What I Want

15 Feb

Tonight I was planning on writing about the impact of communication on money. Boooriiiing. It Read like one of my college papers…I constructed beautiful essays back in the day but unless you have a Ph.D and call yourself Professor it’s probably not what you thought you would be spending some random weeknight readying. Luckily for you (and me) I veered in this direction…

One thing I learned about myself about 2 years ago is that very little motivates me.

Social status…does not motivate me.
Fame…does not motivate me.
Fortune use to…but no longer motivates me.

Now, being an advocate for AIDS orphans, advancing archaeological technologies and heightening the self-esteem of troubled youth through neuro-linguistic programming all DO motivate me.

But really I just want to be able to hop on a plane and visit my mother whenever I feel I can take the smothering. I want to travel, spend time with my friends and have a family and I don’t particularly care to be ‘rich’ in the process. I like love 3-piece suits and Italian leather boots just as much as the next person but the 4-Hour Work Week teaches me that I don’t have to be rich to have once in a lifetime experiences or keep to one locale while engaging in the everyday shenanigans of a ‘normal’ life. And when I come home from a night at the symphony, dinner and drinks with friends at The W Hotel and step out of my expensive attire that’s all it really comes down to right?…extraordinary experiences? Oh, and I want to watch the sun set over the ocean every afternoon…perhaps share it with someone who can put up with me for more than 1 year at a time. That would be nice…

None of this is out of the ordinary; a pretty solid mix between a Daddy’s girl and the ‘life of the party’. Not at all unattainable. And with a bit of adventure mixed in that’s all it really takes to put me in an awesome mood.

One thing NLP has taught me is that I can simply choose to be happy. Happiness from external things is so…temporary and surface. However, it certainly does help. NLP has also taught me that knowing, and projecting, what I want is key. So here goes. Sailing gives me almost everything I want to experience. Freedom, aesthetics, physically demanding work, detail oriented work, a team effort when I want it to be and an independent activity when I don’t. Now how does sailing make me money? It doesn’t. But other than the occasional adult crush and a few start-up ideas it really is all I ever think about.

Michael Jordan made money playing basketball, Madonna still makes it singing her ass off and Oprah…well she makes money on everything. So why can’t I make a dollar sailing? I haven’t found out how to monetize it or even figured out if I want to. But I know that this is what I want to be doing. Every day.

I’ve found myself seriously scrutinizing everything that I do because I know that very little, if any of it, will majorly contribute to my happiness. How exactly do I get from earning a low 4 figures per month to living my dream – working remotely on a fun t-shirt design company and/or with an art-based non-profit from my laptop while sailing round the world? Do I get a $50-70k job for a couple of years, pay off my debt, get my ASA license, save up for a boat, quit and circumnavigate the globe? Do I continue living like a starving artist, sail when I can…which is almost never and hope that I can buy something decent in the long run? Do I give up, move back home, cutting my costs in half and get comfortable (my grandmother can’t help but do my laundry) and fat (my aunt has an endless pantry full of carbs and empty calories) with my family? Are those my only choices? Yikes…

All I know is I’m 26 and if I’m going to have kids in the next 6-9 years I’d better get on with the dangerous stuff and get it out of the way. Ever since I came back from Semester at Sea I’ve had a touch of wanderlust and have since decided that I want to sail around the world. Probably alone. Now it also happens that I would be the first African-American female to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe via sailboat which has its perks in terms of sponsorship and publicity. Can you say multiple streams of income?

But she’s black!…Yes, black people, although very few, DO engage in water sports. But she’s…a she! That is true…better pack a bikini or two just in case we hit calm, warm weather. But she can barely sail as it is! Now that IS an obstacle to overcome. I’ve been sailing for years but in terms of actual hours OPERATING a boat my experience is rather limited. The plan is to get my ASA certifications (doesn’t really matter but makes it easier when traveling abroad for chartering and insurance purposes) then sail 1 day every week until I can feel good sailing for a week to a month, alone, comfortably. It will also teach me everything I need to know and a few things I don’t…just in case. A one year trip around the world by one’s self legitimizes a bit of an educational buffer don’t you think?

To be completely honest there are 100 things I don’t have the skills nor the stones to do even though at the end of my life I want to be able to say ‘I did that’. Honestly, I never will. And that’s okay. And although hundreds have died doing this of all things somehow it seems feasible to me. And I want it. So much.

So, my main intentions are: 1) to have a positive net worth and zero debt, 2) obtain all my ASA certifications and 3) own a 27-35 ft. boat capable of taking me on the adventure of a lifetime. Considering my current expenses are less than $20k/year, my debt is $13k and a decent boat to live on and practice with is $10k to start…it really should be simple. Right?

We shall see.



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