While today was a good day -- my parents came over for lunch, before they head home to Trinidad for a month -- the evening mail brought news of a somewhat unexpected but undeniably shocking expense that we're going to have to pay. This small envelope, coupled with the seemingly incessant bad news of the economy, threw me into a tailspin: what am I thinking, quitting my job? How are we going to live? I have a 4-1/2 year old -- could this decision to leave my corporate gig be the single most irresponsible decision of my life, if not the most selfish? How dare I ask my family to tighten their belts as I go off to follow my flighty little dreams?
Marcus, as always, calmed me. He reminded me that in theory, we have enough in our savings to provide a safety net if things don't go well. He sat down and made a spreadsheet of our expenses, and his income, and showed me how, while we would certainly have to forego some unnecessary luxuries, we'll still manage to pay the mortgage, feed ourselves and pay our bills, even assuming that I don't bring in a single dime -- we had priced our lives this way when we moved back to Houston in the first place. He even sat with me and together we began to figure out Quickbooks, to make sure that I know how to manage the accounts of my new little business. And he reminded me that I've already booked a few gigs without trying, and assured me that once I do try, more work would follow.
As I type this, most of my panic has subsided, although a bit of uneasiness remains. While intellectually I do realize that my nerves are normal, and that they may even propel me into being more focused and determined to make a go of this, there's a nagging part of me that continues to worry. By nature, I'm not a risk-taker. I cry on roller coasters. I rarely drive above the speed limit. This is a very uncomfortable spot for me.
But ultimately, I have no choice but to make a success of this. And to be honest, I think I'm smart enough to make it happen.