Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Quit My Job to Live the Life I Want

I quit my job.

Even though I've quit, I feel like I should be working in a conventional fashion. But I've done this and it doesn't work for me.

I'm worried that my inaction, or lack of convention, will corrupt my savings. I'm scared that I'm not making any steady money. I'm concerned that I'm going to deplete everything I've saved up over the last two years without making any progress. Does anyone else share this?

Before I left my job, I told myself that I would save 10 thousand dollars. I didn't reach that mark. It became too unbearable to wait that long. I reached a little over half of that, but believe you me, it goes quickly when it's not coming in, even if you're a spend-thrift at heart like I am.

Maybe, the reason I didn't ultimately meet the 10 thousand marker is simple: because my objective with it was to be okay! There's nothing inherently wrong with this. But wait:

My life is okay. In fact, my life has ALWAYS been okay. 10 thousand certainly doesn't define who I am.

Besides, truthfully speaking, I'd LOVE to have more than 10 thousand dollars. I would love a million. More! Wouldn't you?

Please don't occupy me for this.

However, more than the money, without my job, I feel like I should ALWAYS be doing more. Do you share in this too? It's like filtering monumental inadequacy through outlandish productivity. Maybe this is just because I'm use to having some measuring stick like grades or a project workload.

I guess what I'm really after is this: how do i let this feeling go? How do I just relax and go with the flow and live the life I want to live while trusting that everything is going to be okay? I can't stop acting altogether, can I? Do I just trust that the life i imagine is waiting for me? How do I make an equivalent living while working more personally, reasonably, healthily, and significantly and doing what I want? Also, how do i put a little more away for another rainy day? After all, I wouldn't be here if I hadn't spent the last two years working in a corporate job AND if i wasn't the habitual saver that I tend to be.

My biggest fear: is that I'm going to blow my two years of hard work before making any deeply impact-full  changes. I want to move out of Chicago eventually. How can I do that without a pocket of change?

Faith in myself, I suppose.

In spite of everything I've just said, let me add this: since leaving my corporate job, I've launched my first-ever acting and Voice Over website; I've dusted of dormant video footage for an on-camera acting Reel; I've thrown that footage to a friend to edit the Reel (I should be seeing it next week); I've booked another smaller--albeit paid--Voice Over gig; I've built a connection with a potential VO client; I've booked an audition with another Chicago talent agency AND I have a signing with a different agency in a few weeks. In all, I've done quite a bit.

So...while I'm not making the money I once was, I'm taking the time to plant the seeds for other endeavors and sources of income to grow. (It kind of disgusts me that I just used that expression, but there is some truth in it). Will these endeavors grow? I really don't know. But that won't stop me from nurturing the hell out of them.

Worst case scenario, I learn...a lot.

Post Script Confession: I spent more than 30 minutes working on this post. I'll do better tomorrow.


  1. Wow, Sam! This is an amazing leap of faith you're taking, but if you don't do it now, when will you. It's your life, live it!

    I just read this article about creatives and uncertainty, you may be able to glean something from it:

  2. Thanks, Cassie! Great article.

    I particularly love this: "Happy, successful entrepreneurs ritualize everything in their lives BUT their creative work." That is so hard to do! On both ends! In some respects, I adhere to the former: I eat the same meals at roughly the same times each day; I make food for the week every Sunday night; and I write once a day (although the time is not set). But, with that last one, my ritualizing tendency could be shifting into my creative play.

    What will help? Practice, I suppose.

    Alright, off to eat my plain old boring breakfast of broccoli and eggs!

  3. I'm a fan of constructive worse case scenario thinking. Most often I come to the same conclusion you did: I might have to learn...a lot.

    Look forward to reading more.

  4. Thanks, Chris. And I agree: constructive worse case scenarios are incredibly helpful at dispelling inflated, and often times unnecessary, fear. If nothing else, it puts the problem into perspective. And often that perspective boils down to this: well, maybe I'll just have to learn and see.

    Thanks for the comment!