Have You ever had to spend a thousand hours doing nothing? Just being there, by Yourself, simply existing. The beginning is the hardest. First You’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of freedom You have. Your mind starts to race. You desperately start looking for new ways to entertain Yourself. To keep Your mind busy. You find Yourself procrastinating – playing mobile games, watching random shows. That’s when Your character comes into play. You either succumb to the nothingness and become that slob, who just exists or You realize that You’ve been handed an amazing opportunity to develop Yourself even further. With a strong enough will, You will break out of that procrastination cycle and actually do something with Your time. Most people never do that. Most people just become those slobs…
“If this is a crisis, then that’s the kind of a crisis I’d love to live in.” – uttered by one of Estonia’s most famous Prime Ministers, Andrus Ansip, during the 2008 worldwide financial crisis. He was probably one of the most ‘disconnected-from-reality’ person at the time. As ordinary people were losing jobs left and right, while struggling to keep food on their table and a roof over their heads, this guy just wasn’t feeling it. He probably didn’t mean to mock our entire population, but it was rather an accidental cause of him being on a safe and cozy PM salary for too long. He had become detached from the rest of our society.
That’s exactly why his quote just beautifully sums up this past half a year of mine. While the World’s been going through a crisis, with hundreds of thousands dead so far and millions of people furloughed, I had suddenly become essential personnel. My presence was more needed, than ever. That fast and strong reaction to shut the whole country down for a month in a total lockdown by the government of New Zealand, turned out to be the wisest move they could’ve ever made. Being the only person on a 4-lane highway on my way to work every morning was surreal. Another once in a lifetime experience. Queues of 100 people became the new norm outside supermarkets.
As a far-away island nation, they were able to weed out the virus inside the community. And even though the initial economic toll was huge, New Zealand came out as a winner in the end. They eliminated all community transmission of the virus. Because of that, they were able to lift all social restrictions after a month long lockdown. They’ve been hosting big rugby games on stadiums filled with tens of thousands of people and general life inside the country had pretty much returned to normal.
This brings me to my job. I think I have a pretty unique job. My job is to do nothing. I just have to be there. And I’ve been doing this job for more than 1000 hours now. Just think about that amount of time for a second. Those are work hours. Ever since the pandemic stopped all Hollywood productions, I’m the guy that’s been stationed on asset protection. My job is to guard the film sets in the middle of nowhere. So while everyone around me has been dealing with the effects of the pandemic, I’ve been averaging 60-hour workweeks full of mobile gaming, writing, scheming and listening to podcasts. But I’ve mainly been developing my next big project and theorizing about the meaning of my life.
A few days ago it was announced, that New Zealand had now been corona-free for 100 consecutive days. Everyone else in the World was envious and I was happy, as I’d been eagerly waiting to go to my first ever rugby game – the sold-out Rugby League final of Blues vs Crusaders. That happiness was cut short by the announcement 2 days ago, stating that corona is back in NZ. I guess that first announcement aged like milk, didn’t it? Covid-20: The Revenge of Corona properly shook entire NZ right away. People had, yet again, become complacent towards the global situation. But what amazed me, was their government’s strong reaction to immediately shut down half their country for a second time. Today we’re 3 days into another 2-week lockdown period. If I’d have to bet, then I’d say these periodic lockdowns are going to keep happening and we’re just gonna need to get used to this…
You know how sometimes You’re just in the right place, at the right time and everything just evens out? Almost as if all the stars aligned just for Your life and plans to work out? Well. I’ve basically been in that zone for the whole past year. A huge part of it is definitely defined by one’s luck, and God damn, have I been lucky so far. Yet I don’t think it has as much to do with luck as it has with the person’s willpower to keep on pushing forward. The hardest part for me, is definitely my ability to just think of 100 different things and ideas and therefore going off-track from fulfilling a singular one. It takes some major effort from me to just focus on 1 thing. Take this very blog entry for an example – I’ve had it on our system as a draft for 2 months now. Focusing on a singular thing is something I’m still learning to do. But what if by doing that I lose my ability to think outside the box?
I’ve got a habit of setting up these missions for myself. I’ve got lists upon lists of things I need to get done. Most are smaller ones, but there are also a few bigger ones, that I’m slowly working on. I’m also always running schemes, that will net me a cozy $500 here or another $200 there or an even bigger payoff later on. So far I’ve done good. I’ve been told by my bosses and other people, that I ooze confidence. That I handle things without any questions and just keep going afterwards. I’ve got my rough Australian upcoming to thank for it. I’ve had to constantly battle waves after waves of problems and in that kind of a ‘dog-eat-dog’ setup You either get overpowered and wither away or You become the destroyer. That’s all it really is – a constant battle of frames. And mine’s pretty solid now.
