Seven years ago I started working at the San Francisco Chronicle call center while still in J-School, thinking it would be a foot in the door leading to the exciting life of a writer. While I did move up within the company, I soon realized that being a news reporter was nowhere near what I wanted to do with my life. Instead of finding opportunities elsewhere, I stayed. Because I liked the people I worked with, because it paid my bills, because I was used to it, and most of all, because I was comfortable.
I’m gonna go ahead and say that five out of those years I wanted to quit. Three out of those five years I was unhappy. Two of those three years, the unhappiness was almost unbearable. I always thought about quitting, but got scared. Until last November my fear for living a mediocre life overcame my fear of not being able to live the lifestyle I had been living.
What I failed to remind myself was that I could live a better life. Not necessarily one where I was rich (although I ain’t hatin!), but one where I got up in the morning and was actually excited to go to work. More importantly, a life where I was happy.
I’ve been unemployed for four months, and with the exception of a small handful of close friends haven’t told a soul until now (told you I don’t put everything on the blog). Mostly because I didn’t want to paint this glamorous picture of funemployment and then have my life fail to imitate art. There are days where I feel like an asshole posting pictures of me hiking along the coast while everyone’s behind their desk at work. Then there are days where I feel like a complete loser, lost in the world and behind in life. And call me crazy but happy hour isn’t as happy if you’re not coming from work.
I’ve applied to at least a dozen jobs, and can’t even get interviews for entry-level admin positions. Times are tough to say the least. But I still don’t regret quitting my job one bit. Not even when a friend has to pay for a $5.45 bowl of pho for me because I have to save what’s left of my money for rent. Because I’ve been busier and happier than I’ve been in a long time. I’m closer to accomplishing the goals I set for myself as a writer, was able to experience things I would’ve never experienced, and was able to meet people I would’ve never met had I still been at the Chronicle. While I couldn’t afford to go to Italy this month, I could afford to not have a job just long enough to get a career.
So if you’re reading this this Monday morning at a dead-end job, or are just unhappy with life in general, remember that nothing will change if you don’t first. I won’t even tell you not to be scared, because maybe it’s what you need. But as long as you have people that love, support, and BELIEVE in you – you will be OK. And don’t forget, “Only you can determine the amount of sacrifice your dreams are worth.” My dreams are priceless, and so far the sacrifice has only been not getting a mani-pedi every two weeks and missing out on a few Warriors games.