I feel like I’ve been encouraging a lot of people to quit their jobs lately. I’ve always lived with the mentality that if a job is not fulfilling you in some way, then you don’t need it. I mean, yeah, bills are real and rent is due on the 1st regardless of how liberated you’re feeling that month. Responsibilities don’t go away, but I don’t think that’s a reason to chain yourself to something that’s draining you of that thing that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t think we have to sacrifice as much of ourselves as we do just to get a paycheck.
I have a tattoo on my wrist that says “Do What You Love” in huge, swirly print. I wanted that phrase somewhere where I had no choice but to stare at it every day. I wanted it to haunt me; because although I’m only 24, I’ve already spent so much time doing things that make me unhappy. Working jobs that made me miserable. Feeling stuck because I couldn’t see a way out of it. After I got the tattoo, I started seeing that phrase everywhere. “Do What You Love.” It’s a simple concept, but how many of us are actually doing that?
Recently, in addition to all of my writing projects, I decided to only work part-time gigs that are creatively fulfilling to me. Jobs that force me to be crafty and innovative, with bosses that are supportive and nourishing and kind. (Those bosses exist. They’re not mythological.) Working part-time and giving myself more time to focus on me and what I want is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a while. It allowed me to remember what’s important. To remember the way I thought my life would be (before I was jaded enough to know better) and try to get back to that.
There’s a lot of pressure to find a job that pays decently and just stick with it for the sake of a 401K. I’m not going to lie, that stability is a luxury; but it can also be very crippling. For people who are innately creative, we can be particularly allergic to the monotony of a 9-5. That’s why so many of us are willing to be “starving artist”. The goal is to find that thing that you want to do. That thing that gives you purpose, that drives you. Find the thing worth sacrificing for. In the meantime, even if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you know what you don’t like and what you don’t want. That’s progress. Just take it from there.