The Wherever Writer

I Quit My Dream Job

Road sign "Travel at your own risk" caption: "Adventure calls. What are you waiting for?"

Yesterday was my last day at work. For most (some of my closest friends included), up until this blog post, you had no idea I was even thinking about resigning from what was my dream job, the job I’d been hoping for since senior year of college, the job for which I uprooted my life in Florida and drove 2,400 miles to California. If you’re upset because I didn’t tell you, please try to understand that this isn’t something that just comes up in conversation, it never felt like the right time, and I really needed to make this decision on my own.

Yes, working at a startup that seeks to help people was a huge dream of mine, and gosh was it a beautiful adventure. I have learned so many valuable skills and lessons; I had the pleasure of working with the most multi-faceted, generous, passionate people I’ve ever met; and my colleagues helped me build confidence in my abilities. Turning in my two weeks notice, saying goodbye (I preferred “see you later”) to my coworkers, and walking out of that office were more painful than I had anticipated.

But I have another life goal that I don’t want to keep pushing to the back burner. If I want to be a writer, shouldn’t I be writing?

Okay, now on to the big questions…

Why?

In abstract terms, I have another dream that just wouldn’t leave me alone until I pursued it. You know, the type of dream that pokes and prods at you while you’re trying to sleep at night, jumps and waves its arms around for your attention when you’re trying to focus at work, and makes you grin with joy just at the mere thought of it.

In more concrete terms, I am starting a business as a freelance writer, and I’m also doing photography and videography.  And yes, I have clients!

This blog has been a huge source of joy for me over the past eight months. I want to commit more time and effort to my writing here. I’ll also still be working remotely for the University of Florida.

How will you make money?

The same way we all make money, by working. It’s just that now I don’t work your typical 9-to-5-day schedule; I don’t have an office or desk I have to be at; and I’ll be doing what I love: writing and creating.

This decision was not made on a whim; it took lots of prayer and thought. I am aware of the potential consequences. After all, I had to pay my credit card bill yesterday; my car payment is due tomorrow; and my rent is due on Friday.  I live on the opposite side of the country from my family. I also happen to live in one of the top five most expensive places in the U.S. If I let it, the weight of this knowledge crushes me until I can hardly breathe.

But to me, what’s more terrifying than running out of money is looking back on my life one day and thinking, “Why didn’t I chase that dream?” So, here I am.

Even if I fail, I will not consider it a failure. Having said that, I have no intention of failing.

But…But Money!

Yes, I know, we’re all worried about how we’ll pay the bills. But over the past six months, I’ve learned that the most precious commodity we have is not money–but time. I can always make more money; I cannot make more time.

dangerous_risk
I love this image from Escapethecity.org.

What Can I Do to Help You?

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The most moving and unexpected thing keeps happening when I tell people I’ve left my job to pursue my dream: they ask how they can help me. One friend is letting me borrow his desktop computer for video editing because it has better processing power than my laptop; a coworker told me his wife owns a store and is looking for help with social media, and he said he’d recommend me; a videographer in San Francisco, whom I’ve never even met, has offered to teach me how to do animated videos. People I barely know are offering to support me in some way.

Normally, I would balk at the idea of asking for or accepting help. Why? Out of sheer pride. However, I recently watched a Ted Talk by musician Amanda Palmer that changed how I view accepting help from others. Please watch it when you get a chance:

“The perfect tools aren’t going to help us if we can’t face each other and give and receive fearlessly, but more important, to ask without shame.”

-Amanda Palmer

I am not saying  you owe me something or that I expect any help from you; I’m just saying if you want to help me, I’ll gratefully accept it. After all, aren’t we all where we are today partly because someone helped us?

So, here’s how you can help me:

  1. The biggest thing you can do to help me is wish me well and pray for me.
  2. You can also subscribe to this blog.
  3. Like The Wherever Writer on Facebook.
  4. Follow me on Twitter.
  5. Share my portfolio with people who’d like me to help them start a blog, write a marketing piece, photograph engagement shoots, portraits, or events, shoot and produce a video, etc.
  6. If you have any legal or financial expertise, I could use some of your advice.
  7. If you have a spare computer monitor lying around, that would be a huge help as well.
  8. Oh, and cupcakes. I will always accept cupcakes.

Learning to Trust

“I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints.”

-“Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

During my last conversation with my manager, I asked her if, back in September when she hired me, she doubted that I would make it all the way to California from Florida. I was surprised when she shook her head adamantly, smiled, and said, “Nope, I didn’t doubt it for a second.”

She told me there is a certain amount of “blind trust” that we must have in business. Back in September, she didn’t know me, and she had never met me except via Skype, but she trusted there was a connection, and she trusted me to follow through on my word.

She said that in entrepreneurship, there is a large amount of blind trust. I have to trust that this venture will work out. I have to trust that my clients won’t run out on me; they have to trust that I will do the work I promised. Perhaps most difficult of all, I have to trust in my abilities. It’s all about trust.

