Coronavirus and the Empty Calendar Episode 9: The Rise of Gigs

Today I put in my 2 weeks notice on a job that makes me unhappy. I’m transitioning back to my pre-covid job in the entertainment industry (pays meh but I love it). When the pandemic shut down the world, I was told to find another job and that my position would be there when this is over. So I took a job delivering packages.

I struggled at first because my career is part of my identity and I felt broken and hopeless. I did several sessions of Tele-therapy (frugal win because my health insurance paid for it all). That helped at first with the sudden forced life change issues.

As time had gone on, I was getting more and more frustrated and grumpy and was not a nice person to be around. Unless you were one of the owners of the many dogs on my route, because that was the only positive thing I could find in that job. I was destroying my body and sanity for a paycheck. I was making more money delivering packages, but the physical and mental expense outweighed the pay. And in the middle of all the stress and unhappiness, my wife who has a bleeding disorder needed major surgery. To most people it is just an outpatient procedure but when your blood doesn’t clot on its own, removing an inner ear growth and reconstructing the entire inner ear is major. She’s recovering with some slight balance issues. I’ve been at peak stress for well over 3 months.

With the vaccine rolling out I’m starting to transition back part time at my pre-covid job. Just being back 2-3 days a week, I realized how much I love my career as a lighting designer. How much I realize that I would give anything to be back doing concerts and events.

My delivery job hasn’t slowed down since the holidays but the holiday “peak” bonus pay is over. I am being taken advantage of. I’m only 28 but after a day delivering I walk around like I’m an old man.

Today as I dropped my wife off at work, I looked at her and said, “I’m done. I can’t keep putting myself through this. I’m going work myself to death at this rate.”

As I waited for my boss to show up, I ran the math on how much I’d make part time at my old job and how much Uber eats I’d have to do to fill in and I put in my 2 weeks. He offered more money but I had to decline. Money won’t fix physical and mental damage.

I never knew how unhappy and miserable I was until I got into my route today after putting an end date in. I didn’t realize how much I clenched my jaw all day. I felt peace. I feel lighter, calmer. I was actually smiling, granted you couldn’t see my smile under the mask. I had to choose sanity and happiness over money.

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