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Hello. I'm Sean and I live in Japan. I'm glad you've come because I need you to do something for me.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Gratuitous Introduction

So I've been looking for a place to vent for awhile.
I don't really want to write to anyone specifically and furthermore I don't really want to write anywhere where I'll have to read it myself. Lucky for me, as a young man of this technological age, I have options.

Internet listens. Thanks, Internet.

I realize I set this blog up as a travel blog - and unfortunately am currently all dressed up with nowhere to be. Sad tale, eh? However, I have plans and dreams and ideas that won't be snuffed. Will NOT be snuffed.

I guess the rut I find myself in now is the culmination of several months of build up. I find myself in a job I can't foresee myself in long term, with plans that are tangible yet hard in execution. That is not to say that I couldn't get it done, but of course, there are factors. The first of course, being money. The second being family. I'm not saying my family would stop me, but it sure is hard to justify to your parents that you want to run across the world when you're living in thier basement.

I was recently told a phrase that kind of caused a mini paradigm shift in my thought processes. Upon speaking to my wise sisters they were telling me the different ways of thinking that people from opposite ends of the world seem to have.

They told me that everyone they had met from Australia worked jobs, and did thier day to day activities to live. Work to Live. Then they proceeded to slap me in the face with the reality of the way North Americans think: Live to work. Is this not true?
You buy a car to get you to your job. You work that job to save money to buy a house. You buy that house close to work to make it easier to get to. North Americans live to work. Think about it. How many times were you told that you couldn't get a career without schooling? The sole purpose of school is to get the career, so you can work till you're sixty five. Then you can have fun. I'm not sure I want to have all my fun when I'm too slow to enjoy it.

Now try explaining this to your cohorts when you're twenty two and just spent thousands on a university education. I swear people have been looking at me like I have two heads when I've been trying to explain that I don't want the career, the condo and the three kids. Not yet anyways.

Now before you write me off as a low-life hippy, I'll state that I'm not opposed to having to work in my life in order to survive. Work is a necessity. Money is a necessity.

That said, why can't work be more than a job? Why can't work be an experience? Thus begins my quest to not avoid work, but perhaps do what I have been told is truely impossible, and find happiness in a job. I'm not without talents, and I'm not without education - and although I've been told I lack drive in my life - I'm not without ambitions.

Therefore I pledge to all the readers of this blog (me editing?), I will be out of this country by the end of the year. I will find something I enjoy doing and attempt to make it work for me. Hell, I don't even have to enjoy it, I'm just going to do new things. I may not get rich following this course, but I once heard in a song "maybe happiness is wealthy, if you spell it right". Take this how you want, but the way I see it, wealthiness is a self described feeling, not a monetary value. Maybe it is in the most literal of senses.

I actually am kind of incredulous when I watch myself type out these words. A year ago today I was still fairly new at my current place of employment. I may not have known much about the field, or have overly enjoyed myself doing it. But, I was employed. I was fresh out of university and already had a job that had future possibilities. I felt really good, the world was my oyster. So why when we step a year forward am I so drastically different. How come every day of work is a punch in the head. Why has the previously vivid colours of Canada seemed to have turned to rather muted tones.

I can say, simply, it is because I got a taste of the world. Last November, on a whim, plans were put in motion to go to South America. There were two reasons for why this trip happened suddenly - one being that my oldest sister had always dreamed of seeing Peru and I was more than happy to step out of my bubble. And secondly, some Australian exchange students to whom my sisters had become pretty solid acquaintences with were also making thier way down there for several months and we had the opportunity to traverse a good part of the trip with them.

It is also fair to mention that being a suck as I am, I had developed a pretty big crush on one of the Aussies, and thus was more than obliged to jump into pot when her name was dropped as an attendee.

Fair to say, I didn't just step out of my bubble, my bubble popped. Something about the whole trip was so freeing, liberating, and dare I say character building? I have not been the same since.

It truly was an eye opener, no doubt about that. All the vistas were breathtaking, and all the people had thier own story (some longer than others). Besides learning how fast I could run up a mountain with an Argentinian, I also learned that I would never truely be happy sitting at a desk until I'm sixty five. Not in the short term anyways.

Returning home was gut wrenching, and sad to say I became desperate for an escape - literally applying for anything and everything I could to make distance between home and myself. Home hadn't changed in my absence, hadn't become less hospitable. I, however, had changed, I was no longer looking for the old fix of routine and stability. And, despite so many nay-sayers, was very loud and opinionated about where I wanted to be in the upcoming years. Ad nausea. Sorry guys.

Now you might be asking why if I applied to so many places am I not already buying my plane ticket to leave? Well, you see it's not so easy. Some I wasn't qualified for, some I applied too late for, some I added to my mental list of things to do, and some I'm still waiting on. Therefore I am going to officially make a list of what/where I want to do/see in the near future (couple years).

- Teach English in a foreign country. I may have been turned down for Japan, but Korea may be in my future - and experience breeds opportunities later.

- Tree plant in Western Canada. Despite all the people telling me why I shouldn't do this, the few that had the guts to tell me why I should had much more convincing arguments.

- Somehow traverse a country by WWOOFing at different locations as I go along. Meet the people, save the planet.

- Go to Japan. I WILL be in Japan soon. Man I want to go there so bad. And as a tack on I want to backpack Asia as well.

- Volunteer in Africa. I am currently waiting to hear back on a position I applied for. Things looks good. And perhaps climb Mt. Kilamanjaro while there.

- Work Visa in Australia. The visa costs $200, the experience lasts me forever.

That is my short list. Those are my goals. As an idea of where I currently stand - I'm basically just going through the motions. I'm working my job without (audible) complaint, and saving money while waiting for a life changing reply from a man named Andy.

I have mountainous dreams that I believe to be about as high as this rut I'm in is deep - and maybe, just maybe if things turn out right I might just find myself back on some level ground.

This blog was very long, and I'm going to try and keep them shorter in the future.

Much Love,



  1. I'm getting full. You should keep your rants shorter.

    -The Internet

    Just kidding, I enjoyed it. And agree. However, envious of your fearlessness.

  2. Very inspiring Finn! I'm a strong believer in following your heart and letting the rest fall into place! Good luck with all that you want to do and I look forward to hearing about it!

  3. First blogs tend to be rather long. Its how we get familiar with our position. And you've done that. :) I have faith in your dream buddy. I usually set a goal for how much money i want to spend in getting me somewhere. It allows the time in between to be used towards something. Like you said; work to live. But i hear ya, The day in and day out of it all. Many people say that those without jobs are wasters, so what are you with one? Especially if you don't enjoy it.

    I guess what i'm getting at is that the boat your sitting in right now, slowly drifting towards that thing you called, o what was it? ahhh right, a career, well i'm in there too. I think it's time to start using that compass.