Evolution (An excerpt from Ian Joseph’s White Book) 进化 (伊恩·约瑟夫的白皮书节选)

Before I had set out on a mission to rebuild my life three years ago, I must have been over 6K in debt. The duration of this rebuild has had its ups and downs, but the pay off has proven to be bittersweet. I’m now sitting on a solid foundation of money.

I currently have three monthly expenses: my cell phone bill, public transit commuting and a TESOL certification course which are all minimal expenses.

I live like I’m poor. I can afford to purchase my own car, but I don’t want one. I can get my own space closer to work, but what’s the point if I’m not staying for a long time.

As I sat at the kitchen table today and read the newspaper advertisements over a coffee, I noticed that there’s a lot of stuff that I can buy right now. Everything from nicer shoes, fancy watches, expensive colognes and a new backpack. But I don’t need these things. I looked through the flyers for an hour, and the only thing that got me out the door was Giant Tiger’s sale of ribbed tank tops for $3.00 a package. When my mom and sister asked me what I wanted for my birthday earlier this year, I told them to buy me a card. If you said to me that I had a month to live I’m 100% sure that I wouldn’t buy or change anything.

What a weird predicament to be in with no want and no object of desire. A few years ago a buddy of mine told me “Sometimes it’s better to want something than to have it.” That holds more meaning to me now. The way I see it is like this, wanting something or someone puts you into an insecure state of mind that diverts you from the critical questions which reveal y[our] foolish characteristics. It distracts us from our existence.

It looks like the time is nearing for me to go international and hit the road once again. Many exciting experiences to come. However, without some mission or pursuit, it can be just as shallow to rack up new ventures like they are belt notches. What’s going to guide me to an honorable end? What will motivate me to get up when I fall? What will make me a better man?

Maybe having a serious committed relationship will do it. I can go to China, settle down with a local and consider having a child. That will keep me challenged for a while. For the majority of human civilization, having a child solved the mission dilemma.

But NO… I’d rather remain a single bachelor. Monogamy to me seems like early retirement from the best parts of life.

Do you know how when someone is sure to die they’re put into a hospice so that they are as relaxed as possible? I feel like I’m in life’s hospice. I’m just fucking around to amuse myself, wishing the hands of time weren’t against me. I’m nowhere near wealthy, but this must be how wealthy people feel.

I feel hollow. Not happy or sad, just hollow.




就在我今天坐在餐桌旁喝着咖啡看报纸上的广告时,我意识到我可以买下很多上面的东西只要我愿意,像是帅气的球鞋、漂亮的手表、名贵的古龙香水或者一个新的运动背包,但我并不需要这些东西。我看了这些东西一个小时,只买了一件Giant Tiger(加拿大著名家居折扣店大老虎)上3美元一包的背心。今年早些时候我的妈妈和姐姐问我想要什么生日礼物,我告诉她们寄给我一张明信片就够了。我觉得就算有人突然对我说你只有一个月的寿命了,我也肯定不想买任何东西。







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