How long are you going to do this?
I’ve been getting this question a lot recently. Maybe because this is my first trip to Florida since I quit, and these folks haven’t had a chance to grill me yet? Maybe because I’ve been doing this for almost a year now? Maybe because the space-time continuum calls for it? I don’t know.
Regardless of why, it’s an interesting question. How long *do* I want to do this? My standard answer is, until I get tired of it or I run out of money – and I’m betting on the money running out first. I’m supposed to be working on finding more location-independent income, and I’m on a few lists, but I really should be doing more. But working in Portland this winter reminded me how much I do not want to go back to a nine-to-five.
How long has it been?
Another good question. Homeless? Since Feb 1, 2015. Stationary-jobless? April 3. Out of Portland? April 11. On the road? May 10. So when do I start counting, exactly?
For me, the important dates are April 3 and May 10. April 3 was the day it was really real. I’ve quit a bunch of jobs in my life, but never with this kind of intention. I quit to move somewhere else, to make more money, to go back to school. I’ve been fired and laid off from permanent and temp jobs. But I’ve never quit with the idea of changing my whole life. That last gig was the best regular job I’ve ever had, in every way. But rather than making me happy, it made me realize that I’d never be happy doing that kind of thing, I’d only ever done it because I had to. And now that I don’t have to, I’m going to try and see if I can find a way of living and earning my way that makes me happy.
May 10 I left Great Falls with everything I thought I might need in Little Red, and no clear idea when I might return to home base. That feels like the real beginning of this… whatever it is. It really needs a name. Trip? Adventure? Insanity? So it’s been 11 months, and I’m nowhere near ready to stop, regardless of the challenges along the way.
Will I never have a real job again?
Who knows? I’m hoping not. But the idea that a different life is possible is a really good reason to try something else. I’ve made plenty of risky choices in the past with regards to jobs and whatnot, and all those were really in the service of paying off my debt. Now I get to use those skills in the service of a joyful life.
Where to next?
I’ve got to get back to Montana by the end of May, so I’ll be heading back north in a week or two. I’m thinking about going to the Science Fiction Writer’s Association Convention in Chicago mid-May. Maybe I’ll see some of you on the way.