I can't pass up a good challenge, and this time it's @freedomtribe that prompted a question that doesn't seem to let me go. In it's Truth Challenge they want participants to come up with some poetry, video, or other creative expression related to Terrible Truths and Powerful Lies. They got some sweet prizes too! Well, I'm no poet, and I know it, but when I let my thoughts flow the outcome tends to have some substance. And when it comes to truth, I like to stand naked before the world, simply to discard masks and pretense. So this is what I wanted to tackle, and the outcome is as follows. Take it or leave it.
Taking a Far Away Perspective
I'm here in New Zealand, so remote that even the Outback over yonder is considered "overseas" as is the rest of the world, somewhere on the West Island, as the cheeky Kiwis like to call Australia. This time I'm not chasing hobbits or doing anything touristy, I simply came to visit my parents who have picked this place to live. Sure, why not.
And it's nice here! How could it not be? Even their winter is lush and green, not too cold, and admittedly, my parents are cool as anything, super alternative in almost every regard I can think of, and way beyond in many ways. In a way, not unlike my wife back home in Mexico (who could not join me this time in this far away place). However, there is one thing the three of them have in common, which puts me at odds not only with them, but with the majority of the world: it is my attitude towards money!
The Same Conversations Since I Was A Teenager
I remember so well the types of discussions I had growing up, with always the same questions: "What do you want to do with your life?" I was never short of an answer. In fact, I always felt I had too many answers, as my interests have always been so multi-layered. History, literature, psychology, languages, religions, the arts, philosophy, etc. was just scraching the surface. But as far as picking a profession to pursue... that's where you'd always get me. What do you call a deer with no eyes? That's right: No Idea! While this answer may be typical from a 15 year old, I have to admit that it hasn't changed much for me since then.
Looking Back At My "Career"
In the end I ended up studying anthropology, getting completely disillusioned with it, and academia as a whole, just as I completed my undergrad degree. Eventually I made a living as a translator and language teacher of German and English (and to a lesser extent Spanish and Hungarian), but discovered other, more hands-on things, related to Permaculture and natural building. By now I consider myself quite proficient in building and maintaining composting toilets, both wet and dry, setting up worm-farms and composting systems of non-humanure, making probiotic drinks, growing spirulina, and I know the basics of mushroom farming. Additionally I have gained quite a bit of experience in building Earthships, cob / adobe, and straw-bale houses, and last but not least I have gotten a sweet taste of bicycle mechanics. So I don't think my life has been completely wasted.
Show Me The Money!!!
At the same time, while people my age have built up impressive careers, making large-to-very-large sums of money, I am still just scraping by, sort of. Okay, I have to admit in my favor that I have never been in debt, not once, not by one penny! I have never had a credit card, which I'm happy about, but at the same time I have never earned more than $2600 USD a month. And although I think I'm quite good at keeping my expenses to a minimum... I honestly suck at accumulating wealth. And this is the sad fact that I have to keep admitting to my wife, my parents, and most importantly to the 40 year-old dude that keeps looking back at me from the mirror.
The Price of Steem and the Great Financial Meltdown
Okay, so maybe it's not that important to accumulate lots of dollars. Or euros, or pesos, or any type of fiat currency for that matter. After all, it's apparent that some kind of crash of the 2008 type is eminent again, which is bound to reorganize the financial setup of the world, if not tear it entirely to bits. So having some bitcoin is probably not a bad idea. Or some other types of cryptocurrencies. Or gold and silver. As it turns out, I do have some of each of these things, but in such small, such nominal amounts, that neither of them is more significant than what I have in my steem wallet. (Sure, go ahead and take a look if you're curious!) And while bitcoin and most other cryptos are slowly dragging themselves out of the hole the recent bear dug for them, steem is just digging itself deeper.
What Was That Thing Again About Working for Free?
So while the people closest to me keep telling me repeatedly, and with more insistence, that I should do something to secure my financial stability, I keep feeding myself ideas about achieving financial independence of a different kind. The idea is to work for free, meaning without monetary exchange. Bartering, if you will, goods for goods, goods for services, and services for services. I have written in more detail about this here and here.
The one question that keeps coming up in my mind again and again is whether I'm fooling myself. Conversely, whether I'd be fooling myself otherwise!
Where is the truth, which is the lie? And can I actually know it? Surely, hindsight will be 20/20, once I'm past the point of deciding. But for now, I'm having a real hard time telling. I didn't expect I'd gain the truth from completing this exercise either, but at least... at least I could throw it out into the world of fellow steemians. Maybe someone who reads this will be able to relate to it. Not that I expect any definite answers...
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