I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
- Jack London
I'm a big fan of Jack London, and I love this quote. It paints a nice partial picture of why my wife and I made such a drastic shift in our family recently. If you don't know much about this shift, read more about it here.
One day about two years ago
I was driving to work. I saw a guy next to me wearing a white button up shirt, probably kakis, and a face that screamed "only 24 more years of this $&@#%". For whatever reason something clicked inside of me. From that moment on I've been plagued by the image of a guy driving to work with a white shirt and fave that says "only 24 more years"...
I decided that I was tired of working a job, just to pay for a house, located in a place that we lived in because, that’s where the job was at, that paid for the house, in the place that we lived only because that’s where the job was at, a job that I worked to pay for the house, in the place that we lived in only because that’s where my job was at... You get the idea.
I didn’t want to get to end of my life and think “so that was it?
That’s what I did with my life?" I got a job, gave that job all my time until my kids got old and moved away from me, then I retired and finally had some time? I didn’t want to just exist, and I didn't want life to live me, which it was. My wife Danielle and I decided that we wanted to live a full life, a life that meant something significant, and we wanted to do it with our kids.
We wanted to live intentionally. We wanted to live in a way that showed our kids what matters most in this world in a way they could touch and see and sxperience. We wanted them to see the passion in how we lived, we wanted them to see that risks were worth taking when the risks mean something, and we wanted them to see purpose and conviction in how we lived.
That's a mouth full, but it's at least part of the reason my wife and I decided it was worth leaving a perfect job for uncertainty on the road.
I was talking to some friends of our's the other day about leaving my job, I told them that in a nut shell, I loved my job, I just didn't want a job anymore. They thought that was hilarious. What I really meant though was that, even though my job was great, it was to me, a job. It was something I did because it let us live in our house, a nice house, in a nice area, but we were living there only because that's where my job was, a job I worked to pay for the house, and live in the place that we lived because that's where the job was... And on and on again.
Today, we're moving into a life without a consistent pay check, without a 401K and without a benefits package or vision care. But it's a life of intentionality, and of purpose and passion. For sure you can get those things in a traditional life and job, and if you are, you're a lucky jerk. You should probably keep doing that, because I think it might be somewhat rare in our culture today.
To nutshell this article, I'll just say that I'm leaving my job to go on a little adventure. To follow a "one day" dream, and to hopefully live intentionally. We may fall on our face, we may limp back to suburbia, and I may wish I had my job back. But I can promise you, we won't regret it.