Archive for December, 2008

Poof.

And we’re off. To kill the memory of our ex, to see the world before we’re too told to do so, to re-wire our social self image.
No you’re being overdramatic.

I will be keeping a travel log and actually, I don’t think I have ever had this many potential readers before. For those of you new here: Updates are at irregular intervals and occur only when I feel like writing. The purpose of this is, quite literally, keeping a log, for self-reflection. I put it online to encourage constructive input and for the amusement of others as well as establishing a see-through communication, not necessarily honest but all the more sincere, which I think the world lacks greatly.

In other words, comments are very welcome, tips and criticism appreciated.

 

I hard-wired a network of websites together. As a result, anything put into a certain folder on my computer, will be automatically updated on this website and from there, fed to a facebook account. The same goes for text. I write it on a program on my computer, send it here from where it is piped through to facebook and gives a message of sorts on MSN messenger. Didn’t know that was possible, did ya?

This means that, if you are reading this on facebook, you are getting the updates but not the big picture. For that you need to be on the Picasa website (no relevant entries there yet) or the travel section of the blog site.  Bookmark and tell friends and family, so I can whore for attention to more people at once, and in return I will be carrying around a USB stick that allows me to easily update both of these. It’s a win-win situation, with no purpose or added value, but do you have anything better to do?

"Travel reports with an edge." There’s your promotional slogan.

While you’re at it, a good friend, the one who, along with his girlfriend, started it all, keeps a blog of his own. I choose black just to be wayward. It’s a good read.

 

All damn day I’ve been basically sitting on my ass, and at 7 in the evening I realize I forgot to pick up my travel pass. As a result, I will have to get up early and travel to Destelbergen and back to fetch it before the train leaves here around noon. If I fail to do that, the trip is off. If that is the case, I guess you will notice soon enough.

HOWEVER that doesn’t mean I am going to sit and mope about it. It simply would end with me grabbing the first plane that gets close enough, and taking off. I did not spend the last month looking forward to this to have it end this way. I am out of here and my own dysfuncional mind isn’t going to keep me from doing just that. The same goes for the little old lady behind the counter, by the way. If she knows what’s good for her, she will kindly co-operate. I am ready to jump someone’s throat at this point.

 

Thank you for all the support.
Take care, who ever you are, where ever you are.


That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

That’s the way the stomach rumbles

Microsoft at this point is going, "Dude, what the fuck. Emo little shit, aren’t you." I think I broke a record on diary entries.

Okay so. Dublin. Preparations.
Plane is leaving Wednesday the 31st at… Um shit I deleted the confirmation email. Christ.

That’s the way the bee bumbles

Get-together 26th? Get answer. And ask for confirmation email, you dolt. Arrange house rental thing.
That’s the way the needle pricks

 

TO DO:

PREPARATIONS

  • Clean up the house. Dishes (put that on the last-minute list).
  • Eat food that spoils.
  • Find warm pants.
  • Buy gear: Rucksack, camera.
  • Batteries! Also, fix MP3s on player.
  • Get travel pass.
  • Pack: Bank card device for transitions on-the-go.

That’s the way the glue sticks

LAST-MINUTE

  • Turn off boiler.
  • Dishes.
  • Don’t forget toothbrush.
  • LOCK DOOR and put bike inside.

That’s the way the potato mashes

After 15 years without the slightest complaint, I’m getting a tooth ache. Now of all times. A tooth in the back of my mouth has literally split in half and seems to be hollow, so one distracted moment while eating and I will spend the following two hours in pain as I bite down straight to the nerve. It’s starting to ache spontaneously now too. Wouldn’t it be funny if I ended up where-ever with an abscess? Hysterical.

That’s the way the pan flashes

My passport has expired. For about a full year now, but despite repeated reminders and threats with fines I never bothered to get a new one, it would only get me in trouble anyhow. I’ve been meaning to get it replaced for about a month now, but with work, roommate and other problems on my mind, I never got around to it. It’s quite a trip to my old town where I still officially reside, you know.

The guy behind the counter, although he is an acquaintance (In Heusden, everyone is), was not amused when I explained things to him. Being a bureaucrat, he takes this shit very seriously. I was technically two weeks late to get my new passport in time, and he was not inclined to speed up the process and get me a temporary copy. Instead, I had to pay €80 for a travel pass which is supposed to overrule all of this and lasts 5 years. The good part is that I can go where ever I want with it, including any location outside of Europe. However it’s supposed to be done the 30th, and I don’t trust these pen lickers even the slightest.

