Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trials of Constant Transition

I hear all the questions, inquiries and speculation.

"When will you find a career? What is next for you? When will you finally settle? What about graduate school? What about real estate?"

The list of questions one hears is endless. Upon my arrival in Colorado on a cool, sunny November day, the questions continued to surface from the 'settlers' here. However, the pressure felt from the questions has thinned along with the Rocky Mountain air. Knowing one's direction, goals or plans carries much importance in the Western world which is dictated by results, bottom lines and clocks. Personally, I've been rather goal-oriented my whole life and have had direction. It's as if I have come to an opening in the jungle of direction and plans where neither currently exist. The issue isn't lack of goals, direction or plans rather too many of all of the above.

Since the moment I stepped foot in South America, a whole new world of opportunities and contacts has emerged. The crossroads where I now stand shows about 20 different arrows of opportunities to pursue. Is this a problem? I heard something on the news about 4 months ago about how many college graduates are now seeing the fruits of their labor/tuition cost under their parents' roof. The explanation was what else... the economy. It appears times have changed and the young 20 somethings have opportunities, just not the conventional career opportunities. No doubt the job market is the worst we've seen in 20 years yet small businesses and entrepreneurs seem to be primed to flourish. Personally, I know more than five people who are venturing their own business in one industry or another, half of them are making a nice portion of their income online (blogs, affiliate marketing, etc.). Yes, times are changing and college graduates have different visions than those of ten years past of doing more than just joining Corporate America to become a salary slave and eventually carry enough stress and health issues to continue funding the booming pharmaceutical industry. It's just not for me, at least right now.

To Each their own:

The definition of success is highly subjective. Ironically enough, as I write this blog post, I took a lunch break at a local bistro and was given a fortune cookie after paying the bill. I brought the cookie home opened it and ate it here at the computer. My fortune read, "You will be very successful in your career." The career gods have crept their way into fortune cookies. I also believe the definition of career is becoming more subjective as well. My definition of a career is doing what you love while earning some income in doing so. Others may view it as being in a company long term and strictly trading time for money. With the emergence of web 2.0, it seems now more than ever more possible to earn income from different streams. People can become famous for uploading their videos on youtube, quirky twitter posts, blogging and much more. The job market is struggling yet I know several people my age or younger making a legitimate income and support system from this world wide web.

Since this is my blog, I'll use my own personal example of success to test whether 'settling' for a career is better than continuously transitioning. Since I graduated college I have not lived in one place for more than 6 months. Even if I was in the same city, I moved several times continually learning new pockets of each respective place. The most 'settled' I have been was when I worked an outside sales position for a communications company, which also happened to last six months. It was the most income I have ever earned and was a decent salary + commission paycheck every couple weeks. Financially speaking, I was doing pretty well for a 24 year old. However, I was miserable every day that I worked there. My health and lifestyle were being highly compromised so I left for something different which has somewhat spurred my current 'transitioning' lifestyle. Then I look at a time when living in Argentina when financially speaking, I was poor. I was literally living day to day earning pesos teaching English any opportunity I could. Yet, this was one of the most exhilarating times of my life. Every day was a new challenge and I appreciated every little peso in my pocket. Less truly is more in my case, that's just me. Of course I'd love to live in a mansion on a beach and own a private jet or yacht, however I will never achieve that lifestyle through being a corporate sheep climbing the proverbial ladder. My health and lifestyle are too important to me.

Trials of constant transition is about continuous circulation, learning and never settling. I will settle someday but what living abroad and meeting travelers from all corners of the globe have taught me, there is too much on this planet to explore, learn from and give back to than to just 'settle' at such a young age. I feel at peace when I don't know where I'll be in a few months, that is my chill pill; constant transition, circulation and appreciation for what is in our life at that moment. Nothing lasts forever, especially all of us. Any of these days could be a last for any of us, why settle?