I quit PR to become a freelancer.
In two weeks, I will be an unemployed, uninsured, confused twenty-something surviving off rice crackers, hummus and cheap coffee, all to sustain my love of writing.
If you’re wondering what prompted me to quit, it started with a “gut feeling” that hit me like a Diet Coke burp on Monday night. I guess you could call it a “divine Diet Coke burp premonition”, which led me to realize that I need to rethink my happiness, life goals etc. While my premonition turned into manic excitement in the fury of writing my “See ya later, it’s been swell!” resignation letter, I neglected to consider the anticipated next question: WTF will I do now?
While the gravity of abandoning corporate protection has yet to hit me like a hernia, I now have two weeks to emotionally, financially and spiritually prepare myself for the wilderness of freelance writing. To do this, I’ve made a “To Do” list.
1) Sell all my semi-valuable things including 1 half-used Aveda shampoo and 1 bottle of Chloe perfum
2) Become a neighborhood dog walker for C-list celebrities in Chinatown
3) Give birth to a child ASAP and become a swaggy mom blogger
If my calculation for living serves me correctly, this could potentially pay for my rent for the next 3 months (excluding the cost for children).
But what about after that?
I have absolutely no clue how I’m going to re-start my career, and I’m okay with that, but a little timid. Sometimes you’ve got to survive the uncomfortable turning point to find professional fulfillment – flexible hours, adventure and creativity, yo! I know I’m dreaming big, and even with the “Hasta la vista!” to the luxury benefits of medical insurance, massages and cavity fillings, I feel like a wild 2,000 lb. horse galloping into freedom.
Until my official last day as an Account Executive on January 30th, there are potential survival threats I must face before I throw myself into freelancing. The reality is that in one month’s time I could very well find myself half-conscious, lying in the back of the 501 streetcar, selling collector TY Beanie Babies for $10 to commuters.
I could be famished after four low-budget weeks of scrambled eggs, flavored oatmeal and pasta, and could fall terminally ill with a rare, untreatable disease. And if my intestines rot from the expired milk in my Cocoa Puffs, I won’t be able to afford to pay for antibiotics, or dental surgery or cavities or whatever.
Alternately, I may be struck by a reversing Semi Truck on my commute to Dark Horse Espresso Bar and won’t be covered for immediate surgery so I’ll bleed to death on the salt-covered sidewalk. Not to say that my life as a freelancer would turn into Final Destination. But it could.
For anyone who is currently a freelancer, they’re likely reading this and laughing at the insanity of my pressing fears (namely, to starve to death before I see season 3 of House of Cards on Netflix). But this is what I’m thinking about. Now that I’ve left the cozy playpen of the corporate life, I’m entering the post-apocalyptic wild of paycheque uncertainty.
Until now, I’ve followed the boring & safe path of stability, without much time to figure out what I actually want from any of this. I’m about to find out.
Onwards and upwards, as they say in the corporate world!