After I Quit My Job…
I feel good. I feel great, even!
As some of you may know, I quit my “9-to-5” job a little over four weeks ago. I’m not going to lie – my best instincts (and the instincts of many other people I know) told me not to do it. After all, the economy is still not looking great, my wife and I are paying a mortgage now (among other bills) and there’s no guarantee that anything is going to work out the way we want
I’ll be honest with you though – I’m tired of guarantees. In fact, the sooner you realize there’s really no such thing, the easier your life will be. That may sound very “down” and “gloomy”, but really, it’s incredibly liberating. I mean, who’s to say that my previous employer wouldn’t have decided at some point to lay off a bunch of people, including me? Who’s to say that I wouldn’t have ended up jobless and unprepared somehow? Who’s to say we’re not due for an alien invasion and the idea of a “job” is soon to be passe anyway?
I think you get my point. Anything can happen. I used to be the kind of person that needed absolute stability in my life. Here and there I still do – I mean I would like to know that I can pay the bills for the next few months. But that’s a simple piece of mind. When you’re sitting in a cubicle loathing every minute of your day because it just isn’t you, and your computer monitor is staring back at you saying that it will have learned a lot about you by the time you part ways 30 years from now, it’s difficult not to have a panic attack. Life was never meant to be lived sitting in a cubicle 9 hours a day doing something you don’t want to do just to pay the bills. We only get one life. Aren’t we supposed to do something with it? I tend to think we are. I’ve always felt that way. So what do we do?
The fact of the matter is that the most difficult choices you ever have to make are only that difficult because of one thing: fear. In the end, what is there to fear, really? Take my exaggerated example above – I could have chosen to stay at my job, unhappy but able to pay bills, and I could have ended up seeking new employment eventually anyway for any number of reasons. Maybe not, who knows? But once I made the decision to leave, life has never been easier. I removed fear from the equation and upon doing so found freedom. I allowed myself to let go for a moment and realize the only thing I was doing was choosing between one guarantee that didn’t exist, and another. What was left over was what would make me happiest. The choice, then, was easy.
Now, four weeks in, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have all the strategies and I certainly do not have all the execution. What I do have is time, and the knowledge that I’m dependent upon myself. No one else. It’s scary, sure, but it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s entirely up to me now whether I succeed or fail. No, there’s no guarantee where I’ll end up, but I like knowing that. I like knowing that I haven’t “arrived” yet. I’m not ready to arrive yet.
Because once you arrive, there’s nothing left to do. Who wants that? Thankfully, I have lots to do.
For instance, Joint Custody Productions is still moving forward with many of our original plans, primarily in producing our own work like the Topical Vacation podcast (and eventually its video talk-show compliment) and the sketch comedy show Common Sense for Dummys (which is now in season 2), but we also have many other plans in the works that include putting together commercials and music videos for clients in the Nashville area. None of these are coming together quickly, but it’s wonderful now to be able to really focus on putting these things together and get them moving along. I know it will take time, but we’ll get there. More faith than guarantee.
I’m also putting serious work into my first science fiction novel DreadWind, which is still currently scheduled to hit Kindle this fall. I’m looking into whether or not it’s feasible to get it onto other platforms, but we’ll see. There are previews available here on the website so please be sure to take a look and leave your thoughts. I have many other books and stories planned for the next few years, so it’s just a matter of how things pan out with this.
I haven’t given up on music entirely yet either – but I won’t get into detail about that yet.
Just to be clear, I didn’t expect that once I quit my job everything would just work out. That’s not a journey. That’s never what I wanted. I’ve always wanted my life to be a journey right up to my last day on earth. I didn’t expect that we’d have millions of views on YouTube or that we’d have a plethora of clients or that creativity would come rolling out of me like an uncontrollable river of lava – I knew this was going to take time.
What I didn’t expect was how easy it would be. What I mean is this: I already did the hard part. The decision to move forward with this was really the hardest part – the scariest part. I’m sure more scary and difficult decisions lay in front of me – it wouldn’t be very interesting otherwise – but I know I can deal with them because I already have.
I don’t know what’s coming next, but I don’t fear it. I’m looking forward to it.