One Year of Freedom

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a long time…

Today is the one-year anniversary of Freedom Twenty-Five, and we’re going to celebrate with some epic announcements. My life and this blog are about to take off in a radical new direction. Before we get into that though, let’s take a little walk down memory lane.

A year ago today, I wrote my first post: The Blank Page

“Few things are more intimidating than a white screen, daring you to write something worthwhile on it. Introspection tells us that we are all brilliant and unique, while the reality is that most of us are not. Writing, and not being read, is the fastest way to be cured of our delusions of grandeur.

The same can be said for any form of artistic expression – A blank canvas, an open mic night, amateur hour – Each inspires terror, because each creates the possibility of failure.  The terror is especially acute for my generation, having been raised on a steady diet of self-esteem-inflating bromides and gold stars. We’ve been told that we’re special so many times, we’re afraid to do anything that might test whether or not it’s true.

The result has not been what the creators of the self-esteem factories predicted. The best and the brightest shuffle off to college and the roads more-traveled. They spend their 20′s articling for our bloated legal system; tinkering with spreadsheets for our bloated financial system; writing policy briefs for our bloated civil service. At the end of the day, what the hell are any of us doing?

How many can honestly say that we love what we do? That it gives our lives meaning? That we don’t lay in bed thinking of bigger, better things? My Generation is overflowing with dreams, most of which will never leave their dreamers’ souls.

I say to hell with all that. Fuck the man! Fuck my soulless nine-to-five! Yes, I realize that I am a walking, talking cliche. Cliches are what they are for a reason. Millions of bright, energetic young people across the western world are wasting their time and energies serving unworthy masters. We will be happier, better people if we realize that.

This blog’s mission will be to narrate and inspire my rise from what I am – a content and conventionally successful young guy, one year into his tenure at a prestigious, but soul-destroying desk job – into what I want to be: An Artist. A Man. A genuinely happy and fulfilled person, whose life is spent creating and experiencing the sublime.

Wish me luck.”

Followed shortly by this short biography:

“Less than two hours into the project, and already my legions of admiring readers (Hi Grandma!) are hungry for some biographical details. Or so I assume.

I am a twenty-five year old office drone, one year into a promising career as a (yawn). I studied (boring) at the University of (meh) before getting a (lucrative professional designation) from the U of (alright).  I work for (huge, faceless bureaucracy) in the (whatever) department and have been there for almost one year. I make about $XX,XXX, plus benefits and great job security. If I stick with my career track, I can easily be making $XXX,XXX by the time I’m thirty! With that income, and assuming at least one close relative dies before then, I’ve calculated that by I’ll be able to buy a house in (prestigious neighbourhood) as long as I’m dating a girl who makes at least $XX,XXX and has a maternity benefits package. Furthermore, if I assume that private tuition and designer baby clothes prices increase less than 5% per year, I’ll be able to afford two kids, and still be able to retire by 57! And buy a convertible! And a new deck! And…

OK, that’s enough. I know it’s satire, but it’s still depressing as hell to write that. It’s scary. Sometimes I feel like I went to sleep an eighteen year old, and woke up twenty-five. Well, how do I know I won’t go to sleep tonight and wake up forty?

That’s why this blog is not going to be about who I am right now. I’m not going to talk about the University of (meh) or the (whatever) department, because they do not matter.

Instead, I will use this space to write about who I want to become. I’m not interested in the version of myself that wears a tie every day and pretends to care about his coworker’s weekends. Neither are you. So I will write about the man I aspire to be: The Writer. The Musician. The Performer. The Entrepreneur. The man who has tried the beaten path and found it lacking.

In some ways, a lot has changed in the past year since I wrote those introductory posts:

– I started eating Paleo, and staved of the creeping decline that took hold of my body once I started spending half my waking life in a cubicle.

– I paid off my student loans and saved a nice chunk of money by ruthlessly cutting expenses, living at home and investing in gold.

– I learned Game, got married (but not really), and wrote a few thousand words on the state of dating and relationships in the modern world.

– I trained myself to read more, adhere to an information diet, and purge the crap from my life.

Otherwise though, my day-to-day life remained fairly constant. I still lived in my hometown. I still worked at the same job. I still spent my evenings and weekends doing the same things that I had always done. Long-time readers may be forgiven for assuming that I had abandoned by early plans to escape my job, travel the world, and pay for it all doing what I loved. There are certainly worse fates in life than having a decent job, steady income, and starting a happy family in a safe city.

But that life is not for me. Not here, and not right now. Blessing or curse, I am not content to accept that path as my fate. I need challenge. Adventure. I need to give myself the opportunity to have it all, even if it means risking the comfortable life I’m living right now. One year ago today, I promised myself that I wasn’t going to settle for the unspectacular life that had been laid out in front of me. Today, I deliver:

1) I Quit My Job

Last Friday, I shut down my computer and walked out the front door of my office for the last time ever.

Great job. Cool people. Good boss. Good money for easy hours. Terrible economy. How come I quit? What a fucking idiot I am, right?

Well, maybe if I was forty years old, had three kids and two mortgages. As it stands, I’m a young asshole with no responsibilities, no commitments, and a burning desire to free myself from the shackles of nine-to-five. Plus, I’ve got the brains and the balls to make it on my own, without the need for the security and guidance of my current position. At least I think I do. Guess we’ll see.

2) I’m Moving To Thailand

Everything I own that does not fit into a backpack is getting sold, given away, or put into storage. I fly into Bangkok one month from now, and will be spending November and December in Chiang Mai. In January, I’m doing a 1-2 month backpacking trip across all of Southeast Asia with a few of my best friends. After that… I have no idea. Stay in SEA? Head north through China/SK/Japan? Europe? Time will tell.

3) I’m A Businesses, Man

I’ll write more about these in the coming month, but for now, I’ll just say that I have two, maybe three projects in the pipe that will hopefully enable me to earn money while staying mobile. My success or failure with these ideas and my general experience as a young entrepreneur will be a major focus of this blog moving forward.

4) Freedom Twenty-Five: The 21st-Century Man’s Guide To Life, will soon be available wherever fine books are sold

That’s right, I wrote a motherfucking book. It’ll be available for sale on November 1st in paperback and e-reader formats. Mark your calendars, bitches.

In my wildest dreams, the Freedom Twenty-Five book changes the world. It becomes the inspiration for an entire generation of young men to rise up against the culture of failure and defeat that has conquered so many of us. It will lead millions to rebel against the assumptions our society wants us to make about life. The book itself is a collection of my thoughts on diet and exercise; careers and personal finance; sex and dating; productivity; and finding meaning and purpose from within the wreckage of a spiritless and empty culture.

I don’t consider myself a guru in any of these areas. I’m just a guy trying to figure it all out, and learning as much as I can from better men than myself. My goal is to share what I’ve learned, and tell the story of my journey so far. Hopefully the result will be that a few more of you come along for the ride.

5) I Feel Fucking AWESOME

I can’t remember having felt as excited, happy, terrified, and full of life as I do today – leaving my soul-sucking job, gearing up to travel the world, and starting a new career as an author/entrepreneur in which the sole determinant of my success will be my own brains and ambition. I honestly don’t care if I wake up a year from now, broke and a complete failure at everything I’m setting out to do right now. I’m fighting, I’m grinding and I’m LIVING for possibly the first time in my twenty-six years on this planet.

Readers, commenters, and fellow bloggers who’ve been around until today – Thank you all for coming along on the ride this far. It’s been fun, but… we’re just getting started.