Oh well. If I miss my plane because they fucked up again, I’m catching some last minute ride to Buttfuck, Alaska and get out of here anyway.

That’s the way the market crashes

Did I mention I’m not exactly sure of this? Despite a "que sera, sera" philosophy and the image of self-confidence I try to be, I still have no clue what I’m doing, let alone how I’m going to do it.

Also, I’m scared of flying. To the point where I start amusing myself, and that’s damn deep. Last time I was in a plane was for work, to England to build the Isle of Wight festival. It was a type of Boeing that apparently shifts it engines before landing, producing a roar that goes through the whole plane. I damn near shat myself, I swear to god. After we had landed I finally let go of the back rest of the seat in front of me, and it had my sweat trickling down. The things a little turbulence can do to a man’s mind.

That’s the way the whip lashes

How a closed mind like mine is going to reach out to others for help, is beyond me, as well. I suppose that makes sense, since I can’t see beyond the limits of it, but even my imagination has a hard time coping with the idea. I mean, let’s be honest. A different location isn’t going to miraculously change the attitude that took 20 years in the making, is it?

That’s the way the teeth gnashes

I’m cleaning up my place thoroughly right now (okay not at this very moment. I’m getting to it, damn it!) and by that I mean thorough. I’m vacuuming, holy shit. Why? Because First of all I don’t want to come home and find my work laid out for me, but secondly because I plan on letting people live here while I’m gone. This place is still a mess, beer cans and dirty dishes all over, clothes scattered about and a floor you don’t want to get too close to. All this still originates from when my roommate was still around and you had 2 single guys in a 3-room house. So yeah, things tend to get a little dirty then.

That’s the way the gravy stains

Do you know where Australian mudcrawlers live? They are actually bunched together like bananas, high up in a palm tree over a river. And they can swim like the best, they just don’t know it. So they sit up there, in the sun, staring down at the cool water and saying to each other, "Gosh Darnit that water sure looks good. But letting go and going for a swim is very risky. We should need someone to show us it can be done before we ever consider doing that."

And then once in a while, a young mudcrawler steps forward, or slithers upward, and says, "Gosh Darnit that water looks fine. We have fins, we have gills, we were made to swim! So then, here I go!" And he lets go, much to the horror of the other mudcrawlers. He splashes in the water, swims a few circles, and pops up again.

"The water is fantastic," he shouts, while the others cheer him on, "Good job! How we wish we could join you!"

"I am going for a swim," he says. "I am going to see the world! Who wants to come with me? The water is great and look, we can swim like the best! Who wants to come?"

And they cheer. "Good job! You be safe out there! How we wish we could join you!"

There’s a moral to the story.
Get it.

That’s the way the moon wanes

-Tom Waits


Lights on.

Look who’s turning into a postwhore.

Lately I’ve been seriously considering buying a gun just to point it into people’s faces. Not because it would give a kick or to taste the power with someone else’s life on your fingertip (although that must be nice), but simply to teach them the lessons I learned in the past. Granted, the rifle aimed between my eyes wasn’t loaded, but then neither would my gun be. I’m not a fucking murderer.

I made a girl cry in public once. I didn’t even know her name, we just happened to be sharing a restaurant table and conversation through a common friend. In the middle of it, she suddenly blurted out, "I wouldn’t mind dying. I’m at peace with myself and I am not afraid of death." I tried to explain calmly to her that she was wrong. Not in her opinion, but in her facts. That she was, in fact, afraid of dying. Afraid to death. She wouldn’t believe me.
It ended with me pointing at her forehead, telling her someone ought to put a gun right there to see what her reaction would be. If she would still be as brave as she claimed she was. With trembling lip, she said that happened once, that some kid at school had threatened her with a gun, at which point I went,
"Good! Please share, what were you thinking at that very point?"
She started crying like a baby, and I clapped because I had made my point.

Recently I had the same discussion with my (former) roommate, who stated the same thing. "I am not afraid to die." This very statement rises the hairs in my neck, because of two reasons.

