Three months ago, I quit my full time corporate job, and it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do.
That day I walked away from my comfort zone, from the company of people I called family, from the security of a paycheck come hell or high water, from an association with an organization, a brand name, and a job that I defined myself by.
Over the last 15 years I’ve been a corporate slave, working long hours, often seven days a week in the name of Serbisyong Totoo and Social Good.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved every minute of it. I knew it the day I became a campus journalist in high school, that telling stories was what I wanted to do. But over this decade and a half of my journalistic career I’ve been happiest while out of the newsroom on assignment.
Despite how the Internet has changed the rules of occupational proximity, I’ve found that in many respects, the newsroom still leaves one shackled and limited. The more I wanted to be out in the world, the more the job nudged me back behind physical walls.
I say that with much respect and with an awareness of the life many others and myself choose to live. In a way, becoming a journalist is like entering the priesthood where you walk away from the comforts of life and make a solemn vow to devote your existence to God and church.
When you decide to become a journalist you make similar vows to your profession and towards the greater good. Oftentimes it can be a thankless job, but that’s fine because you are driven by a higher purpose. But at what cost?
Many times I found life was passing me by: I was giving up on quality time with family and friends, time for myself, and the opportunity to really, truly experience the world.
Call it whatever you want – a midlife crisis, being burnt out by work, or the need to redefine my priorities.
Whatever it was, for me the answer was this big leap of faith.
I’ve always believed that we all have within us the power to create the change we want in our lives. This leap is me grabbing life by the balls and growing them to practice what I preach.
Over the next few months I intend to continue working as a technology journalist, working remotely while closely following the tech scene in North America, Europe and Asia. I’m not leaving mainstream media per se as I will continue contributing to several online and offline news outlets.
But most of my energies will be focused on doing my own thing on the Internet. In a way it’s a journey back to my roots. Back to blogging, video podcasting and social media which I took to with feverish devotion during their infancy as publishing platforms.
If there is anything I am most passionate about now it’s how these new forms of expression on the Internet have disrupted traditional media as we know it and how in many ways it has leveled the playing field for everyone. The next chapter of my life will be a marriage of all three and then some, beginning with GadgetMatch a technology channel I launched on YouTube last September.
The rest of the pages have yet to be written. There are a lot of possibilities, opportunities presenting themselves, new challenges that await. The first challenge is making a living. I’ve been warned that the first 6 months are going to be the toughest of them all, and these first 3 have been exactly that.
I don’t have all the answers yet. That scares me and excites me at the same time but overall I am hopeful about the future and the prospect of what’s yet to come. I’m really truly happy, and at the end of the day that’s really all that matters.
Featured image courtesy of Andy Spearing. Andy is an Oregon-based production and graphic designer. This photo of him cliff diving was shot at Crater Lake National Park.