James and I spend a lot of time thinking about our fantasy life. That is, what we would do if money was no object (or rather, what we would do if we didn't have to pay our mortgage, student loans, or think about retirement funds).
This conversation always happens when we are on vacation, which is when we feel like we are living the lives we were meant to. AKA...not working in careers that don't really express who we are as people, but are necessary to keep us in the style to which we are accustomed (690 sq feet, like a boss!).
We discuss how we feel "tricked" by our upbringing in school - we are taught that to be successful you have to go to university, get a degree, get a job, buy a house...basically continue to contribute to the capitalistic way of life we value in the western world (and scarily, though no doubt justifiably, the developing world is headed this way. I can already hear the earth screaming under the heavy burden of these values, but we did it to ourselves).
I don't Live To Work, but I Work To Live. There is a big difference there and it's an unsettling mindset.
The title of this post is a tribute to James' cousin Liz and her husband Gary, who live down in the Cayman Islands. They started their own dive company, called Living the Dream Divers, and they are ACTUALLY living their dream. This is so rare that it deserves a standing ovation. I am envious of not only the warm crystalline waters of the Caribbean, but that they love what they do. No doubt in the world that this is what they are meant to be doing. To me, this is a luxury not afforded to everyone.
Can you imagine doing what you love for a living and getting PAID to do it? Unheard of.
Do I love the performance culture I have found myself enveloped in the past 10 years? Nope. Do I enjoy the perks and am I grateful for a job? You betcha. Is it what I was meant to do with my life? Without a doubt I am meant to do something more meaningful, but it's easier said than done trying to figure out what that is while maintaining a lifestyle and looking to a balanced financial future. I don't want to be an old lady living in a shoe.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on my job. I mostly enjoy my current situation. However, would I quit if I won the lottery or came into a significant amount of money? In a second. So, is it too much to ask to find a job that you love so much that you would do it for free?
Yes. Because that is not reality for 99% of the people in this world. And I want certain things in my life that come from having stability and longterm peace of mind in a career. I wouldn't consider myself a risk taker, so the thought of simply quitting our jobs and "finding ourselves" doesn't exactly jive with my personality. I would worry too much.
So I need a steady income, you guys. If I could make money, legitimately, off of writing, I think I would do that. So, I guess that's up to me. Time to start writing my book. Otherwise, we're moving to Hornby Island to make goat cheese.
What would you do with your life if you didn't need to worry about income?