Sometimes, I write to share what I know. Today, I just need to rant.
I fucking hate my job. It’s boring, pointless, soul-sucking garbage. I’ve written before that it’s awesome, and on paper that’s true – I get paid a lot to do interesting work, and I get to feel like I’m important because I kick ass at it. My job rocks, and I realize how much of a dick I must sound like when ~20% of men my age are unemployed, and 60-70% get paid less to do shittier work than I do. But in a way that’s the sad part – if you have a crappy job, at least you can dream of a better one.
More accurately, I hate the idea of a job. I hate spending eight hours of a beautiful sunny day in gray, fluorescent-lit cubicles and boardrooms. I hate wearing a shirt and tie. I hate that the baristas at my coffee shop know my order, so I get to start every day with a reminder that I’m a man of predictable routine. I hate pretending to be respectful of people who don’t deserve it. I want to spend my short time alive improving myself, learning about the world, and creating things that actually make a difference in the world, and I hate that in my eight-hour work days, I do none of that.
What’s a guy to do? Well, fucking quit, obviously. In two years of making good coin and living like a (promiscuous, alcoholic, wanderlustful) Spartan, I’ve saved up more than enough for a backpack and a plane ticket. I could take a leap of faith. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve already got. If, after 1-10 years of trying new things, my heart truly yearns for a return to my Aeron throne, it’ll still be there. Waiting.
Is it obvious to you yet that I should quit my job, excuses be damned? It was obvious to me too. Which is why I made the decision, and pulled the ripcord.
But when is life ever that simple?
Rather than let my career self-destruct in peace, my manager threw a shit-covered wrench into my plans. He offered me a three-month leave of absence. No? How about a year? Why would I quit, he asked, when I can have all of the upsides and none of the risks, by taking a leave?
And he’s right. There’s no logical reason why I shouldn’t take one of those options. Neither includes any commitment to come back. But how else can I force myself to actually go out and put 100% of my energy into my goals (the first of which is to figure out exactly what they are). If you put your cat next to a lake, and it doesn’t go in, does that mean your cat can’t swim? Maybe. But you’ll never know for sure unless you pick the cat up and throw it into the middle of the lake, and force it to choose between swimming and drowning. Better yet, if you tie the cat to a cinder block first… but I digress, because I fucking hate cats.
So that’s why there’s a large part of me that just wants to say fuck off, take my red stapler, and set the building on fire. I want to cut myself off from the temptation of mediocrity.
But, contrary to my fuck-the-world blog persona, I’m not completely immune to the siren songs of stability, safety, and conventional success. There’s opportunity out there, true, but there’s also a cottage industry of Tim Ferriss acolytes who will tell you that everyone can earn infinite cash with zero time investment, if they just take the leap of faith and try. Somewhere between them and the debbie downers, lies reality.
Regardless of which choice I make – a three month, one year, or permanent vacation from my job – Semester #2 of the Freedom Twenty-Five PhD will begin in September, and it will not be spent behind a desk. Will I sack up and quit my job, like a retard? Or will I take the smart, logical path of taking my manager up on his one-year leave offer… like a coward? Tune in next week to find out, because I sure as fuck don’t know.