Friday, 19 May 2017

2009 to now

2009 I dreamed.

I dreamed of not being alone.
I dreamed of being financially independent.
I dreamed of having a less demanding job.
I dreamed of being intellectual.

Hopeless, hopeless dreams. It would never happen.
It didn't just happen. Nothing never just happens. Everything takes work and many, many little steps.

I went on-line and went on bad dates. One I almost didn't go on. It almost didn't become anything. The connection almost sank several times. But somehow we managed to keep the relations ship sailing and I am not alone.

I started super-saving, found ERE and worked on the steps. Within five years, I had change my financial lifestyles and had 20 annual budgets in assets. Since then it has only increased.

I was kicked out of my job, I found another, I hated it and I found yet another further down the career path. Less demanding, slightly boring. I changed my life to be more focused on the non-job part of living. I worked hard to get a job that stays within 8 hours of the day. Then I cut it to four days a week.

I started an on-line course at a university in a subject that only interested me and had no value in my work related life. I never mentioned it to friends. I read the literature at night when I was awake with insomnia worrying about my job. I wrote the papers on trains, planes and taxis. I attended on-line seminars from any location and at any time I could wrangle away. The professor was enthusiastic. The following semester I took another of his on-line courses. I later took the full first year course load part time, on-line. Then switched universities to do the second year course (as the first university did not do second year on-line). The third year course was started at a third university that was no good. I dropped it and restarted the third year one year later at a fourth university and I graduated with a bachelor of arts in my chosen subject. The fourth year I struggled with the third university as they were the only ones doing it on-line and worked hard to make them do their job of actually educating. The firth year the same and it is not quite over yet.
Preparations for my masters thesis have been difficult, not to say very difficult, with the third university. 
Today I was confirmed to do my masters thesis as a separate course, on-line, part time at the first university. Although the course does not exist, they will make it happen.

My supervisor and mentor is my first professor.

In his favourite subject. In the subject of the first course I took on the subject of history.

(Different approach, same fascination.)
My entire education is after all his fault, his responsibility, his doing - only fair that he takes this project to the end.

He is also the kindest, most supportive, motivating, patient and most genuine person I think I have ever met. (And no, that is not how you get ahead in academia. But it is how research is kept active.)

Amazing what dreaming and many small steps can create. 


  1. Striving for a simpler life has been a lot of work and focus. I admire you and your sense of purpose and am genuinely impressed that you have come so far. It is good to have some help on the way. Dare I ask the subject of your master's thesis?

    1. Thank you. I wanted to show that a lot of small steps create more effect than large resolutions. The subject is history, sub-subject historiography with focus on something that specifically did not happen. Time: of course 16th century.