 

One. If you say this, you’re lying. To me, but more importantly, to yourself. Lying your ass off. With the will to live as the most primal emotion inside our core, you couldn’t possibly be further away from the truth. Let’s get one thing straight, cock sucker: you are scared shitless. And that’s why I want to put a gun to the heads of those who deny it: to call their bluff. Because you, me, everyone but the most fucked up will drop to our knees and beg for mercy. Beg not to take the effort to kill them.

What about your parents? What about your past? Your plans? Your future? Don’t you want to grow old? Don’t you want to enjoy the life you have? Get married, live together? What about the children that you want? I want those bastards to beg for it. On their bare knees.

The arrogance of claiming this fearlessness is limitless. By saying this, you claim to be larger than life. To be above all living things with a will to live, put yourself higher than every single human who wants to make something of his life, and challenge fate head on. It makes me want to teach them, just as I was taught when I feared for my life, how deeply their lies go. How quickly their opinion changes when I say "Fine, then I’ll kill you on the spot" and actually have the power and lack of sanity to do it. Carrying a shooter just might do the trick. I want to show them how dear their heartbeat is to them, and what they will do to keep it. Shut their big head and live on in a philosophical modesty befitting of someone truly, deeply afraid to die.

Let’s get this clear once and for all. Your past, your future, and most importantly, your present are all caught in the weave that thin thread. The one that ends with the pull of my finger. Every single moment of happiness, everything you value, from your love to your hate, is caught within this gift called life. Because that’s exactly what it is: it’s a gift. It’s thrown into your lap, the choice to do with it whatever the fuck you want coming as two for the price of none. Subjectively, your life isn’t only the most precious thing you own, it’s the most precious thing conceivable. Its value is limitless. See this. Don’t deny it, it doesn’t make you immortal no matter how much you repeat your claim towards anything else.

 

Which brings me to number two in the list:
Show some fucking respect.

Last year, my world was shaken by a whole list of people who had committed suicide or died in an accident. Friend’s friends, but also people I knew personally. My mother died when I was 10. Tonight, a kid will die in a car crash. A mother and child will be run over. And the thing all these people have in common, is that they did not deserve to die. Every one but for those who were too sick to realize what they had to live for, had only one wish: to live. And yet, they died.

All this ignores an even more relevant group: those who died for us. Soldiers. Rebels. Students fighting the police, women fighting for equality, revolutionaries fighting for freedom. And you, who couldn’t go a day without your fucking cell phone, don’t you dare say it doesn’t matter. Even if they didn’t, these people still gave their lives, for you. Convinced that their offer, the ultimate sacrifice, their endless life, would better ours. Don’t you dare say it didn’t matter, because even if you weren’t simply dead wrong, you have no right to claim this.

See my point? You have no right. While next door someone dies, who simply just wants not to, you sit here and falsely claim your acceptance of death. Every single one of such claims are an insult, an ultimate show of disrespect for those who died at a moment when they understood the true value of life. Their bubble, containing everything they hold dear, bursting without ever giving them the choice. And here we are, taking all this for granted.

 

It would be ironic to say I could kill those who come lecture me about how pointless life is. Death is inevitable, better accept it like they did. But at times, I really wish I could. Just to prove my point. The notion what a blessing we are given has kept me going when the times were at their worst, when I hardly even still believed what I said when I told this to myself. But I knew it was true. This, the value of a life, is important to know, it’s essential. And subconsciously, we are fully aware of this, but the notion has to be there as well. We need to fully understand this part of ourselves and keep from being blinded by arrogance, which is so easily broken. It’s the foundation of our deepest emotions, such as hope and fear, and simply consciously realizing this will help you in making certain decisions, in grasping opportunities that we miss if we take them for granted.

With it being such essential knowledge, I can’t help but wonder why I am the only one so far who has shown this reaction. Am I really that crazy to at least try and enjoy life? Then, is sanity based on carelessness? Makes sense, in a way. But the way I see it, it’s a lot simpler.
Everyone is crazy, but I.


The Local Roadie Encyclopedia

Just as work has gradually slowed down and I expect it to soon become next to nothing like last year, I get a small book of text messages dumped on me and we’re back at it at full force. For December, this is an exceptionally busy period.

As it happens every so often, we get a big production (Slipknot in this case) and just like every time, I am surprised by how many newcomers we have. Although RoadRunner must have over a hundred people in their list, there’s about 15 of us that make up the core. It has been suggested to make a comic book about us, as we are all pretty much a caricature of our own.

