Thursday 3 August 2017

#207 Tom Kuegler

I'd been jealous of Tom Kuegler for a while. The 24-year-old digital nomad made a living travelling the world and writing articles for sites like HuffPost about how great it was. That and how much it sucked because he didn't have a home or a long-term girlfriend.

Tom seemed to think that being a millennial was a license to complain in public. Fortunately, he'd developed a knack for picking up on the sort of issues that annoyed lots of people. He was the blogging equivalent of a blues musician. His success and his misery fed off each other.

Tom's latest post on the writing site Medium was about how despite still being in his early twenties, he was already troubled that life wasn't going according to his plan. He wasn't dating and it appeared to him that unless he started dating soon, he might not be married by the time he was 30. This was definitely a topic that I could weigh in on. I wrote him a reply.

"Look on the bright side, maybe you'll get sick and die before reaching thirty. Then you'll no longer need to worry about what age you're married by." 

I felt quite satisfied with my response. Millennial fatalities were rare but if he travelled a lot and spent enough time driving on foreign roads, there did seem a faint ray of hope that his problems might all disappear before he lived to see his fourth decade. I couldn't help but wonder if I was being a tad catastrophic though.

I decided to change my response to something more fluffy.

"Tom Kuegler, your curiosity has made you wise, for you have uncovered one of the great fundamental truths: that life does not always turn out how we want it to. One question that seems to follow is: do we want to carry on living it anyway?"

The plan was to coax the young writer into accepting the fact that his dreams might not pan out exactly how he imagined. it might have sounded defeatist but it was more about putting his mind at ease than demotivating him. Tom had already announced in the article that he would keep on "fighting in the trenches". Most of us precious little millennials have no real notion of war, so we pretend that we're constantly fighting one to give our lives meaning.

I'd admit that at 24, he had plenty of time to keep "fighting" for what he wanted. Where would that get him though? Did he really want to spend the next six years fighting? What would he do after he'd "won"? It wasn't that I didn't think it was worth him pursuing his goals. There can be meaning in that. What I was trying to say to the man though, was that life was like a piece of swiss cheese. There would always be some holes in it.


Running on empty said...

I'm watching Daria. She has interesting views on life.

Fizzfan said...

Funny you should mention Swiss cheese...... When I was a child I used to have a recurring dream of the man on the Porridge Oats packet laughing at me as I ran across a white room whose floor was full of holes and I had to keep dodging them or I'd fall. Sometimes I would fall. It's a horrible feeling and I've never forgotten it, or that particular dream.
Life's what it is. You either soldier on or opt out. Most people have reasons to carry on because however bad it might sometimes be, it's absolutely amazing really and so are we. (As in the human race)
We'll sort if. We're also pretty shite as well ;)

Profound Familiarity said...

The girl from Beavis and Butthead?

Profound Familiarity said...

God I think lots of people were scared of that porridge oats guy.

Yeah I don't subscribe to the whole 'life is amazing' brigade, I mean it certainly can be and I might if mine was seriously threatened but not everyone enjoys being alive. Sometimes it's horrible.

Running on empty said...

Running on empty said...

I don't want to get old, quite happy to fade out before that.

Fizzfan said...

Really? And I thought I was special:(

I was considering the meaning of life yesterday and how futile it all was but reminded myself I'd had a fantastic day the day before and got veh veh drunk and it could be due to a hangover.
Today it's piddling down with rain but I'm on top form again and the Tescos delivery man's just been. (Don't read too much into that) So I guess I was right.