Waiting 30 Years

Waiting 30 Years

In November 2019, I finally went with the family to Japan.

city view from セルリアンタワー東急ホテル

I had intended to go for many years. It just never happened. There was always a good reason. Busy with school. Or work. Had a project to do. The common reasons.

Finally going, however, was pretty magical. I enjoyed everything about the visit. I got to do many of the standard tourist things, such as visit attractions, eat food, and take photos.

many onigiri options

What struck me though was why I had waited so long. I could have made time to go before. I would still have enjoyed the trip with a smaller budget doing it years earlier, even when I wasn't as financially comfortable as I am now.

I realized that I had got caught up in thinking, "I'll do it later."

It's common to rehearse to ourselves that we "won't be like the other corporate drones." The reality is that we step into that trap right as we're saying it. We prioritize our career over what we want to do in our lives. We do it so long that we forget what we actually enjoy doing. I'm still trying to deprogram myself.

Next month, you likely won't remember what you were working on at work. Next quarter, you won't remember anything if you didn't put it down in notes for your annual review. Do you even remember what you were working on 5 years ago? I don't.

random shot from teamLab Borderless

From spending more time on IndieHackers I came across Daniel Vassallo's twitter and discovered the "lifestyle-first" approach for structuring one's life. It more or less aligns with a "regret-minimization framework." If you will regret not doing something in X years, then do it. Otherwise, don't worry about it.

As my years on this earth have already ticked over 30, I realized that I had done an adequate job developing my career, but that I had neglected a lot of dimensions of my life. I'd regret not doing a lot of things in 5, 10 years if I didn't start soon.

Sake 'Decoration' Barrels - Meiji-Jingu Shrine, Tokyo

The thing I'm trying to keep in mind is that I don't actually have that much time. Take some chances, do something different. The most likely bad outcome is you have to keep working for someone else for 30 years.

Meiji Shrine Inner Garden

I'm still putting the plan together, but I'm taking actions. I'm even putting these words in front of the world.

city view from セルリアンタワー東急ホテル (night)