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Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:55 am
by TopHatFox

1. Relationships: Now partnered with the 25 yo polyam woman. Yesterday we were walking around the campus barefoot with her wolf-dog; another evening we were building a fire atop a mountain range cuddling by blankets; yet another staring intently into our eyes on her loft after answering the "36 questions to fall in love" for around 6 hours. Our budding relationship has been a surreal experience for both of us. Also seeing four affectionate close friends, three of which have met and like each other. Celebrating my birthday in a few weeks with a hike including all these lovely humans will be beautiful I imagine. Haven't heard back from my previous primary-form partner for around a month or two now, so I guess her communicating back is not happening, which makes me sad, but I suppose it's out of my control.

2. Finishing off Classes: I have accidentally missed a few French classes due to my now PP living 18 miles away and me biking my butt back to campus listening to podcasts. I might get a C or below in that class, and in the last Geol class for my major. Thankfully I don't need the former class to graduate, and I'm doing my best on both. 2 and a half more weeks of classes remaining. My PP and I might go and travel through Canada for a week at the end of April, and maybe do some longer trips during June and half of July. I bailed on the plan to get short-term work during June and July.

3. Updated Systematic Thoughts: I no longer believe capitalism can be "fixed." Literally 6 people own more than 50% of the lower half of the wealth. Sure, there are people like us and the FIRE community that are smart optimizers, whether inherently or by nurture, and can become the capital owners in the system--reeping the benefits and problems of this capital-owning class--but this leaves a garguartuan inequality throughout the world, not to mention the detriment of our environment. Frankly, it seems that working most any mainstream job is meant to destroy our bodies, minds, and passions, or at the very least it's a very strong bi-product; this is similar to how our educational system has the effect of destroying the curiosity of young people and making non-readers out of most. I'm currently seeking more books to read on how to transition capitalism into a more radically democratic system.

4. Systemic Thoughts on Personal Life: Perhaps I could work on creating this space hyper-locally just like I have created a network of loving and non-traditional relationships around myself. All of this will prove interesting while working for a pro-capitalist hedge fund/mainstream financial planning firm, but I imagine I will still like the work of getting interested people more wealth in this current system, especially since I'm good at it from what friends have asked. Furthermore, even while I might not agree with the impact of capitalism, I can still most definitely see the benefit of being a complicit anti-capitalist capital-owner ($500k in the portfolio while living in an intentional community or travelling/writing books, for instance) rather than a pure capital-poor socialist (working for my keep at a commune and feeling restricted in where I can go due to monetary constraints). I guess that's the conclusion Jacob came too as well - combine simple living with capitalism and watch as the world falls apart is one of the best options we can do under the current system. Perhaps I'm still optimistic I can change the latter of that statement to "work toward creating a better system," though I might definitely want to start in my immediate community/people I know.


Net Worth: 50 something K, I don't really care as much of late. Can't pinpoint why. Maybe I'm a little more disillusioned today?

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:13 am
by daylen
Take a look at "Survival+". This book is highly relevant to 3.

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:21 am
by C40
Olaz wrote:
Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:55 am
I can still most definitely see the benefit of being a complicit anti-capitalist capital-owner ($500k in the portfolio while living in an intentional community or travelling/writing books, for instance) rather than a pure capital-poor socialist (working for my keep at a commune and feeling restricted in where I can go due to monetary constraints)

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:04 pm
by Did
Enjoyed your diary Zalo. And mate, you're 10 % of the way there to FI while shagging multiple partners at once and having wonderful adventures.

And how old are you? 22 or something?

Can you tell me when you saw the light. What guided you? When I was 22 I was just studying hard and drinking beer.

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:50 pm
by Scott 2
Glad life is going better.

Power consolidates, you'll find such inequality appears in every form of government. IMO it is the scale at which we operate today (through technology) that makes it appear so broken.

If you don't need French, you might change it to pass/fail or an audit, to shield your GPA.

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:07 pm
Olaz wrote:
Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:55 am
I'm currently seeking more books to read on how to transition capitalism into a more radically democratic system.
Das Kapital

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:46 am
by bryan
Olaz wrote:
Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:55 am
I'm currently seeking more books to read on how to transition capitalism into a more radically democratic system.
Sci-Fi has shown me a future of realistic possibilities...

