This morning I was talking to a good friend who is turning in her letter of resignation today from her cushy corporate job where she travels all over the world, to pursue self employment and follow her dreams. HOORAY FOR THAT!!! She hadn’t presented her letter to her bosses yet and I guess she just wanted to talk it out one last time with someone who had been thru what she was about to go thru. I was flattered that she thought to call me, but at the same time I was thinking, “I am the last person anyone should be calling for advice or consult on how to prepare for leaving your job.” I mean sure I did it. But I certainly didn’t do it the ‘right’ way.
I had plans to do things differently. I put a huge cash down payment into my condo and planned on refinancing and cashing out to give myself a nice cushion when I left my job. But just as I was about to quit, the market crashed. I lost nearly half of the money in my 401-K and the value of my home plummeted. But I knew I couldn’t stand to work my day job one more day so I went on with my plans, got what I could out of the house and prayed real hard. And it’s definitely been a struggle. Some months are great while others are almost completely dry and I often feel like the most irresponsible person in the world. I had all the things I was taught adults were supposed to have — a good job, a home, retirement savings — but I wasn’t happy. So I took a leap and have (Praise God) found a way to make it every month. Sometimes I have to ask for help. Sometimes I have to work temp jobs. And I’ve had to learn to say ‘no’ to lots of things. But the one thing I’ve learned in life that’s carried me through thus far is that there is no such thing as the perfect time.
No perfect time to quit your job. No perfect time to get married and begin a family. No one right way or perfect time to do anything in life. The best you can do is pray to whomever you pray to for guidance, make smart decisions and work hard. As my friend reminded me (and remember I was the one that was supposed to be helping her) in this market and especially after Madoff and the Wall Street collapse, etc. even tons of rich people woke up broke. Either of us could have been blind-sided and laid off with no other skills to fall back on… Thankfully that was not the case.
I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going with this when I started typing and even now I’m still not sure — but what I do know is that if I had never done what I did to pursue a career in comedy I’d be a lot less happy. I wouldn’t know so many awesome people, wouldn’t have been so many awesome places, and I’d probably have resented myself forever. I love my life. Even the hard parts that make me cry.
“It’s just money.” — That’s what my friend, the wise and extremely awesome Erin Foley always tells me. “Do you feel funny? Are you happy? Are you making progress with the act and with bookers? If so, then remember the rest is just money.” Easier said, I know. But it’s so, so true. And since the time for whatever you may wanna do is probably never gonna be right — Why. Not. Now?