I’ve had a few people tell me that I’m their hero. While that can be flattering to hear, I feel I don’t deserve their admiration.
I am not the person that the media portrays me to be. Actually, I don’t think anyone is what the media portrays them to be. Media needs to portray people in a way that is newsworthy, interesting for their viewers.
While I admit that I’m not the most normal of persons, I have my fair share of struggles and flaws. In fact, I catapulted to fame only because I was having a problem in my marriage. I sought refuge in freegan living, because it appealed to my values, which clashed with what was taking place in my marriage.
(I won’t go into detail here, but you can ask me in person anytime. I’m fairly open with what’s happened in my marriage.)
I decided to pour my heart and soul into food rescue and reducing waste as a way to kill time. Due to the interesting circumstances of my marriage, I had a couple of years to kill.
The situation I faced at home and at work led me to give up on both. I stopped work when my business partner played me out, and I left home when my life partner played me out.
One of the things I first did was to figure out, if one day I was divorced, homeless, penniless, could I survive in Singapore? Could I be happy? As it turns out, the answer is yes.
With my mind set at ease, I decided that I would stop work and live off my savings for 2 years.
It’s been almost 3 years since I made that decision. I’ve spent a lot less of my savings than I envisioned. I should have spent all of my savings a year ago, but I’ve spent only about $7,000 from it. I had unexpected sources of income which helped to pay the bills.
What bills? Well, I pay about $500 a month on mortgage, $200 a month on insurance, $200 a month on savings and investments, $400 a month on almost everything else, including overseas travel.
This year, I hope to cut down on mortgage substantially, and bring my total fixed expenses to under $300 a month. I’ll still keep my savings and investments, but I plan to earn my travel money.
This would enable me to extend my lifestyle by many more years to come. Hopefully. I don’t know if I can go back to working full-time again, now that I’ve seen what life without work is like.
The other thing that people should not admire me for is my emotional troubles. While some of it is from the trauma of a broken marriage, I expect that a lot of it is simply who I am.
I’ve always been a moody person, even when I was a child. Now that I look back at it, perhaps my depression started much earlier than I thought. It just didn’t get bad enough for me to get it diagnosed.
But the most important reason why you shouldn’t see me as a hero is because that will set false expectations of me. And eventually, I will fall short of those expectations and you’re going to be disappointed and feel betrayed.
The only person I want to be a hero to is to my younger self. I want to become the hero that my younger self needed.