I talked to Lindsay on Skype yesterday. She reminded me of an ideal we subscribed to starting around middle school; we decided that in college and out in our twenties we would live on Ramen noodles, tuna sandwiches, and other dollar-a-day type fair.
It's a romantic ideal, in my mind, and Mitch and I need all the help we can get paying off those student loans. Drip coffee black or with half and half, eggs, cheese, milk, bread. No cigarettes. Cheap (well, cheaper) beer. Taking sack lunches or granola bars into the city. Gin and tonics from home in water bottles on the train. Going to the park for fun. Cheap to free. Thrift stores.
The idea being able to beat the system -- does anybody else think in teenage language like that? because I haven't been able to get away from it -- denying advertisements and consumerism and all that demands more time to more work to make more pay to buy the things it says make a life. Houses. Clothes. Cars. Bigger and better.
The strategy is to take the other side, the spending less money instead of making more, and being happy doing it. Some kind of modern asceticism for no religious reason. Showing that we can have freedom (again with the language that I should be too old or too educated for. I should be jaded against words like "freedom" but they exist in an encampment in my brain. Turreted and sending flaming arrows against any attempt to remove them.) from material baggage and unnecessary spending. So that when the time comes, we can get up and leave: to travel, to quit, to move. (Lindsay and Mat moved all their possessions inside a compact Toyota.)
Stubborn. Something to prove.