Happy Write Now

July 1, 2010

What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by happywritenow @ 2:33 am

Back on February 12, I quit my job. Yep, I knew we were in the Great Recession. Yep, I had a “good” job with benefits and nice salary and corner office with an awesome view. Yep, I kept telling myself I would be a fool to walk away from all that. But holy crap, I was so sick of office politics, BS, and trying to motivate myself to give a damn about a job with no future.

I had pondered making the move for months. In fact, the spark of true resolve came in August of 2009. I found out that my state had an insurance pool for poor souls without the prospect of corporate insurance. I know…what a pedestrian excuse for deciding to quit your job. But the idea of not being able to get affordable insurance was a hurdle—emotional, mental, and financial—that I could not make myself overcome. When I found out that I could get insurance no matter what, it was freedom and the breaking of my last excuse. In fact, in a move that probably wasn’t the smartest I’d ever made, I walked around my office telling anyone who would listen, “I can quit now.” And I said it with a huge smile on my face. I’m sure my coworkers thought I was nuts or daydreaming. But it really was a moment of revelation for me. It was the realization that I did not have to be tied to any place I did not want to be and that I could take the reins of my own destiny.

But it turns out my excuse bag had many more months of excuses in it before I could completely let go. Those awful, fear-filled questions we all go through before launching a new venture kept rolling around my brain. What if I don’t find work? What if I go broke? What if I end up looking like an idiot? What if my business fails? What if I lose my house? my car? my fill-in-the-blank?

So I finally had to ask myself: What’s the absolute worst that can happen?

Death? Maybe, but if I’m dead will any of it matter? No. Catastrophic illness? Okay, maybe that could happen too. But I decided to go on trust and faith that that wouldn’t happen. Poverty? Yes, that could happen, but I had already saved up 15 months of living expenses to make the transition as easy as possible. (Yes, I’m a wee bit of an overplanner sometimes.) I felt confident that I could dig in and make a go of it and my living expenses are pretty tiny. Failure? Looking like a fool? Yes and yes. Perhaps my business wouldn’t work and I’d have to tuck my tail between my legs and go begging around my network for a job. But that was a risk I was willing to take too. You have to step out to find out. And I was then (and am now) determined to find out how this story ends.

As I’ve said in my previous posts, I am all of 3 months into this venture. Some things have been awesome, some have been devastating. Just yesterday in fact, I found out that a client is reneging on a signed contract for which I had set aside half of my time in July and August. Here I sit with half of my hours empty for THIS MONTH and I’m having to do a last minute scramble to fill them.It made me mad and it isn’t going to be easy, but I’ll be damned if I’ll quit on this. You don’t quit the things you love.

Depsite all that, you know what? I am happier than a pig in slop. I love my life. I am happy write now (get it?). And determined to stay that way. I still don’t know how the story ends, but I like making it up as I go along.

And just so you know, the idea for this post came from the lovely Scoutie Girl site and this post in particular—a challenge to write about what you’ve learned from quitting.


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