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049: I Quit My Day Job
Wherein we discuss walking into the unknown.
On Thursday I quit my day job. Without a real safety net.
It might seem completely crazy to do so. It wasn’t an easy decision. I’m walking away from a promotion, more money. not smart right?
But it was the right choice for me. I said it was for “personal reasons.” Reasons I’ll discuss a little more in detail here, that maybe it will inspire you in some way to live a more sustainable creative life.
If you’re an avid reader of these newsletters, our tale began back in week 43 letter, wherein my panic attacks had suddenly returned due to the sudden and abrupt closure of the local production plant, where my “day job” had been located for the past 10 years. I and my team were safe working remotely since pandemic times, but yeah, a bunch of other good people got cut.
“It’s just business. Carry on!”
I’ve wrestled with this quietly for a few weeks now. In between dealing with some severe panic attacks and bad moods. I used to still feel excited to do the work every day, I saw opportunity in the chaos. I could see the light or the future of things.
And then one day on an 8am video call, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
I kept thinking as I struggled to concentrate with my hand rapidly clenching off camera….
“What am I doing here? I need to get the heck out of here.“
When you have a panic attack, it’s technically a fight or flight response. Most of the time, it’s a misfire. Most of the time.
But this time it felt like my body, my mind, was telling me…
“you need to get out of here!” and it was becoming so strong, I couldn’t ignore it.
An overwhelming feeling of “You’re gonna fucking die, dude.”
I started to worry heavily about things. I’d suddenly see articles about how this kind of stress could be a silent killer.
High blood pressure can lead to aneurysms, etc…
But not me right? I survived!
I’m getting promoted! It’s all good. Why am I freaking out???
Finally “Pulling the Pin”
In Steven Pressfield’s memoir I’ve been reading this past month, he explains how this was the phrase they’d use over in the Hobo/Tramp life. When transient workers on the fruit orchards would vanish from their bunks and no show up for their working shifts, they’d say “Oh, where’s Hank?” “He pulled the pin”
It comes from when train cars detach from the main train. You have to “pull the pin.” to detach.
Two things made me finally decide to pull the pin at my current day job.
The first is bittersweet and funny.
The second one is just sad, depressing, and terrifying to me.
#1 The RoboCop Meme.
So, the guy who originally referred me to this job, Zach, he was the Director of Production. He had been one of the main guys cut, but he has to stay to direct the “cleanout” of the facility through July.
I just couldn’t believe no offer was made to him to move or elevate. He did a tremendous job of getting this ship shape, and ran a great ship. At least from where I stood. I asked him briefly if he was staying and he said something to the effect of, nope, he’s now just a “glorified janitor”
This made me so sad to hear.
But Zach also has a sense of humor and stoicism about himself, which I love about the guy.
He posted this meme in January:
I mean. WOW. It was so hilariously sad. This is totally how it must feel. I can’t stop thinking about that meme. Zach deserved better than being made to feel like this.
And then… Doc Died.
Tracy “Doc” Reed was a Production Supervisor at the plant. I can’t say I knew him outside of work. But we had several great conversations and he was just always so upbeat and positive. He always thought what we did was pretty cool.
January 9th they found out the bad news about the plant closing. And in less than a month, on February 6th, Doc Died. A brain aneurysm I was told.
He was only 56.
Nobody can say for sure if it was the stress of losing the job that got him.
He may have never shown the stress on the outside, being the positive guy he was. Sounds kinda like me.
But I immediately thought about the articles I had just read that the almighty algorithm were sending to me (or the universe? you decide.)
The articles saying how losing a job can lead you to an early grave.
I mentioned the sad news to a colleague in a work chat… crickets.
Message Ignored. Missed? I dunno.
It felt like people had forgotten the HUMAN element in all of this.
That hit me hard.
You. Me. Zach. Doc.
We are NOT robots.
We are not our day jobs.
The panic/anxiety I had been feeling since January, what if it was my body’s warning sign to say it’s time to pull the pin?
And what if I keep ignoring it?
I ain’t going out like that guys.
I firmly believe we all create our own reality.
And it just didn’t feel right for me to stay, while others I care about are made to leave. My intergity matters to me. It’s that simple. Like I said… “personal reasons.”
So I choose to manifest something different now.
I’m taking a little time to see what’s out there.
Nothing set in stone.
Walking into the unknown.
Even though it’s a little scary?
The panic is gone.
And so that’s what I’ve done. I’ll stay on through March to help the team transition. But I just need to go in another direction. I think there are some fun adventures ahead.
Is there a better time to ask you to join the paid daily emails? https://www.drawordie.club/subscribe 😂
Today’s DRAWING CHALLENGE!
It’s day 26 of the 28 Day Drawing Challenge! And today’s prompt is:
“FUNKY WOOD ANIMAL KING”
I think this is the one I’ve been most excited to draw for some reason. I mean… C’MON!
I’ve been doing nightly giveaways as well for those watching as a thank you!
The last night I want to put together ONE big prize, so be sure to tune in Tuesday night. 8pm EST.
OTHER YOUTUBE RE-CAP:
In case you missed it, my recent video about the 4 MUST HAVE BOOKS for comic artists.
That’s all from me this week!
Appreciate everyone who reads all this.
See you out there in the unknown!
Stay encouraged. Stay courageous.