Two months ago I quit my job to be a writer.
I had been a marketing manager for an outdoor adventure company. Before that I was fundraising for non-profits. Before that I completed a Master’s degree and was teaching at a university. Before that I was a missionary traveling most of Central and Eastern Europe.
The first question people ask me when I tell them this is, “Why?” usually followed by a few of these: ?!?!
I live in the Midwest where most people value getting married young, having kids, then doubling down on this pastoral existence for the next 30 years by signing up for a mortgage.
Needless to say they don’t understand my high tolerance for risk or need for something more.
Not that I don’t want to get married, or have kids, or have a home. Just that…well, I don’t want my career to just be the means to the end. I want all of it to fit together like some vagabond dream that will take me around the world, culturally educate my children, and fill my marriage with a never-ending adventure.
So why did I quit my day job, eschewing things like security, reliable paychecks, 1.5 acres of pristinely manicured lawn, etc?
My answer, in its most simple form, is…why not?
I grew up being taught that going to college will get you a good job, which will then give you the freedom to buy a house and raise a family.
But here’s the thing…that didn’t happen.
I didn’t find Mr. Mandi.
The idea of buying a house makes me sad because, to me, it means staying in one place for 30 years.
And whenever I did find a nice job it only took 6 months before I started getting bored and wondering if this was all there was to life.
So that’s why I quit my job to be a writer – so that I could write my own rules, but mainly so that I could be an inspiration. Because this kind of life isn’t just for young people, or single people, or people without kids or people without financial obligations. Given the right preparation, motivation, gumption, and, yes, a bit of tolerance for risk, living life by your own rules – whatever that may mean for you – is possible for anyone.