Sunday, March 05, 2017

Back to Work

In August 2014, I 'declared independence'. I had done the sums, and the things that mattered to me didn't cost very much. I had saved, and invested, very aggressively and believed I could put my money to work as the breadwinner so I could be a homemaker. As long as I spent less than my money made, I could carry on doing other things.

I didn't want to position this to people as a 'Look at me, you can do this too'. The fact is I was both lucky, and a little crazy. I am good at putting aside the things I see as indulgences or 'for me', in order to work hard for something later. What I did wasn't a get rich quick scheme. It was a roll your sleeves up, and put in the hours scheme. Add the advantages I had in terms of the support of family, friends, teachers, mentors and colleagues, and I got there.

Two realities sunk in. 

Firstly, if I am time rich, but most of those I care about are time poor, it is like having a big pile of money but nothing to buy. 

Secondly, you can't 'Ignore Cape Town'. If time poverty and specialisation mean our social connection to each other breaks down... we effectively live in Apartheid. We are always going to feel relatively hard done by, because we are aspirational. We compare 'up'. We compare 'locally'. I felt hard done by growing up, till at age 17 I went on my first trip to Umlazi Township. On the other side of the hill, out of sight, lived masses of people who had it far worse than me.

I still believe that the things that matter to me don't cost very much. The only reason I had access to those was because, along with a lot of help, I built an engine. It is time for me to get back to work to help others build their engines.

Independence is overrated. We are interdependent.

No one is free till we are all free.
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