dislike or hate jobs that involve Excel crunching, budget paperwork, minute detail, etc.

It is kinda crazy that it can take 8 years to find (4) or even (3), and that to try different careers and places requires so much effort. Still, it's better to make the changes now and learn what there is to learn, rather than to tolerate (1) for years.

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