Most importantly, I’m content and happy. I’ve never been as content and happy as I have been these last three months. The personal infrastructure I’ve assembled, combined with this new job, will allow me to continue this liveaboard/cruising lifestyle indefinitely. I will get moorage in the San Juan Islands this fall in order to have a home-base to weather out storms, charge batteries, and take on water in-between three to four day cruises.
I like programming. I like the intellectual challenge of it and the raw creative power it can tap into. But too much and it becomes a terrible, soul-killing job. As I sailed south, I began to wonder… “What if I only worked part time?”, I thought. Enough to cover my basic cost of living, and short enough that I could look forward to work instead of dreading it. Is that even possible? If so, why don’t other people do it?!?
A few days after being back in the States, I started looking for just such a job. Part-time telecommuting jobs are not common and very competitive, and yet there was one waiting for me on StackOverflow when I finally pulled up the website. It was as if it was written just for me. It nailed all my requirements for an ideal working situation. I nailed every requirement they needed. They were thrilled to receive my application and within a few days we began to finalize our terms. The free, online programming courses I’ve been completing at Code School certainly helped me stand out as a good candidate.
Mastering True Wealth
With the acceptance of this job and completion of my voyage, I feel that I have truly mastered the four pillars of True Wealth: time allocation, true materialism, self-provisioning, and social capital.
There is no part of my tiny floating home that I can’t repair. From outboard to anchor and keel to mast, I’ve learned how it works and how to recover quickly in the face of a malfunction. I’ve mastered the art of self-provisioning in the San Juan Islands. I know where the wild food is, how and when to harvest it, and how to preserve it. Over the last few years I’ve consciously and conscientiously grown and bolstered my social capital. I have a network of friends and family I know I can count on if I need support, just as they know they can rely on me.
When I turned around in my voyage north, it was due to a strong urge I couldn’t explain. It wasn’t homesickness or fear or nostalgia. Something deep within me just knew it was time to return. I couldn’t explain it to myself, so I don’t have much hope of explaining it here. All I can say is that listening to these urges have never steered me wrong, so I’ve learned to trust them.
Is there no connection between my urge to turn back and my luck at nailing a unicorn of a job? Is there really no connection between my deep desire to see a dolphin and my escort by a lone dolphin last year? Was there no connection between that home-coming and the reception by Orcas I had this year?
Perhaps I’m connecting dots where no pattern exists. Perhaps it’s synchronicity. Perhaps it’s coincidence. Perhaps there is no real difference between the two. Am I a ‘me’ living a ‘life’, or am I a ‘life’ living a ‘me’?