“I can’t do it, I can’t make it. I know I should just tough it out, but I’m just not strong enough. Yeah maybe it’s just temporary but I can’t stand it.” These words and words like them keep going through my head every single day that I have to go to work.
Last Monday I had a breakdown at work and had to leave at 11am, less than 2 hrs into my work day. Before that happened I had enjoyed a long weekend off and spent it back in my college town with my friends to see them graduate. I felt so free over the weekend, I had nothing telling me where to be or what to do. I wrote on Friday and socialized a lot with new members of the lab I used to work for in college. Being trapped back at the office on Monday was soul crushing. I felt like I had a 200 lb weight on my back and every step through the office was unbearable.
After I left I felt a huge relief, I saw people walking through the streets and thought “Man, these people’s lives must be great, they don’t have to be anywhere on this beautiful day.” I conveniently ignored the fact that they are most likely unemployed, work odd hours, or would love to have my job. I don’t know them or their lives, and it doesn’t matter, I know my life and I know that I like having control of my time. That’s really what this path to financial independence is about, I want to be able to be in control of my time and not have to spend 9 hours a day behind a desk for the next 40 years.
Is working for 7 years and saving as much as possible really the best way to achieve that goal? After a re-evaluation and an emotional break down, I don’t think it is. When asked by my friends on my long weekend “What will you do when you’re retired?” I answered “I’d probably read, write, live frugally, and exercise. Maybe work some odd jobs for fun, I could be a flight attendant, or an organic farmer. Maybe live in an RV to cut expenses and be able to travel more.” Since my plan was to live a lifestyle of enough and continue to work anyway, but on things I’m passionate about instead of high paying mind numbing work, I started asking myself what if I just skipped the whole save up and have a safety net part and jump to the work on something for fun part. I enjoy safety just as much as others, probably more since I inherited my mother’s painfully risk adversed mentality, so not having a safety net is scary. However, I don’t think it has to stop me from quitting my traditional career path. In some ways I do have a few safety nets, they were listed as my exit strategies in a previous post.
I don’t really have a plan for what I would do, how I would do it, or even what “it” is and how I will know I’m successful at “it.” I do know that I want out of this office job, I would like to make it until August so that I will have an honest year of work under my belt, and the savings from now until August would throughly pad my break free safety net. I think if I have a goal in mind and know that the end is coming, even if it’s 2 months away, then I can get through working this job that I am less than passionate about.
Change is coming to my life and this blog. I know that I don’t want to live a traditional lifestyle, at least not for now. This is honestly terrifying for me and I don’t really have a plan. I will formulate one and share it with you soon. Stay tuned!
 That conversation was paraphrased despite that fact that quotation marks were put around it.
Update: This article was almost completely written on Wednesday of last week. I just never published it because I didn’t feel like it was polished enough. It’s now Thursday of the next week and big things have happened, I’m still a little fuzzy on my plan but I wasn’t able to make it until August, I got into work Tuesday and knew that I wasn’t going to be able to tough it out, so I quit. I will have more details on this Monday so check back then. If you think you will forget to check back there is a place to subscribe on the right of this page, this will email the article straight to you so you can check it out there.