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:33 am
by Jake9870
So restless when I get off work lately (working nights) .. What better time to read entire journals!? :) Great work on what you've done with school, self realization (poly), and landing the big job! I empathize about your relationship with your parents, my relationship with my mom also stresses me out. I've been floating her which has cut into my accumulation quite a bit, still saving though. I've also been breaching the subject of polyamory with my girlfriend. Anyway man you're doing great which I'm sure you know, but here is some positive reinforcement. Good luck with graduation and the move!

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:22 pm
by TopHatFox
Did wrote:
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:04 pm
Can you tell me when you saw the light. What guided you?
Thank you all for the wonderful words of affirmation; I appreciate it greatly.

As for the question above, I don't know, I think I was always completely dissatisfied with going to middle school and high school, and that dissatisfaction lead me to find alternative thinkers from Steve Pavlina to MMM to Jacob to all the other authors or mentors I've met via the internet. If I had to summarize this journey in a few words, I'd say it's been driven by a never ending quest to avoid taking life for granted from an early age.

Anyway, today was my birthday hike! While not officially my birthday, I'm now pretty much 23!~~~ It was me, my now two partners (R & M) and one affectionate close friend (K) all cuddling atop a mountain with a 180 degree valley view while barefoot, with blankets, with an umbrella held by a tree, with the wolf-dog cuddling at our feet, and with mangos, dark chocolate, almonds, and other tasty foodstuffs. They're all bi or pan young polyam women, and they ended up liking and cuddling with each other and me - yay!!! <3 This is officially my favorite birthday thus far. We also scared off everyone on what was a somewhat crowded mountain top view. lol.

In four days, I'll be travelling through Canada with M, and hopefully we'll all get to spend more time together as a group again. Us all camping together is on the horizon, probably inside camping since we don't all have gear. Which reminds me, I need to get camping gear ASAP.

In other news, classes end in a week, and I'll be working my school's Commencement and Reunion weeks. After that, I don't know, I may backpack for a month on my own or hopefully with M. Then job land starts and $$ accumulation will sky rocket. :mrgreen:

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:34 pm
Olaz wrote:
Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:22 pm
Steve Pavlina
why is brute not surprised

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:36 pm
by TopHatFox
Haha yes, he's a bit wacky I admit, but hey, gotta love the guy's never-ending curiosity : )

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:02 am
by TheWanderingScholar
Congrats Olaz on the self-fulfillment and moving forward with your life! Hope to join you in the positive net worth eventually! ;P

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 4:52 pm
by TopHatFox
MAY 2017



I've been hanging out in a town in Canada sitting in the loft of a B&B spot for the week. It's been cool: lots of day hikes, stunning views (I don't know how to add pictures from my phone to here, but I would if I felt like figuring it out on my own atm hint hint :P), reading a few books, planning goals, and finishing up final assignments. Living together with M has definitely taught me a few things over the week (it's been a lovely time, and I've been doing lots of reading from our conversations together).


Children: I have now strongly decided that I absolutely do not want to have children. Combined with a high stress professional life, it's enough to stress out any couple(s). Actually, kids are enough to stress out any couple on their own. I'm glad they make other people happy, but not me.

Pets: I have also decided strongly against owning pets of any kind. They take up an incredible amount of time, limit travelling ability, need to be cared for medically if something happens (eating raisins for example = $$ bills), and are often a surrogate for human emotional/closeness. I'm glad they make other people happy, but not me once more.

Relationship Style/Marriage: I am beginning to see partners more as loving people to spend time with rather than people to build a shared life with; I am beginning to dislike the idea of a "we." This takes a lot--if not all of--the pressure off relationships. Naturally, this also means I in no way, shape, or form would like to get married.

Housing: From checking out the 500K, 2800 sq foot, "90% energy efficient" B&B spot, I am now even more absolutely opposed to large homes. Way too much to clean, take care off, pay for, etc. Not to mention stuff gets lost all the damn time. Studios, a room, or a small cabin within short biking distance of a town center sounds good to me, yes indeed. Tent, boat, or van also OK.

