One of the major hold ups that freedom seekers come up against is Guilt. Try watching a film or TV program at 10.30 on Tuesday morning to see what I mean. We are conditioned into accepting that we should be somewhere else, doing something constructive that earns a wage and contributes to the wealth of the nation. You can think of it as a form of brainwashing or indoctrination, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
This indoctrination has led us to care (worry) deeply about what other people think of us. How we are perceived in the community or our families. Getting over this is probably the hardest thing that we have to do in an attempt to be free from the drudgery that is earmarked for most of us.
Our little minds, our selves, our inner voices, whatever you call them are responsible for the way we see the world a lot of the time. This is why most people just won’t get it, when you say you’re changing the way you do things, kicking back, taking it easy, starting to paint, draw, play the sitar or going off grid to whittle sticks for a while.
On a weekly basis I still get asked “what is it you do then?” Most people are defined and are happy to accept being defined by their work, or more accurately, their job. This isn’t their fault, they have never considered non-conformity as a valid way to live. There is always the temptation to take them on in an ever decreasing circle of conversation that only sees them get more confused about you and wastes your time and energy.
I’ve made up a response that seems to work well and although unintentionally, actually seems to impress quite a lot of people. Those previously awkward conversations now go something like this:
Q. So what do you do?
A. I’m retired.
This works because it fits with the view of the world most people are sold into at birth. You go to school, get a good job, retire to enjoy the fruits of your labour and then you die. Of course if you don’t look old enough, it causes confusion, but usually the questioner can reconcile that by thinking you’ve obviously made it big and have retired early.
The conversation might then move on to what you do now with all of your free time and you can then tell them as much as you want about your activities without confusing them too much.
Retirement is also a good way to get your own head round your new found freedom as it puts down a big bold, indelible marker on the ground where your old life stopped and the new one started. This way you can be clear with your self that things are different now. The way you make money to live on from here on in doesn’t need to involve taking orders from anyone and certainly won’t leave you beholden to anyone else.
So, just say “I’m retired” next time you have trouble explaining what you do either to others or your self.