2/18/18 Giving Chicago Another Chance

I’ve been on a bit of a writing hiatus, as I’ve been sorting some things out in my life. In the past year, I got my master’s degree, moved to Chicago for a better job, got my Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate, and did Crossfit for about 6 months. I’ve made several changes and improvements to my personal life and my physical health. The drinking is still a problem, but it’s fun and I’m a single 28 year old man with no children. I haven’t hit rock bottom yet, so why stop?

Chicago has been growing on me. It was tough at first, being so far from family and friends, but now I feel like I am making this city work. I found an apartment in Wicker Park/Bucktown, which will be about half my rent now. I’ll be saving about $6k in rent expenses over the next year. This should work to subsidize my drinking and travel expenses, and allow me to save more money towards my eventual goal.

I had a great plan to become an English professor in South Korea, where I would have 5 months of vacation, free housing, and income that would allow me to save $15k per year. I feel disappointed in myself that I’m not following this dream right now. I had convinced myself and all my friends and family that this was my plan. But, I started thinking more and more about my financial future. This next year, I should be able to save more money at my current job than being an English professor in South Korea. The long term goal is to purchase a 16+ unit apartment building, which would allow me to essentially retire from the finance world. Or, if I can buy a big enough trailer park, the same goal would be accomplished.

If this is my goal, I should choose the fastest road to reach it. Logically, it makes sense to stay in Chicago for now. The other part of my brain is still in conflict. I’m young now, and I may not have the energy or courage to make such a drastic life change into the unknown a few years from now. I don’t want to rely on a 401k or pension plan to support my retirement years. If I can make money through real estate that is equivalent to the money I make at my job now, what’s the point of working?

The big challenge is thinking about my future vs. present happiness. The future me will be alive for many more years than I’ve experienced so far. So, future me’s happiness is more important than present me’s happiness. I have a feeling I’ll be around for a long time. Anything I can do now to improve the quality of life of future me will be greatly appreciated. It’s all connected.

My inherent restlessness comes from not having freedom. I’m like a wild horse that’s stuck in a stable. I can’t move and I just want to run free. I realize my responsibilities. But, I also recognize that I have created these responsibilities for my self. If I’m unhappy with anything, it’s my own damn fault.

Chicago is an awesome city. The public transportation is great and there is a lot to do here. I don’t like having a car, so this city suits me just fine. Goals for this year are to read, write, meditate, and see more live music. I don’t imagine I’ll find a baseball team, but I could join a softball team and that might be enough for me. Playing baseball is really the part of my life that I miss the most, but I plan on working baseball back into my life in the future.

The dream would be to run a summer baseball camp, while I could also play on a team. If I’m making money through real estate and I’m playing baseball for fun and teaching kids the game, what more could I ask for? Oh right, the whole house, wife, and kids thing. I don’t know if I even want a house or wife. It seems a little too constricting for me. But, I’m young and what the actual fuck do I know?

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