Escaping the System

A timely topic as today is our last day at our jobs.

The system I am referring to includes employment, home ownership and debt.  All are part of this crazy template we call ‘normal.’  And if you ever decide you want to become abnormal, the system is designed to discourage you.  From childhood you are trained to leave your home, get on a bus (commute), sit at your desk and do whatever your boss (teacher) tells you to do.  The factories and offices of the world depend on this training.  In exchange you get recess (breaks), lunch, and annual vacations (summer) and benefits (gold stars).

To break out, you must first determine that breaking out is a good thing.  For most, the system is working just fine.  For some of us, however, it isn’t so rosy.  We’re the ones always looking out the window and daydreaming.

But if you do decide to hop over the fence and play hooky, you have your work cut out for you.  You have to pay off all of your debt while still paying monthly bills.  Then you have to get rid of all of the years of things you have accumulated, including any houses.  Then you have to save up a lot of money and/or develop untraditional means of income.  Perhaps I should say traditional, as this is how everyone used to make money.  We were all self-employed entrepreneurs once.  Of course all of this can be bypassed if you have already reached a certain level of wealth, either by inheritance or genius invention or other means.  But for 99% of us it involves turning the rudder hard and straining against the raging torrent.

And if your timing isn’t perfect, there are additional hurdles.  Recessions, market downturns, inflation.  All are formidable forces which resist your feeble attempts at self-determination.

And yet here we are, on the brink of escape.  So many of our co-workers and friends express encouragement and even admiration.  At times we have felt like the leaders of a prison break.  The spotlights blind, the sirens wail.  As we reach the perimeter of the forest and the cover of the trees, we turn and see our fellow prisoners cheering us on, watching in anticipation.  Will they make it?  Will the searchlights find them?  Will the dogs track them down?  Only time will tell.  And maybe if we do make it, others will be encouraged to follow.  Because sometimes you just have to make a run for it.



Retired I.T. nerd - expat in Mexico