I put in my notice yesterday. I'm giving them four weeks. Then I'm done.
That's what I said to my boss: "Four weeks, then I'll be done."
He sort of laughed, sort of scoffed: "That sounds so Dramatic and Final..."
Me? Dramatic. That's arguably true, I suppose.
But Final? Well, yes, that's an absolute.
What he didn't mention, but very well may have been thinking, was that my decision is simply Stupid. Quitting my job - my comfortable, cushy, soul-crushing non-profit job - in the midst of one of the most woeful economic moments of my semi-short life, to pursue unemployment (ah-hem, my creative passions), may not be the most mentally sound step one might make at a moment like this.
I never claimed to be mentally sound. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm not.
But I've saved up some money, and hopefully, the banks won't crash before my planned four month sabbatical comes to an end.
My purpose: To finish my next manuscript, find an agent, and sell the book for a great deal of money on which I can live comfortably, while writing my next manuscript, selling that for a great deal of money, and so on and so on.
Then I'll be done.
No, really. For the past several months, I've begun to realize that, although I can afford my rent, my meals, the occasional social outing, and the modest vacations which have peppered recent years with little deer-poops of excitement, something has been missing. Working full-time while churning out several novels, two of which will soon be published, has sort of worn me into the ground. As I've tread a familiar path to my lonely Upper East Side office from Brooklyn on a daily basis, looking down to avoid eye-contact with strangers, I've often recognized parts of myself stuck in the sidewalk cracks... "What's that? Oh, just a piece of my Oprah-Lovin' Spirit. Leave it. It's dirty now."
Do any of you find yourself talking to people silently during your own commutes? (I've seen your faces, heard your screaming fist-fights, I know what you've been thinking...) Well, my internal conversations have become a little strange (okay, scary) for my taste. I've felt myself retreating from opportunities towards which I once would have sprinted happily. "Drinks after work? Blind dates? Fun? ... Naw. I think I'll stay home and see what new collections PackRat added to Facebook this week. Or maybe I'll nap! Napping is good! It helps me prepare for another day of soul-suckage..."
Once upon a time, I was able to rise before dawn, plug away for hours on my fiction, then shower, moisturize, dress, and rush to work on time. "Yes, sir! Right away, sir!" For some elusive reason, I cannot do it anymore. Not even with all the psych meds... I kid. I kid...
...I kid about kidding.
And so, I've decided to leap. What will follow here is the chronicle of my possible descent into the abyss of poverty, the frustration of working without structure, the loneliness of living inside my head for hours, even days at a time.
Or maybe, I'll find a way to recover from whatever's been ailing me... Maybe (just maybe *squeak*) in four months time, all my dreams will have come freakin' true.
This is an experiment. My own Manhattan Project. The possibility for destruction is great, but I, like 'Guns and Roses' before me, seem to have an appetite for it. I guess we'll see what happens.
On November 7, 2008, I'll be done. Finally, dramatically... Stupidly. Then, it shall begin...