HomeMy Own StoryYou Don’t Have to Stay Here


You Don’t Have to Stay Here — 9 Comments

  1. Good for you, David! I remember decades ago my still-childless nephew and his wife had a dream that would uproot them from good jobs. His parents (my brother, his wife) were unhappy about it and discouraging them. I took them aside and said, “Go for it while you can…” Today they’re very settled, in great jobs and recall my encouragement. My advice to young people often is, if it seems crazy and perhaps irresponsible, it’s probably the right thing to do while you can!

  2. During my period of vagabonding I met lots of people who said to me “I wish I could do what you’re doing!” My response was always, Well, you could. But they never believed it.

  3. I remember it well! We all were going nuts at PLATO. Frustrations at lost opportunities, that “we are changing the world!” feeling sliding away. I stuck it out for a year or so after that and went out on my own in ’83. Hard to believe that over 30 years later I’m still programming…but have always done it (more or less) on my terms.

  4. I had a similar thing happen when I stopped acting. I was backstage in a show, waiting for my next entrance and I heard “You don’t have to do this anymore.” And that really was the end. I finished the run of the show, and did a couple more out of momentum, but that was the end of my acting career. Such a strange experience, and such good practice for the rest of my life.

  5. Same feelings. Same moment of freedom. Same desire to renew and repurpose and to put myself in play. Different age (you at 22 and I at 72) creating urgency and different objectives. But not all that much. I don’t have time to procrastinate. You were setting the stage for your future life – I’m milking it for all its worth. Nice post David,

  6. Dear David: Just like with HONY postings, I’m curious about the 2/3 and 3/3 blogs that supplement this one. How did turning, turning help your life?

    • Probably more ways than I can say. But here are some big ones: It freed me from the mindset that I have to have a “job” where I go to work 40 hours a week and get a paycheck twice a month. It made me aware of how much of the STUFF I own is stuff I can get by without. I lived for many months with just the things I could fit in my car, having left behind an entire house full of things that I apparently didn’t really need. It made me realize that my time is more valuable to me than money. It gave me an understanding of both the freedom and the pain that come with being alone most of the time. It gave me an appetite for new experiences and exploration that had been largely latent before. And ultimately it led me to meeting the woman who became the mother of my son. She and I are no longer together, but having my son (now 25) in my life has been and continues to be a great blessing.

      I don’t know what you mean about the 2/3 and 3/3 blogs – can you explain that reference?

      • David – What an inspiring story. (I believe Lael is looking for “What happened next?”) Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. My “Gotta Get Outta Here, Can’t Get Outta Here” involved consulting firm where the work was demanding, interesting and worthwhile, but the Boss was brutal, dishonest and incompetent–and did not like me. I had a wife, a child, house payments: to quote Zorba, “The full catastrophe”. One day I realized, “I am selling most of the projects this office is doing, on top of which I am 120% billable . . . I don’t need these guys!” I called a few clients and asked if they would consider me independently for future work. They basically said, “You’re the only one we know and trust. Your boss? It feels like I’m talking to a congressman.” I bought two t-shirts that featured a man cutting off his tie, with the slogan “Say no to real jobs”. Went home and gave one to Sandy, and told her we were going into business. She was my office manager and production person, most of which she could do from home. Our little Sole Proprietorship went 20 years. We never lost a competition with my previous company. W.C. Fields once said, “It was a woman who drove me to drink. I only regret that I never wrote to thank her.” I should have written my former boss–but he got the message anyway.