Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome to the Magic Bus: The Employment Implications of Tuning In and Dropping Out

The missing loan mystery was due to a computer glitch. We can dream.

One of the issues I'm having to address right now is explaining why I would abandon "career opportunities" to spend more time travelling, meeting people without pretense, and generally enjoying life.

Short of referring them to this, which would probably reinforce the idea that I'm a slightly unstable drop out.

The most hostility, of course, comes from people who wish they had the cajones to live life on their own terms. Yet, some dissent comes from people who aren't jealous, just curious. And maybe the most disturbing comes from that quiet inner voice who says "you could be just like that guy from Into the Wild. Remember him? Good guy. How'd that one end?"

Am I more afraid of dying without any money or dying without having done everything I could to have fully experienced life? Actually, the latter. I don't expect fully experiencing life to always involve moving around rootlessly. I expect at one point it will involve staying somewhere awhile and having children. I want to experience being able to make an impact by working, leave things a little better than I found them if possible.

How do I convey this without totally destroying my employment prospects for when I come home? Possibilities:

(a) Lie about what I'm doing when I take time off.
(b) Tell a culturally modified truth, making it sound like what I'm doing advances my career and fills out my CV.
(c) Tell the truth and hope for like minds. Or at least open minds.

How do other people deal with this problem?

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