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The closer I get to 30, the more I find myself realizing that I'm not happy.

I have a good life, with friends and an interesting job. But I'm also stuck in a rat race, feeling oddly estranged from myself and others. This can't be all there is, right?

I miss going outside. I miss nature and the smell of grass. I miss the sun on my skin.

I know what I want, but very practically, I don't know where to go find it. Thinking of driving to France, Spain and Portugal, just to see where I'll end.

@Gina "The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there."

-- Robert M. Pirsig
(author of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance")

@Gina I swear it somehow get's work and better at the same time...

Personally I had a really hard time with "is this it?" when I finally finished college (I went part time and it took 8 years) and had a kid and a house. It felt like I had spent all my effort on these things and felt like "now what?"

Soon after I got more into (secular) Buddhism and started to find some really pragmatic stuff that clicked. I think ultimately this is all there is, but one can stop and realize that's ok.

@Gina obviously the later part of that last toot is very much what has worked for me, and may not work for you or others.

FWIW I'll turn 36 in a month.There are also many times when I still get an even worse feeling that I'm not happy.

But I did want to offer that I relate, and that there might be things you haven't found yet that will either help with fulfillment, or in my case help with perspective.

@Gina If you can work remotely, you should do that. Especially in Portugal the mobile internet is so good, that you can do video calls even from remote places. And Portugal is really, really nice! I'm still missing the food! My wife, the two kids and I traveled through France, Spain and Portugal for half a year in a camper van. I was mostly working from the van and sometimes from co-working spaces. That was a nice time! 🚌

@brejoc that sounds amazing! Portugese food is the best, I dream of pastel de natas. Finding a remote job is the challenge though.

@Gina
You're lucky, I was 35 before I got to that point. Tipping point was watching my oldest dog be happiest just laying in the sun. No walking, no snacks, no toys, just... being. I don't know how to properly explain it. I just know it was a sublime, complex moment. Ever since then, I call her "my little sunflower."

Now, I find myself wanting to just 'be' there like that, especially with her. I crave the sun, the breeze, the rain, the sounds.

@Gina
To that end, I find myself at a crossroads. I love Wisconsin, but I love the South too. This past winter in the Midwest was awful, brutal, relentless. It was tough being inside so much.

My wife is from the South and she misses home. Those mild winters and Georgia pines are sounding pretty much like heaven right about now.

I'm currently figuring how to properly pick up my life and move it 1000 miles now.

@Gina
I don't pretend it is going to be some magic happy bullet, but it is something I want to try. Change is good, afterall.

@gentoorebel that sounds very relatable. This years' winter was sort of the last straw for me too. I don't want to spend months inside anymore. Besides that, I almost miss the warmth in people. Living outside. It's not a thing here, simply due to weather.

I hope you take the leap, the South sounds really nice.

@Gina
More than the climate, I just tire so much of city life.

Traffic, noise, trash, tiny parks, tall houses on cramped lots with no real yards. More than getting away from the winter, I want to be in the country. That's the real underlying motivation.

Unfortunately, both of us work in tech fields. We need to figure out if remote work is an option or plan on coping with a commute...

Ah well, I like to say we're just trading one set of problems for another.

@gentoorebel are you me? This is exactly how I feel, perfectly worded. I'm struggling with how to make a durable move to the country side of France or Spain. Sure I can buy some land, but then what? Money needs to keep coming in.

@Gina you said it. For what I pay to rent a house, I could easily afford a mortgage and 40+ acres of land, but that assumes I keep my job AND I can work remote. And not just remote, but three-states-away remote.

Maybe I'm that valuable and maybe they'll make a concession to keep me? Lotta maybes there. I dunno, gotta talk to the boss before anything else.

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