I’m sitting on the floor of my kitchen with Ethernet cords and routers all around me. The press is on the table with the smell of fresh pressed hemp in the air. This has been the day of internet and computer troubles for me. I hate troubleshooting internet issues. I despise when my technology fails me, because it seems to do this a lot! and oh man do we depend on it. I can’t get the WiFi to work, so I have to be hardwired to the cable box thingy. I’ve got to get some things done so this is what its going to take.
3 weeks ago I would have been sitting in my office with my 30 inch computer screen (this screen is bigger then my actual TV screen at home). I would have been sipping my Starbucks coffee, listening to Ani Difranco and quietly consuming my brain with printer operations and pre-press layouts. I would have been lonely in my office all by myself except for the hum of the printer and the occasional student popping in to print something.
I would have been sitting in my office thinking about all the things I wish I could be doing at home, all the work I was going to be doing that night after the kids went to bed instead.
This had become the norm. Work 8-5, get home by 6, race around for the next 2 hours to make dinner, clean up from dinner, take care of the house/yard, do animal chores, rest, shower, read bedtime stories ect. by 8-9pm get the kids in bed. After 9pm, spend the next 2-3 hours doing work for our business, catching up on house chores, trying to fit in some adult time/conversation, planning for the next day and… then SLEEPING. trying to get some sleep before waking up to do it all again for about 6 days a week. Saturdays and Sundays were spent running around trying to catch up from what was missed all week and prepping for the next week.
Just writing this sounds exhausting. Conversations were hard to have, they were hard to finish. We would be interrupted by children and chores and its hard to stay focused.
We would make lists and lists of things that need to get done, things that need to be figured out, things to buy, things to make, things to plan, things to talk about, things to think about it, things to save for, things to wish for, things to make lists for..
Small House was in its 2nd market season since its conception and we felt as if we were running with our heads chopped off. We attend 2-3 markets a week and have a pile of wholesale accounts. Small House was growing and could grow even quicker but we were struggling to keep up. We wanted to attend more markets but we couldn’t find more time to produce more product. We wanted to have more wholesale customers but we didn’t have the time to go sell/produce/deliver.
For months we played around with the idea of me quitting my job. We talked numbers and coordination and dreams and reality. We talked lifestyle changes and social norms and family reactions and insurance coverage and daycare expenses. We talked business dreams. We talked personal dreams. We talked about being able to watch our children grow and being there to see it. We talked about field trips and afternoon walks and bus stops.
Over the past years we had reduced our spending and our consumption a ton! We have reduced and limited and been frugal. We live simply and we knew that we could live a more wholesome life if I wasn’t pulled from my family over 75% of the week to a stressful work environment that was getting in the way of my lifestyle. It wasn’t adding to my lifestyle . It was distracting me from what really matters. Sure, I could drink my Starbucks coffee and sit in my own office with big beautiful views of campus. But I was missing out on moments that I couldn’t get back. I was stressed and running myself in to the ground. I was tired and my eyes were twitching and my back was hurting. I was a chicken with her head chopped off, trying to see through the dark, trying to grab for something that wasn’t in my reach in the state that I was in.
So in the height of busy moments, we made our decision. I put my two weeks in and was ready to finally see the light. Those next few weeks were insane. I worked a ton of extra hours, not only for my corporate job but for our business as well. As we prepared and as doors closed, others were opening. It was like the universe was lining up for change and it was working in our favor!
Don’t get me wrong though. I was scared. I told people I was stepping into the darkness. I didn’t’ even tell a lot of people that I was leaving my job. I told a few close family members and a few close co-workers but other then that I just left quietly. I was a typical corporate worker; Under appreciated and overworked, talked down to, never thanked, no pat on the back, no job well done, no “see you later”, no “please stay, we need you!” . Nope. Just a quick termination checklist later and I was gone. As if the last 4 years of my life had meant nothing.
I inspired others around me to reevaluate their situation as well. I had many conversations with fellow co-workers about how they were unhappy, stressed or tired of their current job. The problem most people have is they don’t like to change or take risks. It’s so easy to stay in your routine and your bubble and just keep driving away. Living check to check supporting your consumerism with each passing work day. You need a job to support your home yet you’re never home to enjoy it. You work all day to pay your car payment for a car that you have just to get you to work.
This is normal. Living check to check with no time off or time for personal and spiritual rejuvenation. Worn down and tired, drugged by caffeine to survive each day.
I was willing to take a risk that most others wouldn’t. I saw the potential in our business and wanted to watch it grow. So here I am, on the other side of the fence, with an open field in my future. So many directions to go in. So many new paths to make, ones to follow and ones to avoid. Keeping an eye on the distant horizon, we will continue to walk into the sun, holding steady and pushing on through the wind and rain. Its not going to be easy. Its going to be fulfilling and wholesome. Its going to challenge and invoke, its going to exhilarate and intensify and complete a part of my life that was begging for renewal.
Its something I just want to yell at the top of my lungs. I want to sing it in the shower. I want to blast it in the car. I did something for ME. I did something for my heart and my soul.
I QUIT MY JOB.
I stepped away from the madness so I can see the world in a different way.
I QUIT MY COMFY CORPORATE JOB.
So I can LIVE my life instead of being a zombie wage driver.
I QUIT MY JOB.
I’ve waited so long to say it. I was excited to tell you.
We are so excited to have these opportunities.
Beyond thankful for everyone around us supporting our dreams.
Proud for believing in ourselves and having the strength to let go.