It happened – I gave my boss my notice. And as guilt-inducing as that was (see here for another example of how bad I am at telling people I Quit), I survived crying in a bathroom stall and emerged on the other side, a human being about to be unemployed and on the road, sans health insurance and care. Once again I’m filled with the complete Don’t Give A Fuckitude of purest freedom. Word has got around the office.
The inevitable reaction by every coworker of mine to the announcement that I’m moving to Austin next month is as follows:
Response One: “Wow! So do you have a job lined up?”
Answer: Nope! Pre-move job searches are for pussies, sir.
Here we have encountered a problematic mid-American assumption. Everyone in this neck of the woods worships at the altar of Stability. Stability is not a virtue, it’s a condition and a contagion. It’s the state of having your balls removed. Symptoms include total paralysis..
I know how much work change is, how it requires constantly deluding yourself about grass being greener and adopting an optimism you don’t normally possess. Why do I need a job before I go to that place I want to go to? I don’t! Will a gap in my resume render me unemployable, dooming me to a life of cheap prostitution and eventual death by sex crime? Sure won’t! Will moving to Austin put me closer to the music, beer, art and people I want to surround myself with? It will! Will that content me? I’m willing to roll the dice. The lure of Stability is strong, and I can’t lie and say that I never worry about careers or retirement plans or owning a pair of jeans that cost more than $20. Choosing not to do something that might, MIGHT make you happy because you don’t want to try? That’s some bullshit laziness, that is.
Response Two: Coworker looks wistfully to the sky and sighs, “Ah, well you can do that. You’re young!”
Why so many wists? For what are you wisting? You’re 35, Tim! You aren’t old, and I’m not young, and you’re not a tree, move where you want to, son! Take advantage of those god-given appendages and follow the warm gulf stream winds of your desire that whisper, “…southbysouthwest…..southbysouthwest….” in time with your heartbeat.
This whole Do Things While Your Young initiative is ridiculous, and also goes back to the stability issue. It implies that you’re making a mistake you’ll need years to financially and professionally recover from. It forgives you your ignorance, while ringing with longing. The speaker of this sentiment once came upon the same roads diverging in a yellow wood that I’m pondering now, and they, sorry they could not travel both, settled for the one that was not Interstate 35, South. No shame in that, though this route just happens to lead to beardy men, food trucks, patio day drinking and rocknroll music. Or, heaven.
Is this the last stop the Erin train will ever make? Unlikely. But it’s a new one, and that’s all I’m looking for. Quit your jobs and join me. Margaritas for everyone.