I had this funny incident happen, while I was driving home from work the other day. You know how women often get away with speeding and are later so proud of their (sexual) ability to manipulate the unsuspecting police officer into letting them go? I’ve always been kind of jelly about that, because that basically never happens to guys. Most police officers are dudes and no dude is ever going to let me get away without a ticket, unless he’s gay as fuck and desperately wants to suck me off. And even then I’m not gay, so it wouldn’t really be the same dynamic. So there I was, driving home after a 60-hour workweek, when I noticed that my car needs a refuel. There was a petrol station about 100 meters ahead of me. But there was also an interjection before the turn-in. So I ran over a ‘pink’ light and turned straight into the garage. I was followed by immediate disco-lights. Apparently there was a police car driving right behind me the whole time. “Oh great, this fuel’s gonna cost me heaps”, I thought. Until I noticed that the po-po was a chick. So I stuck my hands out of my Merc window, seemingly surrendering…
Me: “I know what I did, it’ll be easier if You just take me away right now.”
Her (giggling): “Why’d You run a pink light?”
Tricked question. She’s expecting an apology.
Me: “Didn’t have any time to stop.”
Her: “Oh You’re going with that excuse, are You? Why’d You turn in here, do You even need any fuel?”
Me: “Oh absolutely, my baby here drinks all my money.”
She ran my license plates through her tablet.
Her: “Okay, I can see Your security license here, which means that You’re a bouncer or something like that.”
Me: “Yeah, something like that.”
I asked her about the stuff she can see from the tablet and she started showing it off to me.
Her: “I can see everything about You here.”
Me: “You’re like a professional stalker.”
Her (giggling): “Alright, I’m good to go. Just don’t do that again.”
Me: “Thanks for that, I’ll try my best.”
That was the right moment to get her number too, but I was too tired and could only think about how I just got stopped by police and I let them off with a warning. Could’ve also fucked the police. So much lost potential. Oh well. Hopefully she wont be my last police chick encounter.
Lately I’ve noticed that people often try to spend more time with me even while I’m mostly just talking random bullshit. Mostly older men. I think they see me as some sort of a ‘Social Outlaw’ – someone who’s escaped that modern slavery system that most of us just keep slaving away for. And so they seem to yearn for stories of stuff that they can’t themselves do. Either because they’re married, have kids or they’re stuck in some other way. What everyone needs to realize is that You, me and everyone else are essentially all playing the same game. And there’s endless storylines that all take You to ‘The End’, where You and I will inevitably both finish our lives six feet under. But before we get there, we have entire lives to live, where we all get to choose our stories. Sure, there are slight starting point differences, which are mostly predetermined by our parents, but our adult lives really begin after high school. That’s when all bets are off.
It’s like a sophisticated RP game, where Your every decision affects Your main story elements. And I’ve just always been trying to go for those more interesting story options. I always do that. Because my other option has always been becoming just another miserable fuck living for that 9-5 job, where I’d be getting verbally assfucked by my middle-aged boss, whose wife hasn’t fucked him for half a year, cuz he doesn’t give her the tingles any more. That shit will kill You inside. And while I’ve tried going that route a few times, I’d always find a way to break out from the system. Fuck! Just thinking about it now, makes me wanna get on the first flight to Thailand.
After working in that supermarket for a few years, I saw what happens to people, when they work in one place for all their lives. They become afraid of trying new things. They lock themselves up in their personal safety bubbles and just run through life on autopilot. I’m not like that. When I suddenly find myself complacent and stuck in a safety bubble, my body starts internally screaming for help. I need to get out. I need to do new shit. And that’s when I choose an another interesting storyline for myself. I honestly don’t wanna die thinking about all the good work I’ve done. “Damn, did I put in some solid work hours washing cars.” I wanna be jacking off to my own amateur porn videos. I want to retire getting stoned in public parks from my home-grown weed. I wanna try to pocket random items from grocery stores, althewhile playing an old and senile dude. Just to see if I can get away with it. I probably would, too…
And so every time I encounter another person, who tells me how miserable and boring their lives are, I just feel this pain inside. That pain just reminds me that I need to go do something interesting again, cuz I really don’t want to become that guy. That’s why I kind of love this whole pandemic. There’s just so many interesting new things happening in the World because of it. Honestly, people needed to get their safety bubbles burst by force. They would’ve never done it themselves. And I hope that more people will now wake up from those dreams they’ve been stuck in for years or even decades and actually start enjoying their lives. Your mind is a place, where Your dreams come to life and where they more often, than not, die, without ever having a chance.
I’ve had heaps of times, when I’ve worked really hard. And then there’s times, when I’m hardly working, just like this past year. I came to NZ to give myself a well deserved break. In my case a break means that I’m still working, because my standard of living requires constant sustenance. But the work that I’m doing right now, is pure pleasure. Normally it’s quite hard for me to get out of bed, yet right now, I can’t actually wait to get back to work. I recognize, that I’m insanely privileged to be doing the kind of a job, where I’m actively developing myself. Where instead of chasing financial goals, I’m actively chasing more personal, more psychological goals. I’ve used my year to mainly think. To reorganize after a phase of continuous grind. And honestly I’ve never been this stress-free in my life. I’ve adopted a yet another new mindset for myself and recharged my batteries. I feel that urge to chase after things again. I feel like it’s about time to finish my break, jump back into the sandbox and play with the other kids again. There’s no way You can escape the true grind, if You have goals that need fulfilling. I will get back into my true grind soon enough, but there’s still some time left for me to relax and enjoy this break…