I've known a few bums in my time. Ski bums, flyfishing bums, beach bums, stinky bums.... Well, ok, I might have been joking on that last one (a little). By "bum" here, I'm talking about people who seem to make a living by, well, not making a living. People whose addiction to some specific pursuit (skiing, fishing, trail running, [insert any number of other pursuits here]), that they seem happy to sacrifice traditional career paths and skip from job to job, when they are employed at all, in order to support their addictions.
Recently, I've been unemployed. The unemployment has stretched out, despite a lot of time and effort spent in job searches. I've followed all the advice. I applied for EVERY possible job and had no luck (overqualified). Then, I started focusing all of my effort on applying for just those jobs for which I am most qualified. That hasn't worked either. So, what do I do? Well, I do run a lot. Along with meditation, I think it keeps me sane while I look for the next big step in employment, but I also wonder if it hasn't mellowed me out quite a bit, because now I find myself willing to sacrifice traditional career paths again. Of course, I'd like to think that this is because I'm just disillusioned/weary for now of all the striving for something that never seems to come to fruition.
Hmm... Too much navel gazing, perhaps...
Well, maybe not. I find myself seeking ways I can use my running to support my running. Of course, that's not the same as using serial employment as a means of supporting my running, but maybe it's a step along the path to becoming a run bum. Would that be such a bad thing? In any case, it's not entirely voluntary... Yet.