…and you wouldn’t be wrong. But you wouldn’t be entirely right either.
Wait! Before we go any further…
If you haven’t already, go check out my last blog post so you know what the heck I’m talking about.
It’s cool. I’ll wait.
Did you like it? No, I mean did you click the actual like button? And hey, why not follow me while you’re at it.
I’ve got time.
Well hey, there stranger!
Okay, okay I’ll stop messing around and get on with it.
No one likes being called a cheater, present company included. So why am I afraid you’re going to call me one?
If you recall from my last blog post, a year ago I quit my job to pursue my completely attainable dream of becoming the next JK Rowling.
It looked something like this:
Then it looked something like this:
Now it mostly looks something like this:
But I digress.
Most people have those pesky things called bills and trust me, I’ve got ’em too.
When I quit my job I didn’t have a trust fund or rich parents. Heck, my parents aren’t even middle class!
SIDENOTE: If my parents could have had me committed after I quit my job, they would have.
I didn’t have a working bae, or an awesome roomie to split expenses with and I definitely didn’t have the winning lottery ticket… but I did have something else.
Ten years of hard labor (okay, not actually hard nor labor) scanning and bagging groceries for a certain southern-based supermarket chain with AMAZING benefits. How amazing?
FREE FLIPPING STOCK AMAZING!
And I’m not talking about your standard 401k (although they offered that too). This was completely free stock given to me by the company JUST for working there. I think people smarter than myself call it an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan)
After ten years of collecting shopping carts and stock, ya girl was rolling in dough!
That’s more like it.
Ten years of stock came out to the tune of $29,000 – give or take.
Not too shabby, right?
Well, sure that money was supposed to be for my retirement and yes I did have to pay a stiff early withdrawal penalty and yes if it wasn’t for the money I never would have made it through my first official year as a self-employed writer.
I know there’s a few of you, or most of you, who are rolling your eyes at how ‘first world problem’ the last paragraph is. I don’t deny it. But that’s the thing, isn’t it?
Quitting your job to pursue your passion is a completely privileged thing to do.
But even though it’s a privilege, it sure ain’t pretty. And it sure ain’t for everyone.
If you’re thinking about quitting your job, you need to get real with yourself, and I mean “stop being polite and start getting real” real.
I’m well aware that this path isn’t for everyone.
Heck, this path might not be for me, but I’m on it and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.
And maybe I am a cheater but that $29,000 kept a roof over my head, plant-based vegan cuisine in my fridge (I know, I know) and allowed me the freedom to do the one thing I was put on this earth to do.
So what about the rest of my fellow, not-quite-starving, artists out there?
How do you pay the bills while working on your craft?
Am I complete idiot for cashing out my retirement?
Drop a comment below and let me know what you think.