I started this post with the title, and already I can see where I might get myself in trouble. First off, I’m not suicidal. I chose that title for a reason. Bear with me, it will all make sense later; I promise.
It’s been about three months between releases and though that’s not awfully long, I don’t write opuses, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t have new content out. I feel like I owe an explanation for the delay, so here it goes… I’m quitting life (there’s that title again). Not life in general, but the life I have lived since turning eighteen.
I use to have a very 1950’s view on the American dream. By the time I graduated high school, I worked four different jobs. That’s no exaggeration, though I’ll admit it didn’t last long. A weekly sleep allowance of thirty-five hours wasn’t working for me. After about a month of this routine, I had to drop two of the jobs, but I made enough money during that time to buy an engagement ring for my high school sweetheart. About seven months later, we were married. The wedding and honeymoon were mostly paid for by myself and new wife, so it wasn’t extravagant.
Within another six months, I was still working two jobs, but I switched out a minimum wage job for a sales job making about 40K a year. The new job allowed us to purchase our very first home. And there we had it… the American dream; all within one year of graduating high school. Most of our friends were just now deciding if they wanted to go to college, and here we had already achieved what takes others a decade. And we did it with little to no help.
It didn’t last long though. About this time, the economy crashed. My wife lost her job, forcing her to take a minimum wage job. At the same time, I lost both of my jobs as well, which put me on a cycle of working as a contractor doing whatever I could to bring food to the table. I worked a lot of odd jobs during this time; from retail, to factory work, to eventually driving a forklift. None of these paid well. We were barely scraping by before I landed a job at a call center making a decent living wage. My wife decided to go to college, and she worked full-time while going to night classes. She is now the first person in her family to graduate with a degree (proud of you pretty girl!).
Through the years, we have worked our way back to the point where we can support ourselves without fear of losing everything. We live paycheck to paycheck, but we don’t have to wonder how we’re going to pay for gas to get to work, or budget in a pair of shoes months in advance anymore. I guess you can say we got comfortable. As we grew more comfortable financially, we both grew uncomfortable in life. Neither of us like what we’re doing. To borrow from Tyler Durden, we work 9-5 jobs that we hate, for shit we don’t need. Besides the fact that we have student loans to pay for now, and are not growing financially, we want more from life. My wife dreams of traveling to new places and helping people for a living. I want to be a writer and create for a living. In short, we both want to unplug from a system we don’t believe in anymore.
Now, looking back, what I’ve told you so far sounds like a bitchfest… Believe me when I say it’s not. I am grateful for what we have and everything we have achieved. In truth, our story has been a testament to what is possible in this country even without college degrees (I’m in school now, but haven’t utilized it as of yet). But life is short. Neither of us wants to spend a majority of our lives doing shit we hate. That’s why we’re quitting life (sensing a theme yet?).
One day we got together and brainstormed ideas to get what we both want out of life. We both agreed, that the quickest solution was to get out of our mortgage. After the market crashed, we instantly owed more than our house was worth. Now that the economy has recovered, we can actually make a small profit. Which brings me all the way back to why I don’t have a new release this month. We just, within the past two weeks, closed on our house. We didn’t even put the house on the market and yet we had it sold within three months of coming to the conclusion we needed a change. We made a small profit and used it to pay down a lot of our debt. Now, we’re saving and working towards our dreams. Within a year, we plan to completely unplug from the 9-5 system and become self-sufficient.
Both my wife and I still kept our day jobs. I’m also still in school, so I’m not completely free of responsibilities to focus on writing, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’ll admit the change so far has been scary… but also exciting. I can’t wait to see what we’re able to achieve in this next year.
Now that that’s all out there… Quitting life. I actually got that title from a friend. When my wife and I told him our plans, he was very supportive. In fact, we wouldn’t have been able to move in time if it wasn’t for his help (thanks, Zack!). When he explained what we were doing to others, he explained it as we were “quitting life”. It became an inside joke between the three of us, and so I found it appropriate to use the title.
As far as content is concerned, don’t worry. I’ll have a new release in September. Those of you on the list will get a heads up on the release date and it will be free for that first couple of days. Now, that I’m settling into a rhythm, I’ll have more content on a regular basis.
Until then, cheers and happy reading!