So. Here we are. A year ago today, I started an experiment to see where life could take me if I quit a job that was making me increasingly despondent and pursued an entirely different life. I had a long list of assumptions about the year and a whole world of expectations. Nice to see all of those have come true.
Assumption: If I’m not working, I can spend every day working out.
Reality: I have spent zero days working out.
Assumption: If I’m not working, I can take dance classes every day.
Reality: I haven’t been in a dance class in four years.
Assumption: I’m going to try a lot of different jobs by taking different internships.
Reality: Zero internships came my way—most seem to require that you are enrolled as a full-time student. Student of life does not count.
Assumption: I’ve always wanted to really learn how to play tennis.
Reality: Still hope to learn to play tennis.
Assumption: Maybe I’ll take a cooking class?
Assumption: Maybe now that I don’t have to be up by 5am every day, I’ll date.
Assumption: I’m going to travel again.
Reality: I’m giving myself half points on this. I have flown more this year than I have in recent years, and I’ve certainly logged more time in the car than ever before. Still haven’t managed anything exotic, though.
Assumption: I’m going to go to Santa Barbara on a random Tuesday if I want.
Reality: Check. Check. Check. Hell, I went up there because I wanted breakfast at a certain place.
Assumption: I will spend more time going to cultural events in Los Angeles.
Reality: Check. Even though I’ve always had theater tickets for major productions in town, I really have started seeing much more of the city. Some of these events have even been at night—which never used to happen before.
Assumption: If I want to go to a local lecture about art, I will.
Reality: Check. I’ve indulged in tours and lectures at the local museums on a number of occasions—though more in the fall than lately.
Assumption: I’ll be shocked if I’m not working again by September.
Reality: Welcome to my shock. To be honest, I did work nearly right away after leaving my job—just not for money. It took quite a while to actually focus on being out of from under the old job and that schedule. In fact, there are times when I still feel attached to it. If someone came to me tomorrow and said that I had to return to my old place of business, it probably wouldn’t surprise me, and I’d just pick up where I left off. I suppose that is a sign that the transition hasn’t entirely settled in my mind yet.
Assumption: At the end of the year I will know exactly what I want to do and will be well on my way to achieving the new goals.
Reality: Ummm. This one is tricky. I know what I want to do: I want to make a living wage as a writer (and/or producer). That’s a good thing. This is solid progress. I’m not wedded to a particular platform. I want to do it all. The one thing I have learned is that until I’ve signed a contract and a check has cleared, I will have no idea if I’m close to achieving the goal or miles away from it. Things just change too quickly. For someone with my personality, I’m not sure I won’t end up being very cranky with this reality. In fact, I’m certain I will. And I am realistic. Eventually, I’m going to need to pay rent and need a job that takes care of that reality. But I’m not ready to give up quite yet. Next week…well, that’s a different story.
Assumption: A year is a really long time.
Reality: It was over in a blink of an eye.