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Freedom and Responsibility

August 19th, 2006 at 06:31 pm

So I met with the Game Gang again last night. It's fun, but I still feel pretty akward because they all know each other and I'm the new kid. And I feel like a total tag-along because they've all been playing forever and I just learned quite recently.

But I finally got a chance to play with Idris, the person who had originally invited me to play Go in the first place. He's a really good player and just an interesting person (not to mention kind of cute Smile ). So as I was getting my requisite butt-whupping on the gameboard, Idris and I got to talking.

Idris is a pretty active guy, and he told me that he volunteers on a regular basis and that he often stops by at the Souk to pick up lunch on his way out. He also mentioned that he often visits some of the restaurants and coffee shops nearby to meet with friends. Then he told me that he's gone back to college to make a career change and when he finishes, he's thinking of moving overseas to teach English if he can't find a job right away.

He has a lot of interests and time to pursue them and it got me to thinking about how money can greatly influence how you spend your time. Idris had mentioned that the Go group sometimes meets at the Agora in the afternoons and maybe I could go. But then he noted that I work "a lot" and so maybe wouldn't have the time. He's right. I don't. I've been so focussed on getting out of debt that work takes up a huge portion of my life, and it's hard to imagine it might ever change even though strictly speaking, I'm working less now than I was before.

I have to admit, for a minute I was resentful of Idris -- not of him, but of his freedom. I just wanted to ask him: do you not work? Don't you have bills? How do you afford to have the days off and still have money to eat out, or go visiting? How do you do this? It's none of my business, but I was wondering -- how could I explain to a stranger (one that I was trying to impress) why I work so much?

Some people at the Forum see me in the Souk, so they know I work there. But the majority of people who see me in the Souk don't realize that it's not my only job. The few times I told people that I work 60+ hour weeks, they wanted to know if I was funding a drug habit, or do I have a kid to support, or what am I doing?

So I quit telling people. But now I'm meeting more people and it's hard to decline invitations because I can't get off work. Or that going to a restaurant is supposed to be a once-a-month thing. The people I meet in the Souk are fairly well off. I need to not feel out-classed, but sometimes I do.

I'm still focused on getting rid of debt though. It's too important to let feelings of akwardness stand in the way of that goal.

1 Responses to “Freedom and Responsibility”

  1. LittleGopher Says:

    What a hard spot to be in, but knowing what you should focus on for the time being is very important in reaching your goals. Good for you...best wishes as you forge ahead!!

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