I’ve had to do very different jobs the couple days, and as I was preparing in the morning, it hit me that my attire changes completely depending on the kind of task I’ll be doing. With the variety of things to do, your gear changes fundamentally depending on what you have ahead that day. So let’s line it up, why don’t we!

  • Stagehands aka sheep, hands, people.

The masses. The Bulk. The Grunts. An irregular bunch of folks wondering what they’re supposed to do next. Dressed in crewshirts and torn jeans. The better ones are recognized by their Leatherman or similar tool. Come in all shapes and sizes, but generally aren’t the sharpest. Be patient with them. They try. Oh and provide crewshirts.

  • Bitches

Poor bastards. Theoretically the same as stagehands, but burdened with the most tedious of tasks like feeding camera cable during the show or placing crash barriers all day. Ironically though, since their task is so specific and requires a degree of autonomy, they aren’t necessarily the dumbest of the bunch. Attire would be about the same standard as the stagehands.

  • Crew Chief aka chief, chef.

Easily recognized by his walkie-talkie. Has an increased possibility of speaking your language, and generally knows what’s going on. He would be the guy to go to regarding any problems regarding the local crew. Dressed like the other stagehands, though often it is quite obvious that he has a higher income. Watch out for gloves and whatnot.

  • Forklift Driver aka forklift, fork, (mother) forker.

That would be the guy on the machine. Be very patient with this person. He is sitting on top of a diesel engine, possibly even in a cabin, and has all kinds of mechanics in front of him – he can’t see shit. Don’t start yelling at him if his response is not immediate. Don’t assume he can see everything that’s going on – guide him using the appropriate signals, make sure he can see them. Easily spotted by warm clothing, as their job is to sit still all day long, in the draft and often outside. They carry a minimum of equipment as they are not allowed to leave their forklift, anyway. Often "the fat guy" of the group, quite useless unless driving the fork.

  • Scaffolder aka scaffer, steel dog.

Don’t fuck with a scaffer. He is above you, passing steel two-meter pipes and fat chance is you’re not wearing your helmet. Scaffers are perhaps the most easily found of all: Light clothing that allows climbing and respiration during work, always carrying a scaff hammer, which is nothing more than a roofing hammer re-purposed, and possibly a wrench of some sort for the clamps. Regularly packed with climbing gear and safeties they don’t use. They can be found in both black steel structures and actual scaffolding, but always you will go "These guys are mad" As they depend on teamwork to function, it is important to work along as they go. Try to figure out their system so you can anticipate.

  • Steelhand aka LEDGER GODDAMNIT!

Somewhere between scaffers and stagehands, you have steelhands. Not capable, interested, fearless or trustworthy enough to be allowed to climb, so they’re stuck on the lower levels passing up ledgers and whatever is desired up there. The clever ones wear a helmet as they are constantly working underneath the climbers. I can guarantee you that several of them have never seen a scaff pipe from up close, and the result is horrible stacks that will have to be redone. Always. No exceptions.

  • Rigger aka WHAT!?

Arrogant bunch, but with good reason. Recognisable by their climbing equipment and ropes used to pull up motor chains, which are attached in the roof structure. A roof structure that is not made to be climbed in. They will walk over beams thirty meters up without any security, stopping at any given spot to pull up steel chains. For some reason, they refuse to use radios, so that shouting at the top of their lungs is the only available form of communication when they want to address their helper on the floor.

I’ve been every one of these at some point, so needless to say I have a whole bunch of equipment at home that I don’t even use. With some practice, you will come to recognize each one as they walk into the venue. Understand their purpose, and your job suddenly gets quite a bit easier.


(x2+9/4y2+z2-1)3 – x2z3-9/80y2z3=0

If you find one of those LEGO blocks you used to play with, preferably red, and name it "confidence", and put it in a shoe box along with self-hate, fondness, indiffirence, anger, peace, anticipation, annoyance and so on and so forth, and make a hole in the box, close it and shake it, and line the bricks up as they fall and start over…

There’s me.
Confusing, ain’t it? Yeah. The last couple days have been a constant mix of "steps taken and sleepwalking back again", and a good side effect is personal change. The downside (the single most used noun on this site) is more shit to deal with, more buzzing to keep you up at night. I’m not even trying and yet somehow it feels like it’s all building up to one big climax, whatever that may be. I would say I’m scared for what’s coming but at the moment, I am filled with this warm fuzzy feeling that I like to describe as "Fuck you kindly." Perhaps it’s because dishonesty has become the trend of how people treat me, that I am getting a little short on patience, lately. If honesty was the agreement from the start, people, it goes both ways. It is not something to be taken and kept.

