It seems appropriate to climb back on the blog horse as this week, I quit my job. For the first time in many years, I left without another waiting in the wings and with no safety net in place. As a 34-year-old with a twelve-year-dusty bachelor's degree in French living in the most expensive city in America, you might be glad you're not my parents.
My steady-like-a-rock boyfriend is quick to remind me that I am not going forward without a job. That, in fact, I am headed into the more challenging, riskier and harder-to-succeed-in line of work known as self-employed. A seasoned veteran of self-employment, he understands the reality and the real work it takes to transition in life from employed by others to employed unto yourself. As with the difference between renter and home-owner, there's no one to call when the basement floods, the roof caves in and the mortgage is due. In the land of the self-employed, there's no one doling out insurance policies, covering you on sick days or plumping up the bank account every other Friday. Well, hopefully there is one person: you.
Nevertheless, the overwhelming response I have gotten from friends is a resounding "Hell yes!" Everyone loves a quitter. Everyone who can imagine the elation of walking away from a job can vicariously get on board with quitting. I bet all the people who have walked away from the White House in the last year sure knowmasayin'. Quitting implies you have a vision, perhaps even a plan for the future, and are taking control of your destiny. As with me, this is true. For months I have been preparing to leave hospitality. I set an arbitrary financial goal, made it my deadline and set about achieving it, promising myself a few months off once it was mine. In the last week, however, more and more events were pointing me towards a revision: a visit to an art fair, a fellow artist's opening, a wrist damaged from the job I use to pay bills, an imprévu accident befalling a loved one, a friend taking an emergency trip to the hospital, a birthday party full of friends who have already made the leap. Everything was pointing to the same sign and that sign said: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Stop standing in your own way, Quillin.
So I am taking the leap. As of April, let my occupation read: Artist. At long last. With terror and excitement and gusto and good intentions for all, I go boldly into my own future.