Wanting Better Amid the Already Good
for two years, i thought often and hard about quitting my day job. fortunately, this longing to pursue other career opportunities and dreams wasn't fueled by poor relations with my coworkers or boss and didn't revolve around the lack of financial compensation or appreciation for the things that i did. i had good coworkers, a good boss, compensation, and appreciation and i knew that my situation was one not shared by many people in our country. i was grateful for these things and yet still struggled with a growing dissatisfaction in spite of these things. this conflict of feeling often left me wondering, was i inherently selfish for wanting better amid the already good?
today marks day 3 after having officially left my day job in order to help strengthen and grow the efforts of this fine photography company; the result of my beautiful wife's hard work and indisputable talent. today marks day 3 of the fruition of a dream rachel and i both hoped would come true in one way or another since before we were married. today marks day 3 of better realizing the reason why i was continually left wanting at my, now previous, day job. the abridged conclusion (don't worry! i'm sure i'll share the unabridged version at a later point on this blog) is that i wanted to self-actualize more. put another way, i wanted what i was capable of to better align and correlate to what i was actually doing on a day to day basis. for me, true fulfillment in my work life could not come solely from the reasons i described above. there had to be that sense of growing self-actualization present for fulfillment to bloom.
Keep Your Day Job...For Awhile.
i realize that my "self-actualization conclusion" is not a particularly unique story told, however what helped me reach this conclusion was. i realized that being patient at a day job, that often left me considering other opportunities, gave me a platform from which to evaluate "the why" of why i wanted something else. my day job served as a helpful comparison point from which to weigh ideas and dreams. what didn't my job have that i was burning for? what did it have that i wanted to replicate? what skills did it afford me that i could later leverage? what skills didn't it afford me that i wanted to attain or develop? my day job allowed me to ask all of these questions and more from a position of job and financial security, which resulted in a detailed profile of what I actually wanted and, perhaps, needed to leave to.
Austin Kleon writes in his book Steal Like An Artist that, "A day job gives you money, a connection to the world, and a routine. Freedom from financial stress also means freedom in your art." I would also add to Kleon's thought that a day job can give you the time, security, and freedom to discover, realize, and execute the RIGHT next move for yourself because you're making a decision from an informed rather than an impulsive place. for me, the right choice clearly became coming on board with Rachel, but I don't know if we would have arrived at that decision without the basic needs my day job afforded us.
i owe my, once, day job a lot. i worked with good, hardworking people and developed and honed skills that are being put to immediate use in my new role with rachel marie photographie. what's more, is i owe my day job for teaching me the power and purpose of patience as well as illuminating the asset it was in making a sound decision for this next chapter of my life. i have also realized that tenaciously pursuing your dreams often requires an extreme amount of patience, so my best advice to any day job dreamers out there is: don't get discouraged by your dream's wait time...it's worth it.