This is part II of a recurring series on FreshBagels – The Good Life. Check back each week for new installments and let us know what you think in the comments!
It was not a call I was particularly looking forward to, but one I knew was coming. Ever since I decided to stop worrying about money, my parents have become VERY worried about me. In the past, when I was just another corporate slob, my Mom would call regularly to talk about the latest gossip in her world and whether I was eating enough. These calls have taken a different tone since I told them I was living my dream life, with a lot of questions and pestering about “responsibilities” and “being an adult.” I was able to deflect these fairly easily given how happy I was and by reminding my Mom that is all she ever wanted from me. Everything was going OK until she put my Dad on the phone.
Ken, as I refer to my father, is a serious man. He is an old school throwback who believes in hard work and getting what you earn. Suffice it to say, he has not been pleased that I left a good job to focus instead on my health and happiness. “Son, what the hell are you doing? I understand you did not enjoy your job at Forrest Hills but there are tons of other investment banks and accounting firms out there you can start again at” he said. I let him continue his rant given how much it appeared he had thought about this, but once he took a breathe I jumped in. “Ken, I understand your concern. Money is getting a little tight and at some point I am going to have to find some income – but for right now I am just focused on myself. And honestly I have never been happier.” He sighed heavily.
“You, Mom, and pretty much everyone else knew how much I hated Forrest Hills. I am just taking the advice that was given to me my whole life. I am going to find something I am passionate for and try to pursue that.” I said. Ken cleared his throat as he usually does before he gets serious, which sent a shiver down my spine. “Well, from what your Mother and brothers tell me it appears all you are passionate for is drinking beer, playing golf, and watching TV.” Shit. I knew that was coming. Ken never really makes “bad” points – but that was a very good one. When I decided enough was enough and quit my job I had this vision that my next move would magically appear once I had the time to just live. It turns out, however, that the only passions I am currently demonstrating involve golf clubs, my couch, and hops. I had to redirect this conversation before he convinced me I was making a huge mistake.
“Ken, you know I love you and take your advice seriously. Thankfully 4 years at Forrest Hills left me with a decent chunk in savings so it isn’t like I am going to starve anytime soon. I just know I wasn’t meant to live in a cubicle updating spreadsheets, and I am using this time to figure out what I want to do that will keep me this happy. I promise I will figure it out.” That last part was a lie – there was no guarantee this new life was going to work out whatsoever. “While you do sound like a stereotypical millennial who has his head in the clouds… I trust you” Ken said. “Do what you have to do for the time being – but you need to find a job. I have already made your old bedroom into my office and for your own good you aren’t allowed to move back in with us” he added. “Fair enough. I got this Dad. By the way, you trying to play 18 Saturday?” I nervously replied. There was a long pause. That was admittedly a very bold question for me to ask at this point. I was about to tell him I was kidding when he finally answered, “Fine. I will see you at noon – but I am not paying for you.”
“Deal” I said. I hung up the phone and laid back onto my bed. While the past 5 weeks have been some of the best of my life, it was finally starting to dawn on me that this new life can’t last forever. It was time to figure out my next move – whatever the hell that meant.