So I was driving to meet my biggest client this morning when I had a sudden revelation: I’m done.
I’m done spending $4 a gallon to fill up my crappy VW Jetta so that I can drive a full hour to a place I don’t want to be. I’m done working my ass off to make just enough money to ensure that I’ll never really get ahead. I’m done using my talent to pad the bank accounts of people who seem to have almost no practical skills of their own. I’m done listening to Republicans and Democrats argue with earplugs in. I’m done feeling bad about my divorces, sad about my foreclosure, and embarrassed about my bankruptcy. I’m done worrying about what the charlatans on Wall Street have in mind for what’s left of my 401(k). I’m even done wondering why the “k” is in parentheses.
Seriously, stick a fork in me.
My name is John Brighton and I am the Creative Director of an advertising agency. I plan to fix this in the very near future.
You see, as a modern day “Mad Man” it is my job to create perfect little worlds in the form of television spots. In most of these worlds families are fully functional, businesses care about people, and everyone has a $400 haircut. Looking back on my 25 year career, I now realize that I’ve been part of the problem all along. No wonder I’m about to throw it all away on the off chance that there’s something real out there.
In a nutshell, my plan is this:
• Sell our old Jeep Wrangler (anyone?)
• Use the money to take my girlfriend on a two week scouting trip of Latin America
• Come home and tell my 82-year-old father that he’s moving to our chosen destination with us (this will be humorous)
• Quit my job and finally, once-and-for-all, decline both partnership opportunities I have received from competing agencies
• Drain my 401(k), (sorry Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman, I’m done!) pay the penalties and taxes, and secure the remaining $100,000 or so
• Sell the remainder of my stuff and–let’s face it–put my girlfriend’s stuff in storage
• Move to a beautifully imperfect Latin American country with nothing but my girlfriend, my dad, the clothes on our backs, our laptops, and about 25 words of Spanish between the three of us
• Learn the language, embrace the culture, sleep in the hammock
• And find a sustainable source of income that will keep us from slinking back to the States for a minimum of ten years
This is ridiculous. Society won’t like it. But it should make for some pretty good reading over the next weeks, months and–if I have anything to say about it–years. Maybe you’d like to join us some day. Or maybe you just can’t make yourself turn away from this obvious train wreck. Whatever your reason for coming back to this blog, I’m excited to take you along. Please be sure to share your email address so that I can keep you updated along the way.
Oh, and by the way, when I finally got to that meeting this morning (five minutes late) my revelation had already managed to become visibly apparent. The client took one look at my face and said, “You look like the cat who ate the canary!”
Who knew being done would feel like just getting started.