This post is a little late.
music selection: “Throwing It All Away” — Genesis
weigh-in: 196.8 +1.4
My last day in the office as a corporate wage slave was 5OCT2012. I was two months past my 40th birthday. I meant to post this on the 5th but it completely slipped my mind that it was an anniversary. A little more than a year after FIRE, I started losing track of the days. Is it Monday? Had to check the calendar. This was the first time I have gotten so lassiez about time that I’ve lost track of what year it was. See, a lot of people think they will never adjust to life after work. I’m here to tell you it becomes so normal to be a cultural and economic renegade that you periodically experience surreal moments because of it.
I’ve learned things. I have learned who I am as a person. You don’t realize it at the time, but when you are working for someone else you wear a mask that fools not just everyone else but yourself as well. You get too busy to do important inner exploration. How many of you out there can name your very own top five personal core values right now? If you can, you are probably part of the FIRE cohort. Else, you never think about the things that are really important. Or maybe you are deluded like I was about what was important because you fell for some corporate propaganda. I understand Thoreau’s Walden now.
I have discovered that your bowel movements improve without work. I know, TMI. But I’m convinced work related stress hormones produce some kind of binding agent. Mine are smoother and more vigorous now. It’s a joy to slip one out in the morning. I say this so readers will recognize they are more like me than they realize. If you poop, you can achieve FIRE.
I’ve discovered that you can be happier spending less money than your peers. This is a critical point, especially for Americans. Consumerism permeates society and it is a social disease. All these people striving and lusting after enormous amounts of worthless plastic crap. And torturing themselves with meaningless careers to pay for it. Life is better when you realize, “there is no spoon”.
I’ve discovered that music is essential to me. It is why I start every post with a music selection. It boggles my mind that I once had to go more than 8 hours a day without music because you can’t disturb the other cube dwelling slaves. Pandora and Spotify are the best things ever. But I have no position in their equity. To squeeze in a little investing talk, “free” is a terrible price point for suppliers.
I’ve discovered that blogging is a lot of fun. Not lucrative if you don’t know what you are doing (I don’t). In fact, while I do better than break even my time would better spent working for McDonald’s if money was the only motivation. Subliminal message: Click my ads you cheapos! But really, it clears my mind and my readers help me keep myself accountable. The best thing for me the past 15 weeks or so has been my off topic feature: Bro, do you even lift? I’ve gotten stronger and my waistline has shrunk. But it is really about exposing my own inner weakness so others can recognize that it isn’t so unrealistic to be like me.
What has really become important to me though is spreading the message about how great life can be if you adopt the FIRE lifestyle. There are a lot of people out there who think they just can’t do it. I’m here to tell you if a guy like me can do it, you can too. You struggle with eating and fitness and your weight? So do I. You lose faith sometimes? I do too. Or at least I used to. You think you aren’t special enough or born high enough in society? I’m nobody spectacular. Just an average lizard that hatched a plan and stuck with it. Hell, I didn’t even technically succeed. I planned to retire in 10 years and it took me 14. Be a failure if you have to, but “fail well”.
My main message, and I’m going to try to focus on this at the blog going forward instead of writing so many mechanical buy/sell articles, is that my readers can duplicate what I did. And I’m cheering for you to do so. I’m available for personal consultation (I’m not licensed to offer any individual investing advice though) and for now at least it is totally free. Drop me a line at “Lizard King” financial [dot] velociraptor [at] gmail [dot] com. I may monetize that service in the future if it begins takes up too much time.
You can do it. Yes, I mean even YOU. Looking back, it was almost trivially easy to think and live differently. Once you have done it, it begins to feel so natural and right. And I want you to do it. There aren’t enough adults to play with at 10 AM on Wednesday mornings. Although, I will say the two other FIRE people I know here in Houston are completely average and normal people. The movement may have started with high income dual income households but medium income single people like me have started making it work too. Drop me an email if you ever need a cheerleader. I’ll be there for you.
Devour your prey raptors!