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04/18/2007 Archived Entry: "Reports of My Death are (Mildly) Exaggerated"
Reports of My Death are (Mildly) Exaggerated. Debra here. After nearly a decade in the freedom movement, I am cheerfully -- nay, gleefully -- re-entering the society of sheeple.
I was recently head-hunted by a company whom I'll refer to as Globex Corporation. I took the job and will start within a few weeks.
"But you're self-employed! You're not a wage-slave! You're free! How can you give that up?"
One word, baby: benefits.
Those who have been self-employed (or under-employed) can tell you just how much life sucks when you don't have medical insurance. Especially with a dependent who relies on about $1000 worth of medication each month just to stay alive. Globex has courted me with full medical, full dental, full vision, employer-matched 401K, AND regular bonuses. The headquarters has a fitness center and cafeteria, for gawd's sake.
Take me now.
It's ironic that this post comes so soon after Claire's post on convenience. As I read hers, I felt like a failure. I'm giving up self-employment, the Holy Grail of freedom. I'll be required to provide my SSN. I'll have taxes removed from my paycheck. I'll need to brave the TSA gropefests to fly three or four times a year. I may even have to pee in a jar (although Globex -- wooer of those wacky, weed-blowing DotCommers -- doesn't appear to have an automatic pre-employment drug test).
And I'll do it, because it's easier -- more convenient -- than running my own business.
In the few years since I left corporate life, I discovered a few things about myself. I don't want what most of the people in the freedom movement seem to want. I have no romantic visions of being the next Thoreau or even Kurt Saxon. I don't want to live in a hand-built 200 square foot cabin without electricity while raising my own crops and spinning yarn, waxing poetic about the joys of the simple life.
Don't get me wrong; I'd love to gulch in an off-grid self-sufficient little homestead with an orchard and gardens, chickens and goats, a shooting range and -- why not? -- a subterranean complex for underground railroads and other nefarious freedom-related operations. But I'd rather pay others to build the house, bring in the harvest, reload the ammo and maintain the alternative power system. *I* want to wear Prada and sip Starbucks while driving a silver convertible Jag.
Bring me another mojito, Cabana Boy.
I appreciate the free spirits, the entrepenuers who work at their own pace in an organic and whole lifestyle. I vastly admire and envy the capabilities and perserverence of the Dorothy Ainsworths and Jackie Clays. In terms of walking the freedom walk, I'll never measure up to the Claire Wolfes and the SuiJurisFreemans.
But maybe it's time to stop trying. Maybe some of us -- Type A's with Palm Treos, tweed suits and Five Year Plans coming out of our asses -- were born to be safe little 9-to-5 cubicle monkeys.
In my quest to be free, I forgot that freedom in part means I can do what makes me happy instead of what others think should make me happy.
So I'm selling my soul for stock options and a health savings account. And I feel pretty damn good about it.
Posted by Debra @ 05:49 PM CST