West Meets East

A Western man travels East in search of love, opportunity and happiness.

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Name:Michael Strickland

This blog chronicles my adventures as I leave my native California and travel east to northern Virginia to start a new life. I can only imagine the funny stories I'll recount here as I experience a wildly different climate, culture and way of life.

Friday, October 28, 2005


The everyday “grind” is called that for a reason. Over time, it grinds you down as inevitably as water grinds down granite. Add breakfast and dinner, a commute and a couple of errands to your workday, and you’re pretty much on-the-go from the moment you crawl out of bed till you crawl back in. Sound like your life? I have a pretty cool new job, but as with the last one, it feels like life just flies right past me when I spend almost every waking hour in an office cubicle. Like I'm living to work, instead of working to live.

All the more reason to do what you love. And even more reason to make as much money as quickly as you can, so you can retire early (very early, if you’re lucky and work hard enough). Or, in my case, to get successful enough as a writer to be able to give up the 9-to-5 grind and work for myself again (but without the financial insecurity that often goes along with freelance writing). Sure, some may say I’m dreaming, and that’s probably true—but I have a fairly good track record of making dreams come true.

Most likely, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the adjustment to my new life. I wake up and drive to work, then spend most lunch hours and evenings on errands related to unpacking and settling into my new home. I'll probably feel differently once I'm settled and have more free time on my hands. But the way I feel now serves as a useful tool to get me thinking about the bigger picture, about eventually breaking free of the shackles of the everyday grind. Perhaps I'll post some thoughts I jotted down during an introspective day at my last job. The piece starts something like this: "Day 437 of my current cubicle captivity...." I'm in a different cubicle (cell?) now, but I'm still a captive.


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