Is this what mid-life crisis feels like? Or is this just what happens when you aren’t wealthy. A vagabond’s options aren’t as vast as someone more conventional…but still there are some options. At least there should be….
Update a few days later: Wow. I’m just flabbergasted by what is happening. I’ve inquired about a dozen properties, most of them with offers over the asking price, most of them from people who have never seen the properties and may never see them. These are people with real excess wealth – so called ‘Giraffe Money’ – as in, “I’ve got so much money I don’t know what to do with it, I guess I’ll buy a giraffe”.
The CEO of Redfin said on an interview the other day that buying a home has become a luxury purchase. That means, essentially, it is a thing only the rich can do. We are quickly entering an even more gross world of extreme wealth disparity where there are wealth-lords and peasants.
Most of us (self included) are delusional in that we think we are just a couple of steps away from financial independence and the joys of wealth. That’s all conditioning to keep people working and being okay with how screwed most of us are. The truth is – and this is a hard thing to admit – most of us have never and will never matter to anyone but a very small group of people who value us personally. Our entire lives could disappear and humanity would never notice. We haven’t made a global difference and we most likely won’t. We don’t matter.
Not only do we not matter to the world – we especially don’t matter to those people who are ‘in it to win it’ which should be read as ‘fuck you, I’m getting mine’. And – at least in America – that’s everyone outside of your small circle of folks who give a shit about you. Your close family, your best friends, maybe customers who rely upon you – but the truth is – if the chips were down – that circle would get much smaller, very quickly. I’ve got about six people in my life that I would make great personal sacrifice for – I feel blessed to have that many. I think around half of those people would do the same for me and again – I count myself lucky. If we all had three people who sincerely care for us as much as they care for themselves – we are beyond fortunate. Especially in this sick society we call America.
We all know the truth – there is no safety net that protects you from falling in America. If you fall, you will probably keep going down unless you are lucky, talented in just the right way, have built your own, or you have someone willing to catch you. From the bottom, you have virtually no chance of getting back up or up at all if that is where you began.
All of this to say that my mission to buy a piece of property or shack or cabin on the Big Island of Hawaii failed. It failed because I don’t have enough money because the trillions of dollars that went out to rescue people during the pandemic largely landed with people who already have everything they need – so they are looking for something to do with that money “Hey let’s buy a giraffe or land in Hawaii”.
So, my family and myself (and millions more like us)are put into the position where we need to continue being renters and being at the mercy of landlords and developers. When I brought us to America (and myself back to America) I was hopeful of opportunities. My time away had convinced me that America really was what it portrays itself to be to the rest of the world – but I fell for the lie – just like all the other hopeful immigrants. We were doing okay out in the big world. We had a comfortable and fun life.
We got here and I quickly realized that in the tech world – at 42, I was already past the expiration date for a new hire without Fortune 500 experience and that living anywhere desirable was out of the question based on our savings. I built a couple of successful small businesses in the small town we moved to because we couldn’t afford Hawaii or San Francisco. Again, we were doing okay. Then, the Racist in Chief created a hostile environment that made racists across America feel comfortable making people of color, non-Christians, and other non-white/non-Christian people feel like their lives were in danger. As the only Muslim family in a town of 3000 where they drove around with confederate flags in the back of trucks and put up at least three chainsaw carved statues of Trump, I really didn’t like to keep my family there. I sold my businesses at a loss and moved my family to Hawaii where we were making things work until the pandemic hit but now with prices going up – any gains we made are worthless. I think most people haven’t realized their savings will now buy about 50% of what it would have six months ago. Not just in real estate but in food and everything else. Wages haven’t gone up, but prices have doubled and tripled.
I’ve gotta be honest – it feels like exactly what it is – we are being squeezed out. The bottom 80% or so of Americans are being turned into serfs who more or less work to pay the company store while the 19% don’t know it but they are next. There is room for lords and serfs in the world America has built – and if you aren’t already a lord, chances are that you can look forward to becoming a serf.
I feel like I’m ready to give up on America again. Sometimes I feel like I’m ready to give up on everything but then I look at my daughter’s face and I know that I have to keep going and I’ll never give up on trying to build a better life for her.
So – here I am. No Vagabond’s House unless you want me to say that I’m in Vagabond’s House right now – and right now I’m in a hotel. I’ll keep looking and I’ll start exploring further options. I’m not ready to give up.