Do I look that fragile, then? A pouty little thing begging with its eyes not to hurt my feelings. Poor boy has been through a bit of a rough time and should be handled with great care, left in the dark about-
GET A GRIP. I wouldn’t have made it very far if I couldn’t face the truth. I probably had my eye on it long before you have, and I am fully aware of your silence, although perhaps not of its reason. So indulge me. Humor me. Spill it.

Those who think I am addressing them, fat chance is I am not. I’m just portraying my attitude as of late, but if you feel spoken to… I dare you.

 

Also, for logging sake: Yeah, I finally popped like I said I would. One step too far, it seems.
"Dying away from death." When suddenly asked this summer how my relastionship was going, my answer surprised greatly. And yet again, it’s come to that point again on more than one subject.
Cryptic? You betcha. But I swear, honest to god, that I am deeply sorry. I should have known, I did not.

 

I have free days again! Work has calmed down quite abrubtly (though I’ve been known to say that too soon) and once again I have whole days to myself. One of the immediate effects is that I can go back taking capoeira classes. God, how I’ve missed it. Although we didn’t do a roda today, the lesson was exceptionally much fun, since there were several students present who were above my level, and more importantly, like to take it up a notch. There’s nothing more boring that doing the same exercise over and over and over again with the same newbie, not learning a thing because if you put some effort into it, you risk killing them. Strangely, attacks are twice as exhausting if you have to do them slowly. Imagine having to keep your leg up as you wait for your opponent to duck.

I did well! My dislocated shoulder gave me some trouble but besides a slight surprise each time it protests, it hardly serves as a distraction. From the first evasive move my teacher went "Good!" and only gave me one or two pointers throughout the exercise inside the circle. Newcomers who hadn’t seen me before and thaught I was one of them congratulated me afterwards. I honestly try not to let this kind of thing bloat my ego, but it’s hard to keep your pride in check if you’re being praised into heaven. But eh, my ego can use a bloat once in a little while.

 

My roommate’s leaving the 16th. I have mixed feeling about it, after all it was nice not spending my days alone, but that was the deal. In fact, we’ve gone way past the deal, which was 1 month of sleeping over,and has now become 3 or 4 and a half, it gets fuzzy. Granted, he pays for food most often and does the dishes every once in a little while, but he isn’t that sexy. So off he goes, I hope he has a good life and learns not to sit by passively next time he promises to get his act together – It gets very old.

He wants to make his departure a big feast but I rather focus on cleaning up. Sure, nothing against going out for a drink or something, but not without washing the sheets and going through what belongs to whom. Perhaps mostly because mixed feelings are involved, I feel very… neutral about him going. Most would consider 2 guys in a 3 room house an impossibility, and even I had my doubts, but here we are: we pulled it off with relatively little bumps along the road, Maynard knows we had our fun. But being unable to do a goddamn thing without it being discussed, or having a problem whenever a friend wants or needs to sleep over, doesn’t help to keep the peace.

I don’t know. He may have gotten used to living here, but somehow so did I. I will miss him, but nevertheless I’ll be relieved to see him leave. Kids these days. Not my problem. Come back any time.


Optimism FTW

All I wanted was to get laid without ending up in a relationship. Instead, I ended up in a relationship without getting laid. It would seem I have my priorities mixed up, but I’m not going to complain. One step at a time, right? We’re in no rush.

It feels like blowing up a balloon without knowing when it’s going to pop. Let in all those emotions again, reluctantly, grimacing as you expect to freak… out any moment now. …Okay now. One two three now.
It’s quite the paradox: I feel like I’m on top of the situation at all times while realizing that the opposite is true. I don’t want to blow this out of proportion, though. It’s calm, it’s easy. Thank God she is patient enough to take it very slow with me, perhaps because I scared the fuck out of her by explaining how I saw things, or simply because she understood. Either way she’s not eager to get serious any time soon, which is fine by me. I’m not looking for whole lot of love right now, in fact it’s exactly what I don’t need. The concept itself gives me a bitter taste in the mouth.
In soviet Russia, game plays YOU!!

