When I was young I was a high achiever. Did really well in school, was involved in school activities year round. Started helping out on my uncle’s farm during the summers when I was ten years old. Had a really good academic scholarship cover a good chunk of my college expenses. Graduated college debt free. May not have been overly popular but had excellent friends anyway.
But, the mental illness really ramped up shortly in the mid 2000s. The illness made it impossible to hold a job for long. Lost many of my friends and family. Had to go on disability. Have to take meds for the rest of my life. Will probably have a shorter life because of the illness. But it doesn’t bother me as much anymore, certainly not like fifteen years ago.
I’ve accepted that my career died before it got started. I’ve accepted that I’ll never have kids. I’m alright with that I’ll never have the big house, picket fence, SUV, and apple pie kind of life. I’ve accepted that I had question everything I took for granted in my youth. I’m even starting to accept that the pandemic isn’t going to end anytime soon.
In some ways I’m glad I have the life I do. I’m glad that I get to spend most of my days reading, writing, and learning things that most people simply don’t have the time for. I spend at least six hours a day reading online articles and journals. Spend a lot of time listening to science, economics, history, and philosophy talks on youtube. It’s almost like being a modern day monk.
I would say I accepted living in poverty, but let’s face it: even living below poverty level in modern America puts me ahead of most people alive today, let alone the past. Will Rodgers was right when he said America would be the first country in the world to go to the poor house in an automobile. Don’t even need to own said automobile anymore as long as you have a smartphone and an Uber account. Sold my car two years ago and my lifestyle hasn’t decreased at all. If anything, I feel less stress because I don’t have to worry about traffic, gas, and maintenance. Things like portable computers were science fiction when I growing up in the 1980s.
I think we tend to overestimate how much can change in only a year or two but vastly underestimate how much can change in ten to twenty years. Just looking in the living room of my apartment, most of the electronics didn’t exist in 2001. I don’t think even LED lighting was available back then. Even my memory foam mattress and shoes came about within the last twenty years I think. I don’t even subscribe to cable tv anymore. Can get all the tv I need on my laptop and game console. If only I didn’t have to buy a new phone or laptop every few years. Even in the movies and tv shows I watched in college in the early 2000s, I chuckle about some of the tech in those shows. Phone booths, land lines, and flip phones were extensively used even in The Matrix movies. Even today, we have many of the tech advances of the Star Trek series. We’re still not close to cracking Warp Drive though. But, what is a 3D printer if not an early version of a Replicator?
I will probably never have much money. But I really don’t need to. Certainly not like I would have 25 years ago. A person doesn’t really need much money anymore if they can stay out of debt. Granted that is a huge task. Housing, health care, and education have increased in cost far faster than inflation. But, even education can be real cheap if you play your cards right. There isn’t much I can’t learn with a few minutes of Google search or a few how to videos on youtube. And trade schools and community colleges don’t cost nearly as much as even public universities. I’ve heard of electricians and plumbers making more than even lawyers. In short, there are more options than even twenty years ago. If only people could stop fighting on social media.
Hi from Japan. I’m schizophrenic and 22 yrs old. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia 3yrs ago. I am doing the exactly same things with you at home. I am a fan of your blog and you always make me happy. Thank you so much. Accepting that I can’t work in the future was the toughest obstacle in my life so far because I though if so, I was a burden of society, but after taking a HarvardX course( I forgot its name but it’s about Chinese philosophy and Happiness), I have got a meaning to be alive. Anyway, please keep posting!!! I would like to know what are your recommendations of YouTube and learning resources!!!
Thank you for the kind words. This will be a long post, but please bear with me. As far as youtube videos go, I like listening to lectures by people like Yuval Noah Harrari, Ray Kurzweil, Jason Silva, Elon Musk, and Matt Ridley for things related to tech advances and iimpact on society. As far as finance goes, I like people like Robert Kiyosaki, Max Kaiser, Jim Rogers, as well as some of the chats Bill Gates and Warren Buffet gave together. History channels on youtube I recommend WhatIfAltHistory, Kings and Generals, as well as the lectures of Jared Diamond and Victor Davis Hanson. There are also plenty of free audiobooks on youtube. They sometimes get taken down for violating copyright laws, but someone eventually usually puts them back up.
I’m also convinced many well paying office jobs requiring college degrees like accountants. lawyers. finance, insurance, etc. will get automated much like manufacturing, mining, and farming jobs did years ago. Even in my rural home state of Nebraska, our medical college has a robot that do surgery better than most human surgeons. All it needs is a human surgeon operating the machine. And the surgeon could be stationed anywhere in the world with a reliable internet connection, no different than the US military controlling drones in the Middle East from bases on American soil.
Please foregive me for the length of this post. But I hope I have answered some of your questions. Just know the pursuit of knowledge is a never ending one. I’ve been doing this self study since I left my last “traditional” job in 2012.