I’ll tell you one thing about not having a job: it’s pretty awesome. I know my wife and my son thought it was pretty awesome, but the flip-side to that is my landlord probably wasn’t so thrilled about it.
After doing the 7-Eleven Road Trip Rally, I quit my job of 15 years. It’s was scary, fun, and exciting all at the same time. It lasted for about 18 months, during which time I did another road trip with 7-Eleven, shot a web series, made a national commercial, and filled the rest of the time volunteering at my son’s school and just hanging out.
I wish I could say I did something truly memorable in those 18 months, like write a novel or a movie or learn to hang-glide or something, but the sad truth of the matter is that just didn’t happen. I booked a lot of work and generally became a better, more talented, more hire-able actor, but that’s about it.
So now I’m no longer unemployed, I’m back working for the same company that I quit so many months ago. They were gracious enough to give me a job that I actually like better than my old one, that pays a decent salary, and that gives me some creative freedom in how I get the job done (though it bores me to tears sometimes and generally makes me wish I had a handgun permit).
That said, working again isn’t all that bad. One thing I noticed immediately after jumping back into the labor pool is how much I’d missed talking to people besides the wife and son living at home. I mean my wife is great: smart, funny, unpredictable; but after spending your whole day with each other, what else is there to really talk about? And my son, who is now 6, doesn’t talk about much besides various schoolyard injustices that have been leveled against him.
So getting back in the mix with adults that spend more than 60 minutes outside of my presence any given week was a real pleasing shock to the system. Who are these people, I would think to myself. How do they have experiences that are so different from mine?. It was a real eye-opener.
As anyone who has been working for longer than a week knows, your short-term infatuation with your co-workers and their different lives that they lead, wears off rather quickly. Everybody is just as boring as everybody else, in their own peculiar way. It turns out that nobody else spent their time off learning how to hang-glide, either.
So what does this all mean? I’m not sure, despite the fact that I’m the jerk that’s been talking about it for the past 400 words. You could say the grass is always greener or some such horse manure, but unfortunately all I really think I learned from my time off was this: other than not having any money, being unemployed is pretty fucking great.