I started writing this on my birthday but for some reason this took me a while to finish. A fun celebration was thrown for me by my lovely gal. Although she’s aware I am not a big fan of gatherings, I went along with it because (1) it’s a great reason to bring people together from a life of social sedentary. (2) it’s her way of expressing love the best way she knows how — throwing parties.
First large gathering since 2020 and it felt weird. Do I hug you? Keep my mask on? I felt like a confused toddler learning social etiquettes.
Being in my late 30’s, I am beginning to look at time a differently and ask myself if this is where I want to be. I no longer see how much time I have, rather how much time I may have left. I know, it’s mildly morbid. I came to this thought a week ago for the first time. I wasn’t sure why I was suddenly having these thoughts because I am not generally the type to doubt myself. Ultimately, the question that kept boiling down was, do I keep pursuing to discover my life of uncertainty or button down and do something that guarantees a steady progression that is life. Maybe this is one of those frequent forks in the road to remind me I have the option to take the path most people are on.
But Erwin, you’re a contrarian. You don’t do what everyone does cuz that’s not your way of life. Ooooh so cool. Forreal, it’s not. Not at the moment. Let’s say I decide to button down and go that route. How would that look like compared to my current All Over the Map life. Let’s script this.
Erwin Settled Down Edition I settle down in one city. Meet one lovely woman who will be my wife and potentially mother to my children if we have any. I’ll get a 9-5 office job. Wear Patagonia vests and host bbq’s or dinners with friends living the same life. Those wacky friends are now a distant memory because of this lifestyle change. The routine of my week will be meal prepping, what tv shows my partner and I will watch. The highlight will be trying a new restaurant or visiting Home Depot. We scrimp and save money by using excel to budget for a vacation or some renovation of some sort. Ok I’m not painting anymore of this picture. I already fucking hate what I’m describing. Erwin All Over The Goddamn Map Edition I am currently in a different city every 4-6 months. Meet one lovely woman where we both know our relationship has a floating expiration date. I work remotely for a VC group full of wacky personalities who all live a life of uncertainty. Wear pretty much whatever I want. The highlight of my week is doing whatever I want. Last month I drove two hours to visit a friend and attend Jim Gaffigan’s live stand up just because we both said "why not". I am saving money because I plan to dump almost all of it on an Asia trip. I played video games until 3 AM last Saturday. I took a contract gig out in New Jersey and worked for three weeks straight nonstop and made a good amount of money.
While the freedom in the latter sounds fun, I’m also fully aware I’m not leaving myself any roots for future Erwin who will be old and decrepit. I have been following this uncertain path for so long that the idea of a steady life is completely foreign, and maybe there is some fear that going the steady route means the death of this person of who I am right now. Both aren’t great and on extreme ends but the reality is I don’t know what the in-between looks like. I want to know so I can plan and work towards that direction. I need to be mindful how I hold the opinion of both Erwin’s because I’m reminded by some Wisdom from Dale Carnegie about how a man can be damaging by is own opinion.
I’m totally willing to find a middle ground but I just don’t know how to get there. Is it possible or the choice must be either/or?