Why – We Are But Ants

For years, I’ve been thinking to write. Today is the day to stop just thinking about it. The day local stores replaced the outdoor furniture by Christmas decoration in the middle of one of the hottest summers we’ve had so far.

It’s exactly twenty years ago since I started working as an engineer in electronics. I studied to become an engineer, because I didn’t learn how to listen to my heart. I learned to listen to the world-record keepers of risk aversion (my parents) and teachers who all just saw a straight-A-student and wanted a top-notch career for me. Up till that point in time, no one ever asked me what I would really like do to. No. One. Ever.  

From the day I started my masters, I slowly started to forge my own solid, golden handcuffs and my beautiful golden cage. For a moment I even thought I was doing well. The slightly uncomfortable slumbering feeling that I didn’t really like what I was doing was suppressed by a nice company car, bonuses, raises, my first apartment and later on an own house… allowing me to cover up my growing, always recurring feeling of unhappiness. Sneakily, day by day, I was trapped in a world I do not belong to. Queuing up every day to work for our queens and kings, queuing back home exhausted in the evening to enjoy the crumbs we got fed.

I think I haven’t felt free since I was twelve. What an age… playing football in the park all day long; jumpers for goalposts, trading marbles in the streets (or admittedly win them with slightly custom-bended rules from the less gifted neighbors across the street – genuine apologies). Feeling the heat of the soft, melted tar between the old concrete-plated roads and just sitting there, on that sidewalk, time seemed to stand still.

Soon I’ll be 43…

I want to feel free again, but I need the income (co-parenting three super-kids, mortgage to pay). I googled how to do so. I read books. Listened to podcasts. Everything I read or listened to was written by people that are free. People that generate a passive income sufficient to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want it. People who are now following their hearts. And as much as I hoped these people would inspire me, they frustrated me. Reading (and thereby sponsoring) “I’m financially free and you can be so too”, at some point made me want to tear that book apart… Hearing “I lived in poverty and now I make 430k of which 90% with passive income” at the beginning of each podcast-episode, made me feel like I wanted to smash the central console of my car. That happened in a misanthropic mood. And only in thoughts. I’m not the guy ripping books apart or smashing car consoles. Although once I did… mildy, when the electronics of my second nice company car died on me for the third time in less than a year.

I don’t know who I’ll be writing for yet, but even if I only write for myself… it might be fun, who knows. But I do know I don’t want to frustrate people writing about something I achieved, telling them they can do so too. I want to write about life, frustrations my freedom-attempts, be transparent about failure and success, inspire and get inspired by people that read what I write and share. I still need to figure out how to share success if I would achieve it, but I’m sure I will find ways.

Time to stop feeling like an ant, time to give a different meaning to WABA.

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