“Self-sufficiency is the enemy of salvation. If you are self-sufficient, you have no need of God. If you have no need of God, you do not seek Him. If you do not seek Him, you will not find Him.”William Nicholson, Shadowlands
The last 3 posts have been from my diary from 2014 when I quit my job. It is all I wrote on the matter and it showcased a great deal of my thinking at the beginning of this year and how desperate I had once again become. It was amazing to read about the hope I had and how I wanted to leave the rat race, a job that was unhealthy for me, and become self-sufficient. I had a plan to wake up everyday and pray, read, write, meditate, and exercise. All great ideas and I did that for a few months. It felt great. What didn’t feel great was that I was no longer making any money and we had a house payment to consider.
I panicked after about 2 months because everything I was doing was not providing any income. I came to the realization that as far as finances go, I was not prepared to be unemployed. I did not waste my time each day. I was working on writing and even put a book on Amazon to sell, which of course, did not sell and was quite frankly not very good. I needed to be an instant success, or I was going to lose the house. What are the odds of becoming an instant success? No very high!
So, I did the only think I knew how to do, I started looking for a job. By this time our savings had already run out and I was going to need to start using credit cards to pay for my bills. Not a great place to be without a vision or a plan. I was scared and looking for work was all I knew. At my previous place of employment, I had built a nice career over 9 years and was making $60,000 a year plus benefits. I now was making $0 and just hoping something would work out. Did I mention I panicked?
I found a job at $32,000 a year and hated it. I lasted 1 day. I found another job at $40,000 a year and hated it. I lasted 2 weeks. I was depressed and scared and I stopped waking up early. I stopped reading, writing, meditating, and exercising. I stopped having hope. 2 more months and still nothing. No work and running up debt and almost maxed out on our credit cards. Now, my family was starting to panic.
Finally, I took a job that was hourly, but had a decent hourly rate: I think it was $17 an hour and time and a half was paid for overtime and they had a great deal of overtime. Also, it was a monitoring job where for the most part I was alone and there simply to make sure no alarms on any computers went off. If it did I would have to call someone to come fix it, if it was not something I could fix. I spent 12 hours a day in what we called “the box” and I loved it. It was easy, it was fun, and I could do whatever I wanted as long as I did my checks on the alarms. It was really the perfect job to do a side hustle while making money. Not a lot of money, but enough to stop the bleeding.
We also made the decision to sell our home and move into one a few houses down. The equity made it, so we could pay off our debts and be able to at least be paycheck to paycheck each month and not get behind. It cost me time from home, but it was just what I thought we needed. I had now bought time to work on my side projects, but again I had stopped doing my daily routines because I was still depressed.
I made a mistake. Instead of using my time for the side hustle, I thought it would be a great idea to go back to school. Online school to get a master’s degree. All that did was took my time away from my side hustles and put it into more student loan debt and obligations I was not willing to meet. I hated it. I was not sure why I decided to put myself through that again, but that was what I knew. I thought I was healthy again, but that had been a lie. I was tired and scared and school was the last thing I needed. I should have been pursuing my dream, instead of my dreams being dictated to me. I would end up quitting school with more debt and no master’s degree. Only more depression.
It became clear that as much as I loved this job, it was not enough money to support my family, it was just 1 disaster away from losing everything. We had been misled on the house we bought, that they did not bring their animals into the house. There was floor and wall damage from the animals that they had covered up and my allergic children couldn’t even walk in the home without sneezing and swelling up. We had to gut it immediately, which had to be put on the credit cards we had just paid off from the sell of the other home. We were right back in debt and not able to quite make enough each month to get by. Once again, I did what I knew how to do, looked for a job.
I though I was saved, when I found a real job that was close to the salary I had left at the job I quit. It was with a big company with good benefits and the people were amazing. I would manage a team of 20 individuals and I would finally make enough to get out of the mess we had made. I also continued to work in “the box” for another month for the extra money, as I transitioned to my new job. A job had saved me – such incorrect thinking!
It didn’t take long before this job turned into everything I had left behind from the other job. The people were amazing, and I still have many friends I made, who are extremely talented, but left the company because of how they treated their people. I had to stay, because I had nowhere to go. I needed the money and I worked hard, but I was treated poorly, and it was again taking a toll on my health. Long hours, salaried, so no extra money. Being taken advantage of and not treated kindly. The only thing that kept me going were my peers who had stayed and were in the same boat. We were all depressed and hated working there, but I couldn’t just up and walk away like I had before. I was stuck and after 2 years, looking for anything to get out.
Turns out I found something, and I was able to finally leave. It was another job, actually a better paying job, and a job that so far has been amazing, but a job none the less. As evidenced by how I began the year, broken and miserable, it is clear that a job will not save me. Even a good job like I have, and I was still miserable. Why? Because I had forgotten who I was. I forgotten what makes me who I am. I was not reading, meditating, exercising and everything else that I had said that I would be doing when I quit my job in 2014. So round and round I have been going, but this time…. well, this time will be different, won’t it?