I’m sitting on a transnational flight heading from San Francisco to New York City, to shoot for a few days on a web series project called Leap Year. Without getting into too much detail, it’s basically about some people who take the leap from the business world of steady employment and start their own businesses. The irony of this situation doesn’t escape me, but in case it somehow escapes you I will explain.
Almost a full year ago I was employed with a company that I had worked with for about 15 years. Thanks to 7-Eleven, HLG Films, and what some may call my own stupidity and short-sightedness, I quit that job and have been basically “unemployed” ever since. I’ve been getting work and making money off and on since then (thanks again to HLG Films, some random blogging assigments, and my unemployment insurance filling in the gaps between work), but for the most part I’ve been gradually getting used to the fact that I don’t go to work anymore.
If you’ve been working almost your entire adult life you may not understand this feeling, so let me do my best to explain it to you. You know that feeling you have when you wake up on Saturday (or whatever day starts your “weekend”)? That feeling of “Thank god I’m not working today!” tempered a bit with the thought that you actually have tons of shit to get done in just two short days off? You know that feeling on Sunday where you’re glad you’re not working but it’s kind of bittersweet because you know it’s a fleeting state of being, that you need to get to bed on time tonight because you’re due at work tomorrow morning?
Yeah, what I feel when I wake up in the morning is nothing like that at all.
See I don’t have a hard stop on my “weekend”, my weekend is every day. It took me some time to get used to that fact but it’s finally sunken in. I get work from time to time and have to show up on the set, and for the past few weeks I’ve been shooting almost non-stop, but those are the exceptions right now rather than the rule. It’s a glorious feeling knowing that every night when you lay your head down, the day you will wake up to is just as blank a slate as the day you just completed.
To be sure, I’m not working on a cure for cancer or planning to climb K2 or anything like that. My days are pretty mundane as far as that goes, but they’re fun and exciting to me and that’s all that really matters, right?
So almost a year ago I took a leap of faith that the assignment I was using as an excuse to quit my day job would not be the last one I was offered. So far that has worked out better than I think I was willing to admit that I thought it ever could, and I think it will continue to do so. Back then I said to myself (and even said out loud a couple of times) that I didn’t know if my grand crazy scheme would peter out in six months or a year, but if it did I would be happy with myself for just taking the chance and failing.
I haven’t yet had to settle for that compromise and at this point I’m confident that I never will, but no matter what happens, in the end I’ll always be satisfied that I took that chance and that leap. It’s a strange kind of leap, one where you just keep falling and falling and falling and never quite land, but it’s an exhilirating and exciting fall the whole way down. I just hope I make a me-shaped hole in the desert floor if I ever do crash to the ground, at least then I will have left my mark.