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I have nothing, but I never have. Does this put me in better stead than everyone else?
by Rich Hartley ( rich.lee.hartley [at] gmail.com )
Monday Jul 2nd, 2012 11:17 PM
If we have nothing, do we have more than those with everything? Those that have everything have everything to lose.....please read on, it'll make more sense I promise.
First let me tell you a little bit about me. My name is Rich, im from the UK. I am currently living in Thailand where I have been working as a school teacher for the past 18 months. I am single and I own nothing of real value.

This is where it gets interesting....

After finishing college (3 years, waste of time as I never passed) studying media, I still didnt know what I'd wanted to do. I'd been a DJ since leaving school, just house parties and such, nothing particularly glamorous. The only real passion I had was music. I decided to gather all my vinyl and fly to Spain to try my hand out at DJing. I was a success. I got a summer job in a night club and suddenly life changed for the better. Then I got bored, and came home to the UK. I weened myself off the coke (I forgot to mention that) and started doing a shitty factory job. I got bored. I flew to Ibiza. I spent a summer doing naughty things there and then returned. I got bored. Again. I flew to Greece. I became an Entertainments manager in a small bar/club. I was good at this. Parties were my forte and by then I had controlled my devilish cravings for class 'A's. On my resume, I was a party animal and I was living fairly well. Not bad for someone who studied Media because he wanted to be a boring journalist.

So what next? I wanted to leave Europe. I wanted to be a backpacker. I had two cousins living in Australia, it didnt take me long to get my arse in gear and obtain my working holiday visa. Within 6 months I was gone again. After 2 years, I wanted to stay. I was working as an IT recruitment consultant in 2008 in Sydney. The GFC crisis came along and immigration tightened in Oz for obvious reasons. My dream of staying was squashed because I had no degree.

I was very sad by this. I wanted to carry on travelling. The thought of having no real qualifications on paper was beginning to weigh me down. I had seen so much yet so little. I used my 2 year visa in Oz to travel the whole 6 states and both territories. As far as travel was concerned, I was a natural. Afterwards, I would go to Thailand and Laos for 2 months. Then home to the UK to do a TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language course) which was just an introduction of what to expect as a teacher. The course was lame lasting only 2 days but my passion for travel out weighed any set backs I would face and I wanted to be a teacher in a developing country.....

And so here I am almost 20 months after that lame course working in Thailand as a primary school teacher. Ive just recently quit my job after a year at working at a private Christian school 2 hours south of Bangkok. I will go home to the UK five days from writing this. My work is here is done.

So thats me in a nutshell. Lets move on to the present.

Talking to my mum on Skype the other day, she mentioned she had fallen out with my brother. I have never liked him. He's an insensitive arse hole, very greedy, very selfish, swears excessively which makes him look unintelligent and ridiculous and we just really share nothing in common. However, my brother, unlike me, has it all. He's currently engaged to his high school sweetheart, he has a new nice looking four bed-roomed house, a company car, he has two kids, a pretty steady job and a PS3 to boot. By most peoples standards, he is doing ok, even if he is an arse hole.

Now im actually coming home for health reasons. Ive been suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness (or chronic fatigue if you like) for many years. Ive battled on, but its a stage now where I can no longer live this way as its depressing.

Anyway, my mum mentions this to my brother who callously replies 'Well he's coming to back nothing, he should have sorted it out years ago, he's a knob head!' Sounds lovely doesn't he?

When my mum told me this, it got me thinking. He is right to point out that I own nothing but is that secretly my saving grace? My ever polite brother has so much stuff that to lose it all would be catastrophic. I, on the other hand, have nothing. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. He's already gained what he thinks he needs and is therefore happy with those materials but I cant help thinking that I dont have one up on him. He's too retarded to see it from my eyes mind.

The whole 'materials' and 'ownership' of this situation has got me thinking a lot recently. I will be returning to live in the UK next week, to live with my parents, aged 31, single and with no job, awaiting medical results that could take months though the realization of this arrangement hasn't discouraged me, only it has irritated me that my brother, and most possibly a lot of others, will be judging me thorough narrow mindedness as being a nobody. People cannot see what I have achieved in my life, only what I dont have to show for it. I believe my life skills and experiences have a lot to say about me. Im extremely open minded and multi-lingual just from my trips.

Am I wrong to have lived my life this way? I dont think I am. Others views will paint a different story mind.

I guess the big question is; How would you feel if you was me?