3 Years Worth of Future

I am not a long term planner.

This has not always been true.

Ever since I traveled the North American West coast three years ago my life has changed significantly, mostly because the way I make decisions changed.  I was an over-planner pre-trip: I wanted explicit instructions as to where my destination was and what activities were available and who would be there and what the dress code was and what you had to pay to get in…the list, obviously, goes on.  If I didn’t get all of those details and more I got worried.

Then one day I realized that I had no idea where I was going to sleep that night.  My heart did a mini back flip and then a front flip, followed by a very nice face plant, but my heart wasn’t doing acrobats out of fear…it was elation.  The pages of my yellow legal pad slowly turned blue as I filled them with excited scribbles about not knowing where I would sleep that night and speculations about the seemingly distant possibilities.  I could sleep outside.  I could find a hostel.  I could not sleep at all.  I could find a beach or sleep under a bridge.  What should I do?  Where should I go?

I think I wound up in a hostel that night, but the end of that story is not the important part.   The important part was the rush of not-knowing.  Uncertainty about what is just around the riverbend is what keeps a person on her toes and invested in life in such a way that pumps the essence of life into her veins and slows down every moment even while making the seconds tick by with alarming speed.

That is an epiphany worth having.  That is an epiphany worth remembering.


With that in mind it is rough for me to realize that the next three years of my life are pretty well planned already.  Three years is a long ass time.

I am resuming my education at a tiny liberal arts school called Shimer this fall.  There will be no tests at my school.  We write a lot and classes are discussions based and happen around circular tables instead of in lecture halls.  Class sizes average 9 students.  The curriculum is composed of great books, not text books, so we read a lot of philosophy and even when we’re doing math or science we learn from the originals, not watered down nobodies who reinterpret what Einstein or Schrodinger discovered.  Credit where credit’s due.

Shimer also has a study abroad program linked with one, and only one other school:

Yeah.  That would be an awesome way to spend my second year of Shimeresque education.

And then I would have to spend another year in Chicago.  Lamesauce.

I do have an idea, though, to minimize living expenses and maximize variety.  What would happen if I house sat instead of rented?  What if I was able to find people who were gone one or two months at a time and was able to constantly live in different parts of Chicago instead of picking one decent apartment and living in one boring (or cool, same difference with the passage of time) place for an entire year?

I really enjoy house sitting regardless (especially when it involves PETS!) and it would be such an awesome way to become familiar with a really cool city in a unique and varied way.  I could live on the north side one month and downtown for the next two, only to move to Chinatown for a week, after which I would spend another three by the lake.  There would truly be nothing more invigorating than constantly moving from place to place, not to mention all of the interesting (and, again, different, because I would be in so many different places!) people that I would presumably meet.

Already, I have registered on a couple house-sitting websites, but I get the impression that most house-sitting happens between people who know each other because posting are few and far between, even for big cities like Chicago.  I’ve gotten all of my house sitting jobs through people I know here in MN, anyway.  It’s just easier to know that you are trusting your home with someone that you know and trust.  Or, at the very least, someone that someone you know knows and trusts.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  Never was there a truer truism.

Hopefully it will work out, though.  It would also help me maintain that minimalist living thing that I’m giving a shot.  Maybe I could live out of one backpack for an entire school year!  It would be like hitchhiking all over again!

 That bag was all I needed for three months on the road then…so why not now, too?  🙂


3 Responses to 3 Years Worth of Future

  1. blesshsu says:

    LAME sauce? you must mean sriRACHA and FISH and TONKATSU sauce, because that’s what you’ll get to have in chinatown and viet-town and everywhere that serves japanese food etc. in this GREAT AWESOME city.

    anyway you know i’m never farther than a phone call away, and we can go drive to a random parking lot and scream the heck out of our lungs, just to keep things “consistently” un-lame-sauce.

    and let us know if you’d want to put the Tooshy household on your list of month visitations.

    • tertiaryhep says:

      Not gonna lie…one of the reasons that I am wicked excited about living in Chicago is that you are there. 🙂 It’ll be fun to have the opportunity to hang out with you a little more often. I just hope we take advantage of that.

      And totally. If you ever need a housesitter I would be down. 🙂

  2. Anthony Lo says:

    Wow your story truly is interesting Holly. 🙂 I just read the whole entire thing and honestly I don’t know what to think anymore, haha.

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