alea jacta est

A throw of the dice

“Alea jacta est (the die is cast)”

Julius Caesar, January 10, 49 BC as he led his army across the River Rubicon in northern Italy.

If I wasn’t pompous enough with that opening quote, forgive me, I tried. The events of one’s own life are monumental in the extreme.  We entered into a contract to sell our house this weekend, so I can truly say now that I will be putting into practice a lot of what I’ve written here:  we are changing our lives, uprooting ourselves and seeking to make our life conform to our desires rather than allowing the winds of fate to push us willy-nilly throughout our lives.

Selling a house also makes me think how strange it is that amounts like we have been discussing (in the halves-of-millions ranges) can be thrown about so casually and yet require such quick and firm decisions. It took me months to agree to buy a new dishwasher.  I had to decide on a selling price for our home in 24 hours (actually less).  As it was when we bought the house, it has been an interesting lesson in learning how to make large decisions and live with them.

I have thought for 30 years that life is unpredictable, and I have yet to be proven wrong. When I was 10, I could never have imagined living in Germany by the time I was 16.  When I was living in Germany, I could never have imagined that by the age of 27 I’d be living in Moscow.  While living in Moscow, I would have scoffed at the idea of living in New York, a city I detested the first time I visted it.  After living in Manhattan for years, I could not have imagined living in New Jersey; and after living in New Jersey, I had often dreamed of living in a warmer clime but never expected that to happen.  Life prods you forward and defies your expectations.

On a more down-to-earth tone, we have a massive amount of personal finance to organize, and I’ll be concentrating on that work as we do it. My search for contract work and alternative income will continue, and thanks to the internet and location independent living I’ll have some options to move my work along with me – like this blog.   I have made my first tentative steps towards a total career change, too.  I hope that reading about it will be as interesting as living it will be!

photo credit: Thunderchild tm

14 comments

  • I find it quite thrilling to see another blogger making a head-spinning move like my family did 3 years ago. I know the circumstances are not all the same, but you seem to be driven by the same thing my family has all this time – more freedom, independence, and a (warmer) slower pace. Best of luck to you and yours as you navigate the turns life brings you.

  • Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet

    Wow… Congrats! Life sure is crazy sometimes. I have no doubt you are making good decisions, despite their magnitude.

  • Congrats and best of luck! It will be interesting to see your process as you decide what to do next. We recently put our apartment on the market. Though we plan to stay local (NYC area) we occasionally think what we could buy somewhere like Arizona or Florida and wonder if we should go for it.

  • Good for you for staying focused on the road ahead. It is more exciting to end up in places that you least expected. I am married to a Navy officer and will be moving with him to Mississippi in a few months. Never did I ever expect to move South and now, here I am. We have decided not to sell our house but to keep it as a rental property. I am also in the process of a career evolution… I don't know exactly where it will take me, but in the past two months I have identified so many new opportunities, including blogging. Reading your posts keeps me inpsired to continue.

    • @Su: I'll just say, without tipping too much off (hah) that I spent a looong time in my youth in Mississippi and it's like many other states in this country – it's got the good, the bad and the ugly. I loved my childhood there, though – there are good people and wonderful things to be enjoyed in that state. The weather's tough – hot and humid – but I have fond, fond memories of that state and I hope you will, too.

  • Holy guacamole, you don't do things by halves.

    Sounds like it's going to be fun. New situations call for new decisions so you'll have plenty to write about.

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  • You know, Steve, the resilient always prevail, and I'm sure you will find success wherever you land. You are the kind of person who throws himself 100% into the task at hand (learning German and Russian, learning new accounting laws, int'l tax and accounting, etc.). You'll be fine. And it will make for interesting reading for voyeurs such as myself. 😉

    Best of luck – and I'm looking forward to hearing about the life change!

  • You're right, it's amazing how things change so quickly and how we have to make decisions in a period of time we probably don't think is long enough. Though, I find that my best decisions when I have the least amount of time. One good thing is that the process has been fast and not drawn out, right?

  • Congrats on the big move, and I look forward to reading more of your ever-evolving story! 🙂

  • Chad @ Sentient Money

    Sweet. I love life changing events, as they seem to produce more in the end than merely sloging through the same routine for 10-20 years.

  • All the best in your next phase in life. After having lived such a rich and varied life so far, I wonder if there would be anything new in Florida. I'll be eagerly waiting to read about them.

    Best regards

  • All the best in your next phase in life. After having lived such a rich and varied life so far, I wonder if there would be anything new in Florida. I'll be eagerly waiting to read about them.

    Best regards

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