Stuff to do with my time post-FI Well, if I won't have a large home nor dependents for the foreseeable future, I imagine I'd have to do something with my time, lest I get very bored/depressed. I can see myself walking the TransCanada Trail or other large trails and blogging about the experiences, writing a book on how to be FI/have alternative relationships, giving speeches at colleges or Ted Talks, learning languages, or other such endeavors, kinda like what MMM is now doing with his time. It's funny, I can see that I'll likely become even wealthier post-FI simply because whatever I'd end up doing--and I'll have to do something--will probably deliver value to someone, and that is reciprocated with money, usually. It's incredible what choosing not to have dependents nor large material liabilities can do in short order. This is not to say this is the choice for all, but I do think it is the set that will make me happiest.

Other People: other people will simply have to deal with all of my choices if they're an affront to their lifestyle. If they get offended, that's on them, though: I've become quite adept at not proselytizing people on their choices, even with partners (hence the strong lessening of the idea of a shared "we" - it makes it easier to listen to their current challenges without being biased about the outcome). I'll probably try to avoid partners that want/have children or pets, and to avoid their expecting of me to de facto contribute to these.

The State of the World: I finally seem to care less about trying to change the world, or at least I can now let go of it as almost entirely out of my control. That said, I'm contented to simply create a great life for me and the people I'm close to. : )


Networth: 54K (by the end of the month)

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 9:23 am
by TopHatFox


Commencement: After four years of very hard work, commencement finally occurred, I got a complimentary cane said to "carry me through life", and said goodbye to all of my close friends and friends, most of which I daresay I will likely never see again(!). A strange thought, but as with the rest of life, it goes on.

Relationships: As college has come to a close, I have said my goodbyes to one partner, R, and a few affectionate friends. We have agreed to keep in contact every now and again through Skype, but I did not want to do long distance relationship. I do still need to have a conversation with my other partner, M, with the same, and I'll see how that goes. Interestingly, as soon as many of the college-centric relationships came to a close, I met another affectionate friend during Reunion week, and went on a date with a pretty polyam woman in Hartford when I was updating the SS Office there to my recent naturalization. Abundance in love is wonderful I admit.

Potential Plans for June: I will be doing a 10 day Vippasanna meditation retreat in late June. I'm hoping to be more present and to realize something "philosophical" as a result of the retreat. I've also sold all my old bikes and will buy a Salsa Vaya II soon; it'll be fun to ride it around. Finally, I'm looking to buy/make some light-weight camping gear and possibly hike the entirety of the Long Trail in Vermont, a total of 270 miles.

Job in July: Looks like the professional job starts in mid-July, and I am eager to begin! By the end of December, I should have my first 80-100k, which is very exciting. I still need to get a few dress shirts, a second suit, and some ties. I am a bit nervous about starting work, since I would really like to do a good job/earn my keep, but I don't yet know that much about office politics or how to interact with normative consumer culture in professional environments. I'm also not sure how I'll fair with consistent high-demand social interaction with technicals on top of that. I should begin some sort of job-prep program with books, mentors, etc.

Reunion Thoughts: Interestingly, I was bar-tending with the class of 1967, most of which are in there 70's. I think what I ultimately learned from hanging out with these people is that yes, a few people can still look really good in old age (lol), and that frankly, none of this "stuff" really matters - just live a smart life optimized for happiness filled with those things and people you most love. Also, easy stuff, like have savings, exercise, a clean diet, etc. And if you die earlier doing those things that are exciting -- thru hiking, sailing, travelling -- so be it. I don't know, seeing all these old folks together really brought it home that life is finite, and that so much of the crap of every day life, like status anxiety, fall by the way side when we're on our death bed.

