I’ve been an urbanite most of my life and I assumed I preferred the lifestyle despite not having experienced the alternative. Rural life has a particular charm. People are friendly, life is slower paced, people have time for one another. People you don’t even know stop and wave and say hi.
In Houston, when one asks what there is to do, all I can say is ‘go out to eat, or go shopping’. I much prefer to cook with and for friends, and I hate spending money on non-durables. So, in Houston, I stay indoors, and run on a treadmill; running and expending energy and staying in the same place.
Now that I’m looking for jobs, and checking out cost of living calculators, I’m experiencing severe sticker shock. There are a ton of jobs in New England, but I’m already dreading the snow. Now that I’m in the south, I can’t tell you how much the sunny weather has improved my disposition. I have never been happier and I’ve never lived more simply. Lots of jobs exist in California, but I’d have to sell a kidney to afford to live there. And I hate driving. I don’t want a car. In fact, the more I think about it, I don’t want anything. I just want community. Friends, family, neighbors… the things I can’t buy are things I long for more than anything. I kind of want to sell everything and live on a commune. Honestly, living an Amish-type existence seems appealing (minus the uber protestant beliefs and aversion/hypocritical approach to technology)
So then, how much I get compensated is not as important as the lives I touch because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like, in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow in the same track. We’re bringing up children and educating them to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. It is a dirty cycle.
So now, I’m asking myself what do I truly want to do. And that is a hard thing for me to do because I like doing an awful lot and I’m decent at doing many things. I wish there was a career called ‘catch-all’ that would encompass the teacher, baker, potter, farmer, tailor, chemist, engineer, inventor, gardener. Oh wait, I forgot, it is called a person.