320: You’re So Lucky
It’s 11:04PM on a Wednesday, and I am at the office.
Before you conjure up some depressing image of a lone worker in a dark cubicle, you should know I have a friend sitting across the table, a beautiful fountain dancing to music in front of a gorgeous cathedral just outside of my window, I’m surrounded by bottles of beer that I’ve been sharing with friends all night, and two more of my fellow remotes are just across the room working on a new cut for Eddie’s vlog (#TheVlogThatNeverWas) to some jaunty sounding tune that’s supposed to be reminiscent of Morocco.
I finished my work for the night 10 minutes ago, but I haven’t left yet. Honestly, I’m happy here. One of the beer bottles isn’t empty yet, its comfy and warm, and I love being surrounded by people who are pursuing their passion. That sounds like some hipster bullshit to say, but it’s the truth.
After I finish this blog post, I’ll go home to my apartment where I live with my best friend and my boyfriend. If I’m lucky he’ll have accidentally made too much dinner, and I’ll get a bite to eat before cuddling up in bed and watching old episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen. And in the morning?
I’ll be back in this same seat, working on a new piece that’s almost identical to the one I wrote tonight. And you know what? I’ll love it then, too.
Earlier today I was having a conversation with some friends from high school on Facebook. They were saying how much they missed college, how jealous they were of our younger siblings who are just about to start their higher education journeys. I thought about it for a second, trying to find some nostalgia for the college days tucked somewhere inside, searching for that memory that would make me miss the last stretch of my youth.
But I couldn’t. I don’t miss college. I don’t miss going to the same three bars with the same fratty dudes, going to the same boring classes, seeing the same old buildings, stuck in some strange loop of sustained adolescence just waiting for real life to happen when the party finally came to an end.
What it boils down to, I believe, is simply that what I have now is so much fucking better.
Today I have a life that is entirely of my own choosing. I started my own business, so I would never spend a day doing something just because someone else cared about it. I make my own schedule, because I know that I’m happier sleeping in and working late than forcing myself out of bed at 7AM. I move to a new country every month, and in that month I have the freedom to choose to visit anywhere I like — and I do. I never have to go to the same bar twice if I don’t want to. I eat at new and interesting restaurants every day. I’m constantly studying a new language, finding a way to communicate with the world around me. I have new clients coming in all the time, to the point that I can barely keep up. I never, not for even a second, feel like someone hit the snooze button on my life.
Because I did it. I built a life I give a shit about. And this, my friends, is what living feels like.
Most people look at the opportunity I’ve had to be on Remote Year and tell me how lucky I am. The comment never fails to enrage me.
In some senses, I am very lucky. I am lucky to be smart. I am lucky to have a supportive family. I am lucky to have a mom who told me to go, when maybe it would have been easier on her if I stayed. I have wonderful, incredible, accomplished, witty, smart, beautiful friends, both at home and away. I’ll admit, I also have the white privilege and upper middle class upbringing that let me jump into this lifestyle without ever thinking twice about if I could or if it was “for me.” In a lot of ways, I am very very lucky.
But in this lifestyle? In this opportunity? In what I’m doing every day, every week, every month? I’m not lucky.
I built that shit.
I was dissatisfied, so I quit. I was bored, so I left. I was poor, so I found work. I’m not extraordinary. Anyone reading this blog post could do it too. It doesn’t take a superpower or a specific set of circumstances. Just the willingness to make it happen.
I am a hard worker. I have a lot of grit, which I think is a characteristic so much of our generation seems to be missing. I’m ambitious. I’m talented. I’m restless. I’m hungry. I’m constantly looking for the next way to improve. I am the kind of person who will do anything to make sure they can always do what they love. I am brave. I have that willingness to make it happen.
But I am not lucky.
So that’s it. That’s my challenge to you, just for the night. Instead of commenting about the beautiful pictures on my Instagram or writing about how lucky I am on Facebook, why don’t you start? Start putting the pieces in place. Start making it happen.
Give yourself a life you give a shit about. You deserve it.