On June 27th, 2014 I quit a (relatively) cushy corporate job to pursue my hobbies as a career, these hobbies being writing, improv, comedy, acting and amateur clowning. Many people congratulated me on this decision and told me I was brave (read: foolish). Maybe they’re right because the truth is I don’t really know how make this happen. I just needed to do something.
Two days later, I left the Bay Area bubble for a 7 week journey that will take me across the Eastern third of the United States, starting in Chicago and continuing through Nashville, Atlanta, North Carolina (Asheville area), Washington DC, Boston, NY and then Oklahoma City (Edmond area) on a miniature “Wassup USA” tour. I fully expect to get scurvy and lose a couple of teeth on this journey which can only be described as low-budget.
I’m doing this, the quitting and the traveling and the clowning, to test the hypothesis that there are no rules in life and no limit to what I can dream up and do, that nothing is in my way except for my own fear, and it is a formidable opponent that has some great arguments for why my dreams are a bunch of hogwash.
“Why should you be so lucky that you get the chance to quit a pretty good job and pursue comedy for a career? Not everyone has the chance to go after jobs they find meaningful – why should you? You shouldn’t look for meaning in your work, so why don’t you just do something that will get you a good income so you can be secure and figure out a way to work in your passions at nights and on weekends? Improv, really? Can’t you be passionate about something else? What if you fail?”
There’s some truth in these doubts, but at the end of the day they are just fear disguised as practicality, and I can’t convince myself to listen to them anymore. Not yet. But they are interesting questions.
In the next phase of my life and as I’m doing my hobbies full-time-ish, I want to explore these questions of meaning and career, who gets to follow their dreams and why, and who cares about this and does it even matter.
And for the next 50 days, I want to see what’s up with the USA. I want to do an Alexis de Toqueville “Democracy in America” except more along the lines of “Drevets in America.” It’ll just be me, in America, with my vision and dreams along with everyone else’s. Nothing much has changed except my morning commute and my inbox count.
So….what’s up USA?
Come to India!!
Follow your dream while the money lasts 🙂 See you on Last Comic Standing.
Scurvy??? Pick up some Vitamin C, dear niece of mine! Have a great adventure!
I say go for it. Better to do it now than to regret not doing it later. As for failure, it can be a wonderful teacher…so they tell me.
Well, it looks like you completely blew off the Pacific Northwest… Good Luck anyway, Emily. Keenly awaiting your observations. While in Chicago… go to Graceland.
Wow! Fantastic! It is going to be a real adventure, make sure that you pack enough clean underwear as I am sure that your mom told you.
I’ve got 5 pairs…..here’s to doing laundry on the road!
Have a spectacular time!
I would so love to do that!!
I’m the first person that will encourage you to do so. That being said, you should make the choice yourself. Failure is always possible.
but failure doing something fun is better than success doing something you hate, I suspect!
Good for you girl. If you like kids check out the Big Apple Circus organization in the northeast. I worked with them while working at a childrens hospital in New Haven, CT, this past spring. Their full time job was making hospitalized kids laugh. It was a blast and the kids loved them! It would be awesome for you to bring it to OU childrens in okc!!
That sounds awesome! I’ll definitely check them out.
By the time you hit Illinois the rain should be stopped. Tennessee flooded, and Midwest hit with some seriously bad flooding which has taken out some infrastructure. Major highways in Iowa seem to be okay, check ahead though if you’re going I80 through the Quad Cities.
Other than that, crack on!
I’d completely forgotten what weather was like, the kind of weather that you actually have to pay attention to. Yeah, it’s definitely a thing. Here’s to cracking!
I’ve basically done exactly the same thing as you.. 🙂 Good luck with your adventures!
Woo hoo! Best of luck to you as well 🙂 🙂
No stops in Ohio? What up with that? I’ll be interested to read some future entries about how this all turned out.