Breath Again!

After the better part of a year in Seattle, I find myself back on Whidbey Island and finally able to catch my breath. That’s the strange thing. I feel as though, my 10 months in Seattle was a long held breath. My partner and I were constantly working. We were constantly clamoring for money to pay rent, pay bills, pay for car repairs, pay for a date just to treat ourselves.

Now, in the country side we finally have a moment to sit and take a breath without feeling as though we must get back to work or else…

Funny how that works. Cities offer so much. There are people, shops, events galore, and constant constant constant traffic. I enjoy cycling in the city, but I enjoy cycling in the country a lot more. I enjoy the social spaces of cities, but I found myself always searching for a neighborhood coffee shop that is readily available on Whidbey. When I came back to the island on the weekends now and then I’d release my held breath and feel as though everything had slowed down and I could be aware of my actions in a more meaningful way than when I was in the city.

Here I can drive anywhere without getting frustrated looking for parking. I don’t have to pay for parking. I can cycle to work and only have one or two cars pass me. Kyla and I can sit out on the deck and have a drink as the light wanes and we don’t hear sirens or the honking of cars.

When we visited LA we took a Lyft and the woman said she’d always wanted to live in a smaller town. Someplace not as crowded. But, she said, what would she do? Like, for money. And at that moment it dawned on me how lucky Kyla and I are with our work situation as freelance writers. Small towns, big cities, we can live anywhere and adjust our work load to how much money we MUST make.

There is no worry for us when we move, because one of our jobs always comes with us–and it’s commonly the most lucrative one as well. Sure, when Kyla is in school again she won’t want to spend the little free time she has writing more, but it’s always an option for us, while it’s not for others.

Though Kyla loves cities, we both acknowledge now that a smaller town is more in the offing for our preferred way of life–and that’s what we’re both trying to understand. Our way of life together.


More People, Less Jobs

So I don’t have an issue making coffee for a living. I also write content for a broker, which is awesome–I mean, I’m a freelance writer who works at a coffee shop also. How Seattle is that? But what I do mind is people thinking those who don’t have jobs are lazy. See there’s a real problem in our society that equates work to productivity and your contribution to society. But making coffee for people doesn’t make the world a better place. It just feeds people’s caffeine addiction. Writing copy for corporations–and I’ve written for companies you’ve definitely heard of, doesn’t make the world better, it just tells people they should buy more things they don’t need.

Now I’m really lucky because with the advent of the internet I was given a job. Freelance writing from home is a great privilege and it’s a job I would not have had even 3 years ago. Or even 2 years ago. However, for every job the internet creates many are destroyed. I mean Amazon has made bookstores basically obsolete. Right now we have Uber and Lyft that provide jobs and autonomy to people, but what happens when Google’s driverless cars are everywhere. We won’t need human drivers to take us places. So technology is getting better and better and jobs are fewer and fewer. When do we, as a culture, a society realize, oh, there are way more people in the world than there are jobs. So the people who don’t have jobs aren’t lazy, there just isn’t paying job in existence for them. Do we let these people starve? Why would I need a janitor if we have a robot who can mop?

Look, I know it feels like homeless or jobless people are lazy sometimes. And some of them are. But many have skills that are simply not used anymore in the work place. A man who used to manufacture cars is no longer needed. Robots do his job and there’s another robot that fixes those robots. Just one guy is employed to fix that one robot, and that’s only part time. So what happens when work ends? I don’t know. But we need to come to an understanding that the end of work, isn’t as far away as we think.