Thursday, June 30, 2011

How I Escaped from the Rat Race - An Introduction

I've alluded to this before, but I haven't talked about it in great depth. My life really doesn't look much like that of the typical American. I don't live anywhere near the proverbial "Rat Race" which most members of our society inhabit. I don't have a job. I haven't had one for 5 years now. I don't use an alarm clock, my time is my own, I refuse to wear uncomfortable clothing or shoes, and I basically have just decided that I am not playing the game.

Every time I allude to my unconventional lifestyle, people want to know how I manage it... how I "escaped". I've been trying to figure out how to write about this topic for some time now.  I didn't inherit a bunch of money or win the lottery, and I don't have anyone who supports me financially (CatMan and I don't actually live together - long story, but we're happy this way.)

The simple answer is that a) I never really got in to the rat race to the degree that most people have, and b) I just did it. But I realize neither of those answers helps much.

So I have started about a dozen posts trying to explain how I got here, and I generally get stuck pretty quickly. The problem is, for me the how of my "escape" is intrinsically connected to the why of it. I can't seem to write about one without bringing up the other, and I firmly believe that both are equally important.

So every time I start to craft a post, I end up trying to write an entire autobiography, which is just WAY more information than can be crammed into a few blog posts, and it's also probably more than most people want or need to know. But after mulling it over for several months now, I realize that what I really keep coming up with is a bunch of little stories, each of which tells some small portion of how and/or why I got to where I am.
My problem is that I keep thinking I need to weave all of the stories together into a coherent tapestry... and I'm just not there at the moment. "Not there" in the sense that the prospect seems a bit daunting, plus it also suggests that I have "made it" to some sort of existential destination, and I really don't view it that way.

SO! I've decided that instead of trying to present some grand unified picture or road map, I'm just gonna tell my stories and let you link them together (or not) in whatever way does or doesn't make sense for you.

I'd love to be able to create some sort of step by step system that others could easily follow, but I think that in truth, everybody needs to find their own path out of the jungle.

So stay tuned! Many a story will be forthcoming in the near future!

For the next post in this series click here.


  1. Wow, ask and you shall receive huh?

    Great post, love the use of art and I can't wait for the next one! :) Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. I'm eagerly awaiting the next chapters of your story.

  3. Yay! Looking forward to reading about your great escape. I LOVE the fact CatMan doesn't live with you. I tried suggesting that option to Kevin, but he wasn't up for it. At this point, I'm OK with cohabitation, but I still have my own room!

  4. DAMMITALLTOHELL. Teaser post! Gah! Gah! I will pretend I have patience.

  5. We have also decided that we don't want to play the game anymore-just came across your blog via my plastic free life-look forward to reading your blog from cover to cover......
    We have a zero waste project in Portugal as part of an eventual bigger project to raise awareness about the environmental impact of household waste.
    Best wishes
    Sintra, Portugal

  6. Hi Sonja,

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm so impressed with people who can go "zero waste". Actually I'm impressed with people who can do anything with that degree of certitude. I strive to create as little waste as possible, but I fear my emotional makeup is such that I get myself in BIG trouble every time I try to set up that sort of rule for myself. I am a rebel at heart, so any sort of rule (even one I've made for myself) just triggers my contrarian tendencies. But little by little...

    I look forward to trading comments with you in the future!

  7. fantastic I get to read the answers to some of my questions! Can't keep to read the rest of the series! woop woop!


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