How do I get out of this chicken shit outfit? – Pvt. Hudson / Bill Paxton in Aliens
It’s July 19th, 2017, my kids are grown, I’m single, and I live in one of the most expensive cities in the US. In 5 days I’m leaving my home state of California and moving to a 40 acre farm/animal rescue in a rural community. I’ll be far away from $2500 a month rent, 60 hour work weeks, soul-sucking traffic, and employee badges with company names like Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
After working for (insert a high number) years in Silicon Valley, I had a WTF moment early this year after losing a beloved dog to dog cancer. Dog cancer is a lot like people cancer — it takes away the life you had and loved, leaving you with seriously ugly pain. Nothing made sense to me and I couldn’t come up with a reason for getting out of bed. That’s pretty fucking selfish and first-worldly but I was in a bad/dark/ugly place. I took take time away from work and started therapy, I’m still working through what life should look like for me. It wasn’t just the dog dying — I’ve had chronic/recurrent depression and anxiety since grade school and I’m “I had a rotary phone” old. The dog dying was the event that pushed me over an edge I was already toe-even with. I have two other dogs and a cat, but the dog who passed away was something else entirely — a story for another day.
I’m selling/giving away 90% of what I own. If it doesn’t bark, purr, or fit in a Honda Civic, it’s not coming with. In two-ish months, I’m buying a trailer and will live it in full-time. I’m giving up fast food, day sleeping, and melancholy and in return I’m getting long days, hard work, and an entirely different perspective. I decided to write about the experience because I’m not the only person who woke up one day and realized they’d gotten lost. In the words of Tyler Durden from Fight Club, advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.
General housekeeping: I’ll try to post every day, include pictures and the odd factoid, and hopefully we all discover things along the way. My editor isn’t getting paid to clean this up so if you see crap grammar, punctuation errors, and writing the HuffPost would reject, please know this isn’t a sanitized version of my adventure. I abuse the Oxford comma and there may be drinking involved, adjust your expectations accordingly.