I quit my job.
You probably knew that already though.
I’ve gotten a few messages after posting my blog opener. Messages from friends who give me kudos, or to tell me they understand how I felt, or to ask me what my plans are.
First of all – and I felt this way with my newspaper, too, whenever I’d write editorials – I find it wildly humbling, yet also entertaining, that anyone would want to read my drivel. I’m just some strange black kid (well, 29-year-old isn’t exactly a kid, but I still feel like I am sometimes) from Mississippi that learned how to use the English language properly and knows how to write.
And secondly, I want to explain how I arrived at the place I am now – and I absolutely believe there are many of you that feel the exact same way I did.
I became stagnant where I was, doing what I was doing.
Which is odd, because my job as newspaper editor consisted of coming up with new stories to write every week, new photos to take, new page layouts to design. My job was to be creative; to think of new ways to do things, and to meet people who wanted to share their stories with me.
So I was constantly around “new(s),” yet I felt like I was trapped.
I had worked at the same job since I graduated college. I attended the same church since I moved to the area. I was around the same groups of people I had been around for years.
And then something happened.
While perusing through Craigslist, looking for oddjobs writing or teaching or playing drums, or doing anything I could to make a little extra money, I saw an ad for a band looking for a lead singer.
Sure, it was a little strange. But, I mean … so am I.
So I emailed Mary about the ad. I got an audition. I was told I was to sing three songs: I Feel Good by James Brown; Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder; and At Last by Etta James.
I knew all those songs! I could do that!
So I did. And I did them well. Well enough to get asked to be the band’s new lead singer.
That random step in my life was the first step on a much larger path I would eventually take.
So, I’m singing with the band, and loving it. But during the day, I’m still at this job that I once loved and adored, but has become monotonous to me. Everything else in life is the same, but I was getting my “fix” during the weekends, going and singing at weddings.
And then something else happened.
I somehow got connected with a mutual friend who had an idea to create a mission-based project using photography. It was nothing I was looking for, but I knew I had a passion for photography, and I had a passion to simply break the monotony of life, so I went to have lunch with Nathan Dewberry.
Nathan and I, after several meetings in the span of a couple of months, put together a project called “Geaux Love Africa” where we decided to go to Uganda, Africa and take professional portraits of people and print the photos immediately, giving the people their portrait. On the back of the photo, we would put a gospel message and a way to get in contact with a local pastor in their area.
Not only did we talk about making the trip happen – we actually made the trip happen (I’m sure I’ll talk about this project in more detail later, but until then, if you want to hear more about it, check out www.GeauxLoveAfrica.com).
But once I got back (the Uganda trip was only 10 days), it was back to the old grind. Back to the job I had grown a disdain for; the job I loved once but simply grew weary of.
I was tired of the job. But I wasn’t going to quit. I’m not a quitter.
Plus, if I left, there was nobody that could take my place. I’m the only me. The paper has grown leaps and bounds because of me. If I left, what would happen? Things would go to shambles.
But I was tired.
Then something ELSE happened.
I, in some lapse of normalcy, I let down my walls and told a friend that I was interested in pursuing more avenues in the entertainment industry. Maybe acting.
My friend tells me she had just taken an acting class and gives me the number or her acting coach.
A few months later, I found myself diverting, once again, from my path of monotony. I left my place of normalcy and comfort and stepped out to do something that I thought would be fun – I took an acting class.
Nobody knew about it. I didn’t go telling the world. It was simply for me, not for anyone else but me.
So I went to this beginner’s intensive acting class every Wednesday night for a couple of months, and by the final class, I had a talent agent give me a card and tell me to call him.
Now I have an agent.
Then one day, it hit me … I don’t HAVE to be at this job anymore. I’d hit a ceiling a long time ago, and I couldn’t break through. Because I wasn’t meant to break through that ceiling.
I realized if I’m going to grow as a person and be happy, I have to leave.
So I took a step back and rationally looked at the situation as a whole. I had, since joining the band two years earlier, broken the monotony of life and broadened my horizons to the point that I had a safety net of sorts.
I felt happiness in entertaining, of all things … and felt a strong urge to pursue that passion, whether it be singing, acting, stand up comedy, or whatever. I simply knew that I wanted to try to go after something that had been stagnant in me for a long time that had recently been activated.
This passion was something I’d had for a long time – since I was a child I was fascinated with movies and tv, and loved music and sports and all kinds of things, but becoming a “grown up” caused me to bury that passion, but it was resurrected as I began to break the normalcy of life to try something new and fun.
Essentially, I tried to break the stagnation that was my life, and in the process a stagnant passion was awakened in me.
So, I decided to go after that.
And that’s the story of how/why I quit my job.