When I quit my modestly paid day job, I felt very proud to have acted according to my will and to no other. But I was secretly scared of what would happen next. Would I end up destitute? Would I have to do things even worse than clerical work in order to avoid destitution?
Three years later, I’m still living on the money I saved from that job, supplemented by an income so small that most people (including those people who work at the tax office) consider negligible. They consider it negligible because they are addicted to a consumer lifestyle – the mild and dim lifestyle shown to us in magazines and on the television.
I am not a hermit or a monk or a dreadlocked radical. I did not “escape to the countryside” or go “back to the land” and I do not live in a squat. I live in a nice little apartment in the fashionable part of a civilised metropolis. I do not live in fear of what will happen next. I do not do work that I find undignified. I do not wait on tenterhooks for pay cheques.
I don’t have all the answers and I have no personal investment in whether people choose to continue on the usual treadmill or to escape it. But to those people who aren’t having a good time and aren’t too proud to take some advice from someone who doesn’t mind looking bit arrogant: try doing what I do.