Patterns of Life: A Class of '12 grad was telling me how in the 5th year reunion many are married, in the 10th year reunion many have kids, in the 15th year reunion many are divorced, and so on until the 50th reunion where many are dead. These patterns to life are fascinating, almost like we are all on a similar path. Part of me really wants to rail against this normative path, and to do something completely different. As I was talking to the Class of '12 grad, who is in his 3rd year of med school, I thought to myself that five years from now, I may be very near my half-million goal, and potentially going on long-term adventures without dependents or marriage. All of this makes me wonder where my life will go if not the conventional route. Hm.


Networth: 55K (parents gave me $600 and some yerba mate as a graduation present, yay - lol)

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 10:52 am
by Jason
One's life, like history, has to be looked at in terms of continuities and discontinuities. The main continuity is that we are human. That allows us to be able to reflect on past civilizations as well as our own lives with the presupposition of intelligibility because we have an ability to identify throughout human and our own personal history i.e. some things about humanity and individuals do not change. In other words, both people and myself are to some degree, the same assholes we have always been. The main discontinuity is choices. As I've gotten older, the biggest choice seems to be how civilizations and individuals think which has more cultural and transient benefits/threats.

Being human imposes an inescapable hegemony of normativity, most resounding in the inevitability of death and then a sliding scale down to whether you own a television and shit like that. My point is, I think, is that there's no use fighting city hall, politically or ontologically. I am certain you have had a peer die who never was given the opportunity to watch some chick he regretted marrying walk out of a room with his half his fuckin money.

Good job on the 55K.

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:02 pm
by TopHatFox
Updates updates.

Moving to White Plains, NY this weekend: I offered to pay a friend gas money to drive me there. I have winnowed down my stuff to 3 suit cases. Old bikes are gone. Got nice work clothes from thrift stores. Bought a Xootr and bought Ray Way hiking gear to sew. Waiting to get to WP to get a new bike & trailer. Closed off all accounts from Amherst and opened new ones in WP. Secured a room for $700/mo (very cheap in WP) 1.5 miles to the company shuttle at the train station. A public bus is available to take me to the shuttle, as is a smaller train. Nice.

Philosophy Updates: I've been reading a lot, watching many documentaries, and listening to a few podcasts. RPF has me thinking of investing in broader terms, contemplating the stages of life, and considering business owning. Documentaries have been really useful for nailing down a healthier diet, stronger community, and steadier emotional well-being. Good Fortune stoic podcast has been super useful for maintaining contentedness.

Relationships: all previous relationships have officially transitioned to either long-distance close friendships or non-existence. I have now been on 3 dates with RB in Hartford. I even met her partner (nice guy). Unknown whether it will be a long term relationship or not. Distance wise it looks like a 3-4 hr train ride each way. My attention has turned to using OKc and Meetups to meet new people before work starts.

Adventures: I hiked the 50 mi Robert Frost Trail and hung out at Mt. Orient. I also bailed on the 10 day Vipassana retreat. I wanted hiking, books, and friends instead. Don't regret it thus far. Sadly, I will likely also bail on the Long Trail as well. Sewing the gear will take me at least a week after I find a sewing machine and learn how to use it. Will definitely be exploring NY on the daily instead. This will be more useful in the long term since I'll be living in the area. Need to get better at moving past inertia during planning phases. Otherwise, things don't happen fast enough.

Money: not much to be said. I've been spending a few hundred getting clothes, new gear, first month's + SD, etc. Also selling some old stuff. I haven't worked for pay since June 1, so savings have declined. In some ways I am eager to start working to be on the positive once more. In other ways, I am feeling uneasy about the employed lifestyle. I should remember to be appreciative for my position, and to work to do an excellent job.


Networth: 53K

Yerba mate has been partially exhausted :P

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:52 pm
by ether
Keep Kicking Ass brotha!

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:36 am
by The Old Man
One door has closed (college) and another has opened (work). Best of luck.

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:46 am
by TopHatFox
Successfully moved to White Plains. There's a Shop Rite 2 mi away. Food there seems lowly priced. Nice.

Looks like the structure is in place. I'm moved in. I have my work wardrobe. I have my push-scooter. I'm getting my bike, and getting the bicycle trailer.

Now it's just a matter of building an exciting new life here, and investing all the excess.

Re: Zalo's Journey

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:14 am
by halfmoon
Go get 'em!! :D