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Before You Quit Your Job to YOLO, Read This.
NoInk | 10 October 2017
Most of us aspire to marry our passions with our career path, because as a lot of inspirational art cards say, if you do what you love for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life. I call bull****. That’s not entirely accurate.
There’s a blog post making the rounds, by Trisha Velarmino, a blogger, in which she apologizes for telling her audience 4 years back to ‘quit their jobs and travel the world’.
She talked about what she was actually leaving, what she paid with, and what it takes to make it out in the big wide world through the world wide web, and it really wasn’t as easy (or idealistic) as it looked or sounded like. And just for pointing that out, I applaud her.
In this day and age where everybody wants to up and leave the 9-5 corporate box and work on their laptops in some remote (and often, exotic) location, it’s not easy to put the brakes on YOLO-ing and risk being labeled old, or worse, responsible.
The blogger I cited earlier also said that “but now that I am 28 (29 next month!), times changed. It’s about time I respond to that change.” I think that’s also a large part of what you need to consider when you’re toying with the idea of living the vagabond life.
I loved how she pointed that out. The change. That it’s not easy, it’s a difficult road ahead for those who want to do it, to live the vagabond life. The realities associated with that change, especially financially. It shifts your budget as well as your thinking.
Priorities change as you get older. It’s not bad. It’s normal. And you’ll see this in what you spend on in vacations. Personally, I didn’t care about comfortable accommodations when I was in college. The cheaper the better so I can spend on booze and other things. But now I’m 33, I can’t fathom vacationing in a bare minimum hotel room and eating crappy food.
The thing that few people really tell you about YOLO-ing is that it doesn’t mean being totally carefree, or you’re able to leave obligations hanging, going on adventures and giving the corporate world the finger while sipping champagne in Paris while your other hand is taking selfies and posting them on IG.
That’s not what it’s about.
The main reason why people want to YOLO is because they value time more than anything else. They want to be able to spend time doing what they love, with their loved ones, experiencing the many things life offers, and not get bogged down by the mundane things (by that I mean work). But unless you’re a trust fund baby, the mundane things are usually what affords you the lifestyle you want. Therein lies the conundrum.
If you want to be able to spend time the way you want to, you need to be able to invest time to get there. Also, that doing what you love and not working a day in your life adage is misleading because believe me, all I’ve ever wanted to do was write, and I’m doing that for a living (among other things), and let me burst that bubble for you. It still feels like work. It feels like work Mondays to Fridays, and sometimes even weekends.
It’s exhausting because you never really leave ‘work’ in the office because inspiration hits you anytime, anywhere, and you’re constantly writing—in your head, in napkins, in your phone’s notes. You’re constantly on the lookout for new things to write about, and a lot of the time, you’re asked to write about things you have no interest in writing.
BUT. Occasionally, I get to write stuff like this. I get to share my two cents on something that matters to me, and to make use of my musings and have a newfound respect for my career path.
My job allows me to practice photography (another passion of mine), to meet and talk to interesting people, to go on vacations (sometimes) with loved ones, and pay my bills. Am I a slave to the corporate world? Not really, because while I don’t love every minute of what I’m doing, I still feel like I’m living my life to the fullest. And I believe more in the saying that if you live well, living once is enough.
YOLO-ing is an art. It needs discipline, goals, and artists who are willing to put in the hours to be able to do whatever they want to do later on in life and have people see their art with the credibility they’ve built, appreciate them for the talent they’ve developed, and hopefully pay good money to have a piece of it (as an added bonus, of course).
Who says you can’t YOLO responsibly?