WHAT’S PLAYING: Placebo “Running up that Hill”
Last month, I learned that my nuclear power plant would not be taking on new fuel next year, so by late 2014, the doors will shut for good and I’ll be out of a job.
As you can imagine, my gut reaction was pure panic. “But I just bought a new car! I have a five-year plan! I’M NOT READY!”
And then I went to my crazy place.
I started coming up with scenarios that would allow me to survive in a nuclear power free world. You name it, I thought of it. Everything from selling my teeth to going off the grid and wearing nothing but blue gingham and ass-less chaps. By the end the day, I was mentally fashioning the spear I would use to hunt rats for food.
A couple of days later, I decided to go on vacation. I needed time and space to calm down and gain some perspective. I attended Donal Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Intensive and spent a fantastic week in Virginia Beach surrounded by some very talented writer and taking long, peaceful walks through the garden below:
It took some time, and a lot of soul-searching, but I finally realized that I’m in a pretty good place. Thanks to living well below my means the last 10 years, I’m financially secure with no debt, mortgage, kids or spouse to worry about. For the first time in my life, I don’t need to work. I can go anywhere and do anything I want. With this realization came a heady sense of freedom, followed immediately by overwhelming fear.
What the hell am I going to do? Take a year off and write full-time? Cast my net into the nuclear power river and see who bites? Raise ocelots? Start a business selling toupees for bald chimps?
Or maybe, just maybe, stop obsessing about the future and just live my life?
I don’t know. But one thing I have decided is that as soon as my job has officially ended, I’m going to Ireland for a month. There, I’ll spend my time with just a laptop, my thoughts, and a view like this one.
Who knew unemployment could be so beautiful?