I told my boss on Wednesday that i was planning to quit, effective January 1st. Basically my decision hinges solely on how much notice i have to give to my landlord on this apartment. I am going to assume 3 months, since giving notice at work in Germany means 3 months too. And then... i don't know what.
I have considered jumping on a freighter headed to China. Freighter cruises cost a fortune compared to sitting in a motel, but you get free food. And, hopefully, solitude. It's something like two weeks at sea, i think. Maybe visit in China, if i can get a visa, or Taiwan or Hong Kong if i can't. Enjoy the cuisine. Enjoy the alien. Enjoy being somewhere i don't understand anyone or anything around me. Then perhaps another freighter to Central America, somewhere warm and closer to home.
Yeah, i guess Canada is my home now, even though i barely lived there for 4 years.
Brexit was the tipping point for me this year. It felt like a punch in the gut that i never got over. I never really identified as a Brit. I don't really like the idea of countries or nationalism, it feels like a step backwards. And besides, i lived all over the world. But returning to Europe a few years ago did feel like some kind of homecoming.
First time i could walk into a country without having to stand in the "dirty immigrant" line. First time i could go to the grocery store and find food i remember from my childhood. First place i could walk around and not be seen as freakishly tall, or freakishly white, or freakishly able to speak more than one language. Gosh, little did i know it, but i had a home all along and it was Europe.
And then a bunch of selfish, xenophobic ignoramuses stripped that identity away from me in a fit of anti-establishment rage. I never hated England so much. I haven't even been back there since i was a child and i hate it. I am ashamed to have been born there. And i told my boss, after it happened, i would be leaving Europe.
All i have left now is Canada.
But i didn't quit my job to go to Canada. I quit my job because all my spoons are gone.
Since i became a manager, i have hardly done anything for myself any more. I made a concerted effort to cut back on my drinking (those efforts now failed). I almost totally stopped going out clubbing, because i had a management meeting on Mondays and felt responsible anyway to be at 100% for my guys. As a manager, if you perform poorly at work then you are not just fucking up your own work, you are fucking up the work of everyone you are responsible for. It wouldn't be fair on them if i came in with a hangover every Monday. But truth is i'd probably get to this point even if i wasn't managing.
Everyone keeps telling me i am stressed out, but i am not stressed out. My current job is one of the least stressful i have ever had - there are no deadlines, no major controversies or issues in the workplace, very few people i don't get along with... Stress is uniformly low. My team is awesome and we enjoy working together, and every day i see them grow i feel proud. Every time we deliver a quick and effective solution to our customers i feel accomplished. But i don't have the spoons for an office job.
It's not like i have a daily spoon quota. I think it's more annual. First 6 months or so goes fine. Then the next 6 months is challenging but i persevere. After about a year, i hit the rhythm where my life is just work, sleep, work, sleep, work, sleep. I don't have the energy for anything else any more. And even though i keep on kicking ass at work, and i get excellent feedback from my colleagues, my personal life dies. Eventually addiction takes over or depression sets in and i just i can't do it at all any more. Two weeks off is not enough. I am not even sure if two months off would solve it, if i knew i had to go back to the same job, the same people, the same city. I need to get away.
Familiarity is exhausting. It seems the only way i can recharge is through being free. And freedom for me isn't about owning my own house or being able to afford nice things. The ability to choose your own prison doesn't make it any less a prison. If you have things, you have responsibilities. Freedom for me is not owning anything. Freedom is not having to be anywhere. Freedom from obligations. I am very passionate about social justice, and i believe in doing all i can to contribute to whatever community i am currently a part of... but i hate feeling part of a routine. Like people are expecting things from me. The same old things. Shackles. I can't, i can't.
Some day i will be poor and homeless, i guess. I have a high-paying job, but each time i run out of spoons i spend all my money recharging. I keep moving countries so i will never get a proper pension anywhere. And the idea of owning land just to retire on feels wrong to me. Land should be for everyone. We should all be free. But i guess people would just destroy public land. People destroy everything. They use me up and then there is nothing left and i have to go.
I have to go.