Things that I've always taken for granted and never questioned recently started to have a totally different perspective because I began to discover “staying here and now”.
I was sitting with some friends in a cafe today where the subject eventually came to how much longer each of us wanted to stay in Dubai. One of the girls said she's actually had enough but she would still like to stay a few more years to secure a bit more money for her retirement. Retirement? Considering how young she is, that would be at least 30 years from today. Who can predict where any of us will be in such a time frame? Considering how fast life is changing, I wouldn't be surprised if the concept of retirement would be completely outdated in a few decades. Or if the Mayan prophecy is right, billions of us need to worry about being wept off from the earth sometime in 2012 anyway. I can't imagine waking up in a city that I don't like anymore, going to a job that I am bored of and then coming back home to calculate my retirement savings. When I was studying psychology, we were always taught “delay of gratification” is a sign of healthy emotional development in kids. Simply what it suggests is that if you ask a child if he wants half apple now or one whole apple tomorrow and the child chooses to have one apple tomorrow, he is considered to be more emotionally mature than the child who wants half the apple now... What's wrong with wanting half an apple in the moment that I want to eat it as compared to keeping my mind busy all day with when I would be able to receive my apple is a mystery to me. To a psychologist though, I am sure this is a crystal clear indication that I am stuck somewhere around the age of 2.
A lot of people are unhappy with where they are, what they do and whom they are married to. They dream of the day when they will be able to relocate to a village by the Mediterranean, their kids will grow so that they can divorce their partner, or that they will be able to open that tiny cafe and bake cakes all day. They dream while the reality is happening here and now...
Come to think of it, how different am I? Sitting in Dubai, I am trying hard to get a corporate job that I don't want and will surely hate, yet trying to convince myself that it will provide me the money that would enable me to go back to Bali. I have a thousand fantastic justifications why this is the right thing for me now but deep inside even I don't buy my own crap. I may end up having some money, but I know that I will lose much more.
I wonder how much money is enough to buy my freedom and to feel secure?