 

In the mean time, plans for the trip shift with the wind. But that’s good, right? Chaos governs change – A very consoling thought if you ever need one. Immerse yourself in anarchy and you will grow, simply because you can’t shrink. Right? Right.

Preparations are being made. I would love to take the boat elsewhere pretty soon, perhaps Norway (sue me) or something, although I did manage to let my shit get stolen this summer so winter trekking is out altogether. But, I hear there are farms in Iceland looking to hire tourists for a couple months for a decent wage. Maybe that’s just what I need.
I don’t think so. I doubt I’ll be able to work on my social skills as a hermit in an arctic region, and we’re talking contracts that span 3 months. I would die of boredom. Sad, I know, but that’s just who I am. I need my mind occupied constantly or it starts oozing out my ears.

Okay, so.
– I need to get my passport in order. It’s still the old, non-digital model and it expired early this year. It’s got a picture of my 16 year old, long-haired self and for some reason, I never bothered to respond to the state’s requests to update it.
– C4’s. Not the fun kind. Papers that prove you got fired, so I can get my unemployment income. Dumb thing is, with the day-to-day contracts we use, I will have enough of those to fill a drawer. Bureaucracy: The effort of thousands of people just to make your life more difficult. And they wonder why they get flipped the bird.

 

I had to work for an event today for the staff of some fancy company. As I entered the building, the party was still ongoing and the dance floor was full of balding, middle age men and women in expensive suits and dresses. They were passing out all-in trips to Buttfuck, Alaska or where ever in a tombola and there were large tables with food, coffee and biscuits (yay for biscuits) piled on top everywhere. As I looked around and I saw these wealthy people yell and dance drunkenly, I couldn’t help but remember a speech from my old teacher after we asked about the big stereo system he had in the classroom. He summarized at the end:
"If you study hard and get your degree, you can get the kind of job that allows you to buy expensive systems like this one" And we bought every word of it.

Standing there, with calloused hands in my pockets and dressed in my work outfit, the contrast was more than evident. I wondered what it would be like if I would have finished school, and gotten myself a well-paid job. Perhaps I would have been sitting at one of those tables, flirting with my colleague’s wife over a glass of red Chardonnay- my fifth. I watched in envy how these people had fun, collecting themselves to move out of the way so I could work for them, asking myself what went wrong that I ended up like this, and they were the ones capable of buying expensive things.

In case you’re that dense,
None of this is true. I had to smile at some point because today is thursday, and their union apparently managed to wrest a day off tomorrow from the management. That, or some of these guys will be going to work with quite the hangover. A day off, rejoice, co-workers! Praise the Union, they give offer us days to sit in front of the television in exchange for only a small part of our wage.

They have money, and I don’t. But what I have and cherish, is something money can’t buy. This freedom, this liberty to say "fuck you" at basically anything, is likely the only thing that keeps me from doing so. This opportunity to turn my back and leave if something else presents itself elsewhere, is what keeps me going despite the fact that I probably wouldn’t. All these people, from the first to the last, would gladly give up their fat paycheck for the chance to see that Coldplay concert they couldn’t get tickets for, and actually be a part of it.

My roommate keeps calling me crazy for doing this job, but he doesn’t realize how I dance through the day at work. Okay, some jobs suck, but all in all my job is just a hobby I’m getting paid for. One that allows me to stand up and walk away any time of the year, and not just for 3 weeks chosen by my employer, but whenever and for any given time I choose.

Choice. How is it that people lost track of its value? Such a priceless gift, wasted in exchange for luxury. I saw the word passing by a shop the other day, and it hit me that I must be the only one in town that experiences the concept as a negative one. It’s unnecessary, and the price is more than one can imagine. We lock up our most monstrous criminals and call it justice, but we let ourselves be locked up without question, and without any crime but negligence.

Looking up, I see a plane. I could take it if I would care to. Okay, after I get my passport and paperwork in order, but I can have that done in 3 days. The problem with this gift, is that it isn’t even spotted in time. School systems, although obviously a good concept, condition their students to plunge into the working life of your everyday Mr. Doe and close your eyes to the opportunity until midlife crisis.

Don’t make that mistake. It is possible to compromize.