I love this so much. That said, I disagree with the statement of “you’re not tired” because, in the beginning, you WILL be tired. Exhausted, even, from putting all of your mental and emotional energy towards someone else’s dream. But even so, you must must MUST continue to grind - for your future, your happiness, and, hell, for your sanity. I've learned this from first-hand experience, and it's something I strive to instill in others.
From 2008-2010 I worked 40-hours a week at a company I had no passion for. To top it off, I had a daily 3-hour round-trip commute. Gettin’ up at 4:30 am and getting home no earlier than 7:00 pm was my reality for two and a half years.
During that time, I found myself feeling down and without direction. Not being able to handle the feeling of “I’m doing nothing for my life” anymore, I casually began blogging about video games, which have been a part of my life since I was a little girl. I loved it, and within a few weeks I knew I had discovered my passion: video game blogging. For once, I was filled with drive and motivation, and, for once, I was doing something for me and for my future, as silly as that sounded back then. Not too many people understood, “Sorry, I can’t hang out tonight, I have to blog about video games so I can fill a void. Yes, only five or six people will read my work, which will take me two hours to write, but it makes me feel good about myself.” And believe me, I caught a lot of crap from people. (Don’t worry, they’re no longer a part of my life.)
No matter how hectic my schedule became I never put blogging on the back burner. I refused to. And as my passion continued to blossom I found myself re-arranging my life to accommodate it. In mid-2010 I moved closer to my workplace so I could eliminate that dreaded 3-hour commute, and, instead, dedicate those hours to my own, newly-launched video game website. Although spending more time on my website gave me a great deal of happiness, conditions at my job were getting tense and, when it came to the job itself, I was the unhappiest I had ever been.
Around this time I had a friend who knew how unhappy I was with my job, and we would often brainstorm ways I could quit my job, yet make money, WHILE dedicating most of my time to my passion. The most probable way, we decided, would be for me to start a small work-from-home marketing business. (Over the years of promoting my own website I had learned that I had a natural "knack" for online marketing.)
This friend told me that if I DID start my own business they would become a client and pay me $1,000/mo. Now, I knew that if I went this route I'd be taking a MAJOR pay cut, not to mention I would lose my job-provided health benefits. What if I couldn't find additional clients? There's no way I could have lived off of $1,000/mo. It was too risky, so I was extremely weary and didn't really, truly, consider it to be a viable option.
Fast forward to July of 2012: I hated my job. I hated the way it made me feel. So, one day I had had enough. I took the plunge. I quit. I didn't care about the risks. I withdrew all of my retirement so I could eat, pay rent and other miscellaneous bills for those first few months. (I was only 24 at the time, thus I didn't have much retirement saved up, so to say those first few months were "tight" would be a vast understatement.) It was a scary, risky move.
Thankfully, it all worked out.
Today, over three years later, I spend a lot of my time being weird on the internet and deriving immense pleasure from it. I’m happy. I’m self-employed. Granted, there are higher stresses that come along with that, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I cringe to think where I’d be right now if I had never tried to pursue something for myself, if I had just “gone through the motions” every single day. The reality is this: if I had never began casually blogging about video games I’d be in a cubicle, staring at the clock, waiting for 5:00 to roll around.
I share this not to boast, but because I know there are many of you who are where I was no more than three, four years ago. Like, dammit, I’ve been there and I know how badly it sucks – to feel like you can’t spend your one life pursuing something you know you were meant to do.
You don’t need to do what I did. You don’t need to quit your job and/or move, but I strongly urge you to find your passion and pursue it with all that you can. You never know what the payoff will be.
(For those of you wondering who the heck I am: Hi! I'm Britt, I run the weird gaming site www.blondenerd.com. I'm an open book when it comes to this stuff, so feel free to get in touch. It's something I'm super passionate about and therefore would love to help if I can.)