You know that sound that money makes?
That sweet “Ka-ching!”, or that SMS from your bank on the 1st of every month, telling you that your salary has been credit to your account… it’s some feeling, isn’t it?
Well, I gave that up.
For my 25th birthday last month, I gifted myself two things: A spanking new phone and joblessness. Both are working out extremely well, thanks for asking. Fun fact: I did the exact same thing when I resigned from my previous job. You’d think frugality would be the order of the day considering my bank account wasn’t going to grow anymore. But hey!
My colleagues told me I was privileged. They had rents to pay, expenses to bear for daring to live a life away from their hometowns and a lot of online shopping to do. I, on the other hand, lived with my parents (who still gave me an allowance, BTW) and could afford to survive without a job. Worst/Best case scenario, I’d find a nice guy and get married, and probably wouldn’t have to work another day in my life.
Their words didn’t make sense. So what if i didn’t need a job? Do all actions arise out of need? What about wanting to work, the idea of independence, the enjoyment in what I do? I worked because I liked what I was doing and the people I was working with. Once these two things started diminishing, I chose to move on. Was that so frivolous?
I remember being asked if I was serious about my career. I was working a near 10-hour shift, dealing with impossible superiors, had to bring work home on weekends or on vacations and was the subject of several fights at home. I was hardly reading any books, which anyone who knows me would deem blasphemous. I hadn’t written anything worthwhile in a very long time, which was ironic because my blog was paramount in landing me this job. All this when I could have easily been sitting at home without anyone beseeching me to get a job. Does that sound serious enough, career wise?
Not like I am complaining about my job. I am aware there are much more stressful work environments and frankly, my workplace was fun. I enjoyed what I did with colleagues who had turned friends: the after-work drinks, the brainstorming sessions, the adrenaline rush when presented with a challenge, the euphoria when you’ve accomplished something and the sweet taste of victory when you’re ladled with praise. But there were other things that I enjoyed doing too: reading, travelling, writing, watching my shows, losing that weight. I was a total sucker for work—life balance, and suddenly there wasn’t any of that.
Maybe, I was abysmal at managing my time. Maybe, I was making a big deal out of something trivial. Maybe, I could have done something to make it better. It all boiled down to priorities. And so, just because I could, I quit.
Now here I am, eating breakfast an hour before midday as I binge-watch my favourite shows off the list. I am reading two books simultaneously—not brisk reading, really taking my time and reading—one paperback and one eBook. I have written more blog posts in one month than I ever did in the one year that I started my blog. My late nights involve doing what I love .The long overdue gym membership has finally happened and travel plans are in full swing. The home atmosphere is peaceful (except for mom, who just wants me to get off my laptop and clean things all the time).
Is it that bad? Sure, I splurge a little less on myself (trying to survive off the money left in the bank account and my monthly allowance), order two drinks instead of three because I am not earning anymore, and meet my work friends a little less often than I used to before. I refuse to get out of my sweatpants unless absolutely necessary. Lethargy is in abundance.
What I do now, is focus singularly on my one true passion: writing. What I do now is dream a little bigger than a salary hike in my next appraisal cycle. I think that’s a good enough bargain, isn’t it?
PS: I would love to know what you think! I promise, all praise and encouragement will be appreciated; all criticism taken in stride! 😛