This time last year I was working full-time for a cool little design shop in Austin. The environment was laid back, the work itself was fun, and I couldn’t have asked for a better boss or co-workers. I understood how fortunate I was compared to most people having a job that I absolutely didn’t hate, but still, I had an over-consuming feeling like there was something else I should be doing. I found myself waking up every morning looking forward to the weekend, and time after time I realized that the week had flown by…then a new month…and then a whole year had passed. I couldn’t believe how fast time was moving and how many days I spent wishing I were somewhere else.
The greatest perk of being a designer is being able to work with headphones on and listen to music throughout the day. When I needed a break from music I would listen to lectures from Alan Watts and others to get my brain stimulated with things other than design. I came across this short video montage that uses an audio snippet from one of Watts’ famous lectures and it really struck a chord. It made me ask those questions and reach deep within to understand the simple truth that I could do anything and go anywhere I wanted. I shouldn’t be living 5 days out of the week with this feeling like I was wasting my time chasing money. Although I enjoyed my job, I knew I was only in it for the money just like 99% of the people in this world that work. I knew that I still wanted to design, but the thought of being tied down to one place was root of my discontent. I wanted the freedom to pick up and go if I wanted to or to extend my stay longer if I loved the place. This video along with a few other influences led me to talking with Charmie into taking the big leap — stop chasing the dollar and start living as we truly wanted to. We may not have as much money now as we did when we both had full-time jobs, but we’re content and happy. Somehow small projects keep coming in here and there and they’re keeping us afloat. It makes me think of something Tina Roth Eisenberg said at her SXSW keynote speech, “When things keep falling into place, that’s the universe telling you to keep going.” We’re now somewhat living the way the majority of the world does. Living day to day not knowing where the next dollar is coming from. It’s such a thrilling experience and right now I wouldn’t want it any other way.