Risking Everything

November 7, 2012

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge

Starting over in the states is an expensive proposition. I don’t really want to be location independent at the moment, so I can’t simply Couchsurf and rideshare my way across the country, having little space or time to call my own. I tried that in Boston, and while it didn’t exactly drive me insane, I left each host wanting a quiet place of my own, to just plop on a couch and watch movies if I felt like it.

My mother doesn’t understand why I would ever want to not live at home when I’m in the US, since I have so little savings and no full-time work lined up. She just can’t comprehend how humiliating and frustrating it is for any adult to live with his parents. I kept my things in the duffel for the three weeks I visited, telling myself it was just temporary, I wasn’t living here, I don’t plan to stay long. I have to be independent to be happy. If that means building up some debt to relocate away from family, where the option of free room and board is too much of a temptation to resist, so be it.

I tried that in Boston, flying out on a one-way ticket with the promise of an interview for a full-time job. It didn’t work out. Now I’m doing the same for San Francisco, changing my ticket and hoping things fall into place quickly, as I barely have enough cash to get a room through the holidays.

Maybe I’m digging myself into a deep hole, one in which I won’t be able to dig out for some time if things don’t work out immediately. But it’s worth it to be on my own. My parents may never understand that. Along with my fear of riding motorcycle taxis in Thailand, my greatest fear has always been losing my independence. If I were in a horrific accident, if I were to be paralyzed, lose a leg, or an arm, I honestly believe I’d be more concerned about accepting help from others than my own limitations. As I’ve said before: take away my ability to walk and run, and you might as well put me down like a lame horse. I am a beast of the hoof. I’ve received a lot of criticism from friends for this view, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. Maybe some people could live happy lives bedridden, or in a wheelchair, or suffering from other physical limitations, but I couldn’t. I don’t have the means to get fancy prosthetics like Aimee Mullins has, nor do I think I’ll ever, so death is a more comfortable alternative to an unfulfilling life. I don’t care if that makes me sound shortsighted or spoiled; it’s what I want for myself.

Let risk #2 begin. I’m back in San Francisco. Maybe I’ll soon be ordering canvas prints of the Golden Gate Bridge for my private bedroom.

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