I left my day job.
It was a decision made up in my mind almost a month ago, actually.
At that pivotal moment, I felt something real that is hard to explain – but I tried my best as I typed these thoughts on a page…
I quit my job today.
I’m writing this before I’ve even called my manager, or told my wife.
I’m writing this as I just realized it in my own mind.
I’m writing this as I’m putting together a House Tour in the Apartment Therapy queue, and making final edits on a few images.
I’m writing this because I realize that what I’m doing this very instance (writing, telling stories through pictures, hoping to inspire as others have inspired me) is what I love.
I’m not really sure how good I am at this, nor am I sure how good I can be at it.
I think the only way to find out for sure is to dive in head first.
To do that, I need courage.
Courage all the people I’ve met in the past year have given me.
Courage to take a leap into a river of unknown without knowing all the variables or answers.
Courage to trust that I won’t hit rock bottom, but instead float right back above water…revitalized…but most of all free.
The depths of that freedom are just beginning to sink in.
I had a great job. It paid well, had great benefits, and I worked with great people. There was really nothing at all to complain about. Which is precisely why it was so hard to make a decision to leave it.
Leaving seemed almost selfish. Most people go their whole lives without ever having a job like that. What makes me so special to think it wasn’t good enough?
That’s the question I struggled with the longest. Until one day, a friend of mine explained it to me. After opening up to her on my inner conflicts with work and art, I asked her that very question…
“What makes me so special to get up and leave a perfectly good job?”
To that she responded succinctly, confidently, and without hesitation, “your talent does.”
I’m a fairly unassuming person, and it’s hard for me to say or arrive upon statements like that. But, those words hit me square in the nose.
They leveled me.
Now it seemed selfish to not see where whatever talent I have may lead me. From that day forward I started thinking about when I would leave my day job versus debating if I ever really would.
So here I am, free but definitely not alone.
I’ve been fortunate to meet so many talented writers, artists, designers, and creatives this past year that I can’t help but feel like the era and place we live in now is not too dissimilar from the one glorified in the film “Midnight in Paris.”
I’m not saying we have a future Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or Dali among us but we do have something special. We have something here in Austin that is greater than the sum of each of us individually.
Here, we have a community.
A community of people so willing to learn, collaborate, and cause change that we very well may.
What resonated the most with me in “Midnight in Paris” was the conjecture of Golden Age Thinking – the idea that we often romanticize and dream about a more fantastic time before us without realizing how truly special the present is.
I feel like we’re in a bit of golden era now. My eyes have been opened to it the past year. I can’t unsee it. I can’t go back. I can’t see the opportunity right before me and not want to be fully consumed in it.
I’m leaving the desk job I’ve worked most of my life for to pursue a dream – a dream that may somehow be what I was meant to do all along.
I’m leaving it to join the creatives who’ve taught me that there’s more to life than acquiring things.
I’m leaving it to join the renaissance going on right now, right here in Austin.
I hope those I’ve met, and speak of, accept me with open arms. I hope they count me amongst them. Because together… in a city that is accepting, a community that cultivates, and an age where we are only limited by ourselves, I think we can do some great things.
As I write this I can’t shake the image that all the creatives I met are all gathered around a table somewhere – smiling, laughing and enjoying this moment in time that perhaps not everyone can see.
It’s a beautiful sight, glowing in a golden light, and I can’t wait to finally do more than view it from the outside.
Hold a seat for me, friends…maybe even order up my favorite cocktail.
I’m on my way…to create, to collaborate, to dream.