JR’s Not-So-Literal Blog

The World Is Not Enough (Or Is It?)

Posted in Uncategorized by notsoliteral on November 13, 2009

I really want make my current company massively successful, travel the world and pay down my student debt so I can be free to live REALLY well some day. Those are big goals that I feel like day to day work will make happen. Meeting a nice girlfriend, getting in shape, learning another language and reading Ulysses are on that list too, but they’re not necessarily at the top.

I feel like if I had a 5-10 year plan with this student debt crap where I could pay it all down and really develop my career and business interests then I’d be very well positioned in my early 30’s to do what I feel like I’ve always wanted to do– live and work abroad in a foreign city, study languages and live a complex, dynamic life.

The thing is, I have a pretty damn good life now. A rather spectacular life actually! The world is basically mine to do with as I please.

I just need to make a plan on pursing what I want from the world and then I’ll have it. Am I afraid to commit to that plan? Am I too young to go all in on a location specific thing like buying a house/condo to generate equity towards paying off my student debt and yadda yadda yadda?

Is my ongoing rebellion from owning physical things telling me something? Should I avoid buying a home or is it just a strong reaction to the thought?

They call me James… James Ryan Moreau, the confuzzled sailor with good intentions and too many great ideas.

10 Responses

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  1. Elisa said, on November 13, 2009 at 4:27 am

    Well, you are in the right place…Jenny & Ramit are like THE go to people in terms of financial planning for folks our age. And I just got off the phone with Jenny, she STILL manages to have fun while saving money (can’t speak for Ramit, he doesn’t call me!)

    As for the rest of it…you are right. The world is not enough for us. We want more than this world has to offer. I’ll get back to you when I determine whether this counterproductive or not. I’ll probably be about 50. :P

  2. Jenn said, on November 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I have often thought about sitting down an creating a 5- or 10-year plan, but each time I try, I give up. Maybe I’m afraid to plan out the future and I’d rather fly wherever the wind takes me. Or maybe I’m just lazy… who knows.

    P.S. The end of your post made me think of “That’s Not My Name” by the Ting Tings. It’s your fault that song is in my head now.

  3. notsoliteral said, on November 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    @Elisa, counterproductivity be damned… I’m not concerned with people who keep score. If you can find a decent reason to change your life’s path at any given moment, then you should. The concept of obligation is really as foolish as debt… As my grandfather always says “I don’t want to die with a good FICO score.”

  4. notsoliteral said, on November 14, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    @Jenn, I thought about this when I woke up this morning… Ph.D. students have this 5-10 year plan basically mapped out for them. They simply apply, do the pre-requisits, and their on auto-pilot (granted it’s extremely difficult most of the way iwth all the work) and suddenly they’re out making considerable amounts of money with the rest of their life to pretty much do as they please.

    …I think that’s a big part of why the mother’s womb of academic life is so alluring to people. You can literally not know what the fuck you want out of anything and pick some arbitrary tack of study and you’re pretty much good until graduation. After that, if you don’t have plans, well, life kind of sucks, but if you’re driven and passionate about something, you’re well positioned to do something about it.

    I still don’t know if I have the discipline or vision to plan out my 5-10 year plan. Hell, if I try, what’s the worst that can happen though? That’s a good question right?

    Thanks for the comment Mary, Joe, Lisa ;-)

  5. andhari said, on November 15, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I love your last line. :D

    And dear, seriously. You’ve just made a big change in your life. Youre in a good place, everything will come in place and develop before your eyes. I’m sure of it!

    • notsoliteral said, on November 15, 2009 at 11:43 pm

      @Andhari, you’re awesome. Thanks for the reminder. i need an off switch for this brain of mine sometimes! haha

  6. Dave Heal said, on December 9, 2009 at 5:17 am

    I wouldn’t glamorize the PhD track too much. They’re earning just about nothing while they’re in school, and then it’s often difficult to even find a job. And when they find one, if they want to stay in their chosen field, they’re almost forced to take it no matter where it is & what benefits it comes with. Unless you’re a superstar, you have very little control over where you end up, frequently don’t end up making that much money, and if you’re in the humanities your exit options are pretty restricted unless you want to start over. I know plenty of people twiddling their ABD thumbs waiting for a miraculous non-academic job opportunity to present itself b/c they know that as soon as they deliver their dissertation, the clock starts. And if you haven’t found a position within a year or two of that date, you’re suspect. It’s a great life for the people that end up in cushy tenured jobs, but the numbers just don’t add up if you look at the # job openings vs. the # of people entering PhD programs. Many people have dreams of getting paid to lounge in a tweed jacket all day, or sit at a desk, fingers pressed to temples, conjuring genius, but it’s pretty difficult to do.

    • notsoliteral said, on December 10, 2009 at 6:23 am

      Dave, this is one of the reasons why I’m not in academia right now. I love the idea of constantly pushing the boundaries of my brain, but I really don’t want to be among people who aren’t acting with their knowledge and changing the world. If you’re among the smartest people in the world, you should be working the hardest to make the world a better place, not passively publishing work in order to keep your rep up.

      Not sure what the next step is for me though. I have a slight hint in my soul that more education might be part of it, but nothing is written in stone right now.

      Thanks for the comment dude!

  7. RowdyKittens said, on December 9, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    A couple things…

    1. Check out this post from Gwen Bell. Creating a personal manifesto might help you focus in on your goals and pay down that debt. :) http://www.gwenbell.com/blog/2009/9/2/how-to-create-your-personal-manifesto.html

    2. I finally paid off my massive student loan debt last year. I did this by selling my car. I was forking out over $500 a month for the car payment, insurance, gas, etc. After selling the car, I put that money toward me debt and now we’re debt free and actually have savings. This strategy might not work for everyone, but it’s something to consider.

    3. Have you considered a tiny home on wheels? http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

    Personally, I think traditional homes are a money pit and time suck. :)

    4. Your life sounds fabulous! I think it’s important to plan and look forward, but enjoy the awesomeness in your life now too. :)

    Good luck!

    • notsoliteral said, on December 10, 2009 at 6:27 am

      Tammy, thanks for the awesome comment(s)! I will be following your blog as well!

      1. I’ve read the Gwen Bell post from a little while ago. I loved the idea but didn’t act on it. I’m going to now!

      2. For the moment, due to my location, I need my car. As soon as I don’t need it, i WILL sell it! I want to live without a car forever once I have the chance. I hate cars! As for student debt, that’d be about 1/10 of what I owe, but every little bit counts, so I think this is a great idea to get a chunk taken out.

      3. The tiny home on wheels is SO cool. I’m debating another stint abroad before I buy a house/condo though. A tiny house may be in my future either way!

      4. My life is pretty damn cool. I like the weird situations I put myself into. I always seem to come out with interesting perspectives at the very least.

      Look forward to your next posts!


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