Today I go forth fueled by this “blind trust.” I cannot see what lies ahead of me, but I am saying to God, to my clients, and to the world…

“I trust you.”

P.S.

To all of you who have supported me in some way these past few days (you know who you are): Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Travel Quotes - Quit Your Job to Travel

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Amy, founder of The Wherever Writer, helps freelancers and bloggers make more and travel more. Join her FREE 7-day email course to skyrocket your freelance income fast!

21 comments

  • Good luck, Amy! I agree wholeheartedly with your decision to write and earn money doing it. As my former editor (with a Southern accent) once said, “Why would you ask a writer for free words? Would you walk into the butcher shop and ask the butcher for free meat?” Being a freelancer definitely requires some hustling, but it’s absolutely doable. And if your blog posts are any indication, you’ll have no trouble quickly turning around great stories for your clients.

    • Thank you, Cody! Your editor’s quote is awesome. Writing IS work and, as with any work, it is worth money and therefore writers should be paid.

  • Amy,
    You are incredibly brave! I believe in you and think you will do great things in this world. I recently applied to be on Roadtrip Nation and part of the final application was to interview someone we found inspirational. In our conversation she told me two things that have stayed with me and I’ll share them with you. 1. Sometime you just have to jump. Take the leap of faith because sometimes that’s all you. 2. Find purpose in EVERYTHING you do. You may not be living out your ultimate dream right now, but find the greater purpose in what you’re currently doing and appreciate the ways in which it will help you get to where you’re ultimately going. I think by reading this blog you’re definitely on the right path.

    I commend your bravery and look forward to seeing what that leap of faith will bring you! If you ever want to go on a self discovery adventure hit me up! I’m doing lots of those these days! :-))

    -B

    • Bianca–a fellow free spirit! I adore Roadtrip Nation, and I’m glad to hear you applied. Let me know how that goes (or went). Thanks for the beautiful words of wisdom from the woman you interviewed. That’s really what this feels like–jumping. I’m terrified of heights and of falling, and this is exactly what it feels like. It’s terrifying, but exhilarating at the same time. What are you up to these days? We should definitely strike out on a road trip sometime, or a flight to a different country. :)

  • Congrats on following your dreams! I agree, sometimes you have to make that first jump with some blind trust. It looks like you are doing great–I am enjoying your blog and hope everything has been going well! :)

    • Thanks so much, Jenna! Everything’s going great, and I LOVE that I now have more time to devote to my blog and to meeting others in the travel blogger community. So glad to have stumbled across your blog as well, and I’m loving all your posts–especially your beautiful videos! Enjoy Florida–and the rest of the world! ;)

  • And your hard work and leap of faith is and will keep on paying off! I love reading stories like this. They motivate and inspire others to do what they are passionate about and be true to themselves!

    Cheers,
    Will

  • Amy, I’m just seeing this for the first time and just wow! You are THE woman. Your bravery is truly commendable and an absolute inspiration. It makes my heart happy to see that the sweet friend I use to run with has grown into this fearlessly creative absolutely lovely brave soul of a woman. I’m so proud of you! I’m so excited to follow your adventure and hope and pray for the absolute best of days and success to you.
    Always,
    Lois

    • Aw, Lois! Thank you so much. It really means a lot to me. From what I hear, you’re going on to do beautiful things as well. Wishing you the best. <3

  • Amy, that’s a brave thing to do and an inspiration to most. Someone once said, “In life, if you do not build your own dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs.” Good luck and all the best.

    • Allan, thanks so much for the comment! I appreciate your support. I always tell people that it wasn’t so much that I’m “brave;” it’s just I decided my desire to pursue my dream outweighed my fear.

  • Good luck to you! I know the feeling and took the leap of faith last spring. It’s been exhilarating! The post is linked in the website section if you want to check it out.

    Where in CA do you live? I’m in SF.

    • Hey, thanks for the comment! I just read your post about leaving your job. That’s awesome! Sounds like you’re doing well!

  • Very inspirational. When you are finally willing to not be totally safe and do instead what you want, doors start opening, and people are so willing to help. Life is an adventure if you let it be. The flip side I think is being a generous person, with your time, talent, or money facilitates the giving in others.

  • I do realise that I am commenting on a very old post and by now you evolved and grown by the look of your website, so well done. Website looks great btw, easy on the eye and user friendly, well done on that too.
    I have just ventured into the very same world albeit at a different time of life with a established business as back up. I’m actually heading more towards the time of life where I have freedom for different reasons, youngest child about to head to university next year, now single (not such a bad thing), so I’ve moved my business to be able to work from anywhere and I’m currently in the French Alps for 2 months working,cycling and immersing myself in the culture.
    I’ve also just launched a “Working from Anywhere” community website that I’m really excited about.
    Really I just wanted to say I love your work and will continue to follow your journey.
    Cheers
    Andy

    • Andy, I definitely will check out your website! People are starting to realize there are alternatives to the traditional 9-5 desk job, as can be seen by the whole “digital nomad” movement. Congratulations on starting your business! Will keep in touch.

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