ISSUE Magazine

No commitment commitment by Irina

I sit down after collecting my cappuccino, and think to myself about putting an end to commitments.

Commitments such as agreements, contracts, relationships, and investments which remain for years into the future.

Let’s start with monetary commitments. They make large purchases feasible. Like that iPhone 5. Commit for a few years and I can get it for a fraction of the cost off-contract. (Wouldn’t it be nice to have the latest gadget, especially when you actually do need one?) Or renting. I guess it’s nice to know where I will be living for a fixed amount of time, owing a certain amount of money each month. Similarly with employment agreements and bonds. It’s comforting to know that I’d have a certain level of income on a regular basis.

I’m not denying commitments can be positive, but they can be harmful in the long run.

With the iPhone scenario, I’d be locked into using the same network for 24 months with a commitment to paying a certain amount of money per month. My overhead has now increased regardless of how my life changes in that time period. I’m not sure about you, but that idea doesn’t sit comfortably with me. Also, I’d hate to be stuck with a poor service provider. Paying $50 a month for two years for no service? No thank you!

Renting an apartment for a year or more at a time means I’m stuck in that apartment with no way out unless I break the contract (usually at a high price). What if my accommodation needs to change in the meantime? I can’t simply up and move as I’ve committed to living in the same place for at least a year and to paying a set amount of money. Again, it makes me uneasy.

If I’m working pursuant to some sort of employment agreement that is over a long horizon, it is difficult to then change my lifestyle to one that takes more time out for myself. Top that with commitments to things such as non-negotiable deadlines and client demands, and it would be quite a task to extract myself from it all when and how I desire.

The cappuccino I ordered is burnt and bitter. At least I’m only $3 out of pocket. I imagine myself as a cafe owner who had leased a fancy, expensive coffee maker. I would be stuck with the machine for the life of the lease, regardless of what my business conditions are, limited in my options to upgrade or scale back.

Sure, adapting to a lifestyle involving no commitments is not easy and not always viable. But it suits those who really value freedom over mere convenience. Like yours truly.

Imagine what life would be like without commitments.

Plenty of opportunities to reassess my life, my needs, and decide whether or not any current situation is right for me.

Thinking back, I was a completely different person doing different things with different goals just a few years ago. The variables that guided my life at an earlier time are different to what they are now, and will continue changing as my life goes on. I want the ability to adapt and grow, on my own terms with minimal limitations, in response.

So it’s decided. No commitments lasting more than three to six months. Let’s see how it goes. If it ends up not being quite right, hey, at least I have the ability to easily tweak this chosen lifestyle.

I’m committing myself to no commitments.

(Photo by namida-k on SXC)

Irina enjoys all sorts of writing including those of a legal nature (she’s a lawyer). She’s now compelled to insert the following disclaimer: “Everything in this work is fictitious and any striking similarity to real persons and situations is purely coincidental.” 

This entry was written by irinajt and published on 02/10/2012 at 19:18. It’s filed under Irina Tan, ISSUE5, Musings, Writings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “No commitment commitment by Irina

  1. Pingback: EDITOR’S NOTE #5+PODCAST « ISSUE Magazine

  2. I gotta ask…. If you are a lawyer, what would happen to your profession if everyone went no commitment?


    • irinajt on said:

      Hi Ghost,

      If everyone in the profession went no commitment (in the sense of commitment to clients, rather than ‘justice’ more generally) the nature of the profession will probably change quite a bit. But in my opinion some factors relevant to Australia to consider are: the distinction between solicitors and barristers, the general obligation of barristers to accept briefs from solicitors (in Victoria at least) and the distinction between a lawyer and a legal practitioner. A lawyer may not necessarily practice law. A lawyer may practice law if he/she holds a practising certificate (if this is the case, the term legal practitioner may more precisely describe the occupation). And let’s not forget supply and demand.

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