This is the continuing story of my life last year and into the early part of 2010.
So anyway, it turns out my determination to not get a regular job lasted about four weeks. By early January I seriously doubted my ability to make a living as a full-time writer. I’d stare at the screen for hours at a time wondering what it would be like when my kids starting having grandkids and they brought them home…to the basement which we would surely still live in. I kept looking around that subterranean dwelling (a lovely basement, but a basement nonetheless), and I wondered what I had done to deserve it (you know, all those self-pitying types of thoughts).
“I’m 33 God. If I would have seen this future when I left college 11 years ago I probably would have jumped head first off the campus bridge and into the Yellow Breeches.”
(The Yellow Breeches is about 32 inches, at its deepest. Jumping off the covered bridge was a metaphorical threat).
As I continued to dwell on how hopeless my situation seemed, I received an interesting bit of information: there was an employment position open at a local company, and I knew the person doing the hiring very well.
The new part of me, the part that wanted to follow my dream of being a writer, take a radical leap of trust in God and make an attempt at living a simpler life, fought this plan. I still had a few writing jobs that would carry us for about three months. But that side of me didn’t fight hard. The part of me that wanted a nice salary and a 401k and dental benefits fought harder, was kind of ruthless.
So I sent a text to the person who was hiring.
“When can you start?” they texted me back, only half joking. We arranged for an interview on Monday morning, first thing.
Sunday night I tossed and turned. Was this the right thing? Did I want to jump back into the dog-eat-dog world of business so quickly, just for a sense of stability? What if I focused on writing for the next few months – would more projects come along? Or was the whole writing thing just a big mirage?
And the biggest question: how would we ever be able to afford our own place if I didn’t have a steady income stream? I began to wonder if there were any basement walls we could dig out, you know, add some tunnels, turn the whole thing into Bag End.
I remember praying hard that Sunday night, and then, just before I drifted off to sleep, I told God that if there was a writing life for me out there, help me not to get this job. Really, I mean it (as soon as I said it, I wanted to take it back).
Monday morning I got up and shaved (not something I do on a regular basis) and put on a suit (not something I do more than once a year, if I can help it). “Good luck,” everyone said to me as I walked out the door.
But I never felt more like a fake. Seriously, was I doing this? It just didn’t feel right. But the paycheck, the security, it all looked too good to pass up.
The interview went great. We both felt confident I could do the job well. My resume included all kinds of similar experience.
“Looks pretty good,” he said. “I’ll call you tonight and we’ll line up a second interview.”
He called me later in the afternoon. “Can you come back in on Wednesday?”
Sure, I said. It was starting to sink in. I really thought I was going to get the job. I was starting to feel a little nervous – what would happen to my dream of writing full time? Would I ever be in this place again, or would I start using the money I made to live a life that could only be supported by a continually increasing income?
I found myself talking to God again: “If you happened to catch the tail end of that prayer the other night, you know, where I said that if there was a writing life out there for me that I’d like you to keep me from getting the job? I was really tired when I prayed that. You can probably just disregard it. I may have even been talking in my sleep.”
If you’d like to read the very first post which tells the beginning of the story of my wife and I deciding to move our family of 6 into my parent’s basement because we were in debt up to our eyeballs and needed to get back to basic living, click HERE. Check in HERE for the result of this particular job hunt.