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61# Forced to grow up

Updated: Jul 3, 2021

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." – Benjamin Franklin

Shitty Sugar HRs took three months to assess my threat of a lawsuit. Then invited me for a conference call with my. I listened to her praises and all the fuzzy bullshit that precedes the word but. They gave me an ultimatum: to return to the Montreal office, or lose my job. My easy, meaningless, overpaid job.

Thanks to my lawyer friends, I had won the battle before it started. They figured they didn’t have grounds to fire me and offered a settlement. To my boss’ dismay, I chose freedom. I told her I would lose my job and get the severance package. She could not believe or understand how can one walk away from financial security. My parents couldn’t either. A generational clash, I guess.

I had been working for Shitty Sugar since 2011, and scamming them since 2014 when we got aquired and management changed. The act was over. They announced my last day on the 31 of May 2018. I knew this day would come. Yet, it was hard to accept. I had the perfect system and that HR lady ruined it. No more money pouring from the sky. I wished her public diarrhea, bad sex, and lifetime trauma. Because of her, I lost my provileges. I had to work again for a living, like the rest of the world. It was time to grow up.

I started a consulting business in 2010. I had clients here and there but I never pushed the business because of Shitty Sugar. Why would you work if you were paid regardless? My practice offered a valuable service wanted by millions worldwide, and the industry was old and crooked. I wanted to flip the table around, to create something new, raw and authentic, something revolutionary. The feedback I received over the years confirmed my idea. I had been sitting on a gold mine, an abundant unexploited gold mine.

My plan was to transform my business and the whole industry with it. From a classic consulting practice to a source of passive income. If done well, I would automate it and work a minimum to sustain myself while traveling. I knew what I had to do but it seemed such a gargantuan project that I never even started. Now that my cash cow was drying up, I had to start digging.

The business was to replace Shitty Sugar as my source of income. But my heart was not in it, what I loved was writing. You need nothing but a pen, and you can write about anything, anywhere, anytime. Writing is the sweet spot where creativity meets freedom. I could forget myself crafting a sentence, polishing every work for hours on end, striving that perfect balance of meaning and melody.

Mark Manson is a writer I like. During a workshop, he answered the question a tough question with a simple answer. “How to become a professional writer?” the reader asked. Mark replied "write 100 articles and ask me again". Good things take time, and I wanted to write for a living. For that, I had to be disciplined, resilient, and patient - a big part of growing up. So, I started to write consistently. On a rainy afternoon, in a café in Antigua, La Chichona Life was born.

Antigua is perfect for the van life. The temperature is mild all year long, the city is safe, and everything is at walking distance. I found a cool café with fast internet and a closeby gym to shower. With the basics covered, I could get to work.

Everyday I worked on my business, wrote, and went to the gym. My days were long, intense, and dull. Besides work, there was nothing going on. I rediscovered the perks of working 10 hours a day and being exhausted all the time. Growing up was not fun, and much harder than I thought.

The highlight of my day came when Paula visited. Despite being twenty-three, she was mature and emotionally aware. When I was frustrated, she teased me until I cracked a smile. We could talk about everything, be intimate and vulnerable. Paula was lovely, funny and had always something interesting to share. Knowing how precious those moments were, I savoured them like an aged oaky rum.

One night after diner, we started fooling around in la Chichona. The sex was amazing and the intimacy even better. I loved the way her black eyes looked at me. She was beautiful in silence and in speech. We stayed in bed, chatting and cuddling, then I went for a second round. Despite all my desire, I could not get it up. Paula tried to help…in vain. I couldn't believe it. My most loyal companion had betrayed me.

I had an attractive naked woman lying next to me... and I was impotent, useless, a piece of decaying organic matter. The pillar of my masculinity had crumbled to ashes, and buried with it a lifetime work of self-confidence. Paula grasped the gravity of the situation, and silence filled the room. She said nothing. There was nothing to say. Pathetic and ridicule, I laughed at myself. Shit happens.

Important things changed in Guatemala. Some say the volcanoes' magnetic activity causes that. I had a spiritual epiphany and chose freedom over money. I accepted that great things had a price. What I missed was that nothing was for granted, not even my own body. I had my first impotence at thirty, and bitterly knew it would not be the last.

Time passes whether we accept it or not. While I was processing all the changes, one thing was certain: Growing up sucks.


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