The Path to Funemployment

What are you even doing with your life, Miz?

You mention all this funemployment stuff, and then show me pics of you on a boat, spending a month gallivanting around Europe. We know there’s another side. We know. What are you actually up to?

Just fucking gallivanting all over the place.

Just fucking gallivanting all over the place.

Oh so you want the dirty deets. I see you. (For reference mom, everyone these days is saying “I see you.” It’s a thing, and I’m here for it). Ok, I see you wanting the dirty deets, and I’ll give ‘em to you. 

I feel like drawing a picture on a napkin of my funemployment journey over the last 8 years… brb. 

Ok, I’m back and I drew it on the back of my notarized lease (if you look closely where the arrow is you’ll see that official stamp). It’s now my notarized path to funemployment. Best of luck reading it.  

It’s not about the destination it’s about the journey…mmm hrrrmm

It’s not about the destination it’s about the journey…mmm hrrrmm

So basically I’ve been working at this thing for a while, We got a short snippet of funemplyment in 2015, then I panicked and needed money and went to work for the Catholic Church wearing business casual (LOLS, future post on this for sure). Then after that I jumped into another job, because I was like, “Oh damn, I can make more money.” Then when that full-time job wasn’t doing it for me, I’d quit after 8 months and jumped right into another FT job… fully ignoring that my goal in life was to work for myself. 

Actually, last summer I went to my ten year high school reunion. I was given a slip of paper that I had filled out to give my future self in ten years. I was now my future self, and I read the slip of paper which said: What will you be doing in ten years? 

My answer:

Working for myself and raking in the dough. 

Wow. That hit home for me. I didn’t know HS me was so knowing.

You know when you drunkenly send a text at night, then you go and try to send the same thing the next day realizing you already sent it. Then you’re like, Wow, I’m just so authentically me, no matter what state I’m in. This is how I felt. Like even high school ding dong me knew what I wanted in life. She was like yes, Miz, YES...find a European man, travel a shit ton, live in a big city, work for yourself, and RAKE IN that dough. 

I stood there reading the slip like, Oh shit, I better get started. I will NOT come back to my 20th high school reunion and disappoint my old senior year self. NO. 

So I returned home with a kick in the ass from 18-year-old me. Problem was, I didn’t know HOW to work for myself or WHAT THE FUCK to do. So at all these full-time jobs I’d get this overwhelming feeling of knowing that I had to quit. I had to. What I truly wanted to do was just trust myself, quit, and give myself space, without a plan. 

Instead I ignored that feeling, and asked everyone around me what they thought I should do. Then, when they’d ask, “Well, if you quit what will you do?” I’d wrack my brain and try to come up with an answer of some made-up future job description, when the true answer was, “I DON’T FUCKING KNOW, BUT I NEED SOME SPACE TO FIND OUT.” 

I finally got the lady-balls. I quit again, without jumping into a new full-time job. I made the space. The space was scary as shit. I panicked a lot.

WTF am I gunna do?

I knew I loved doing Airbnb. That felt the most aligned for me. 

Being aligned is simply when you’re like, “Oh this is just so me.” Being aligned brings you energy, it doesn’t drain you. It’s fun. It doesn’t mean it’s without challenges, but it means you’re up for the challenge because you’re like, I know I have to do this for me. 

So I just had to figure out what else was aligned. THEN I could find my funemployment. 

What’s cool is alignment can come with qualities. I didn’t know this, so when I found this out...game changer. My qualities were flexibility and ownership (amongst others). I want to be able to dictate how I spend my time, and have an openness about it -- feeling like everyday may be a little different! I used to describe that I felt like a “caged bird,” being at an office job. Someone later questioned me, asking, “What if you were still in a cage, but the door was open?” BAM. Money. 

From there, I questioned how I could create those qualities within the jobs I already knew how to do. I decided to attempt at freelancing. I didn’t know if the jobs existed in my industry, and found out with some patience that they did! I added value by actually being dispensable, by being flexible to leave. “Hey, yeah I’ll come and stay for three months, work with you, then I’ll leave.” This frees up budget for my clients, helps fill some temporary need, and means I can go travel between gigs!

I gave myself permission to have a “portfolio career,” I made that ok for me to dabble in a few different things, which is what I love most — knowing that the mix will evolve over time! 

Ok so that’s how you got here...So what are you actually up to now!?

I am freelancing as a product manager and am about to start my fourth gig. I travelled for a month this summer, and let my client know before starting, “Hey, I’ll be gone all of August.” He was like “Cool, actually I will be too!”. My clients usually find me through Upwork, a freelancing platform. 

I have paid my rent by sharing my apartment on Airbnb since 2014. Yes, I even share a bathroom. Isn’t that weird Miz? Yes, and I’ll gladly do weird stuff for someone to pay my largest living expense, while living in one of the most expensive cities in America :) 

Mario and I rented an apartment in Jersey City last November (I was very low on savings and literally borrowed $4k to start it up) where we run another Airbnb. We’ve done really well with that, and through building strong relationships, we quadrupled the number of properties that we manage this past summer. 

Now I’m going back to work at my favorite client for a few months while they need some support, and we are planning to buy our first investment property in the next six months, and travel to Asia in February (tbd where!). 

You can commission me to draw your life timeline if you’d like (#sidehussle)

You can commission me to draw your life timeline if you’d like (#sidehussle)

So like when you look at the picture again and see that small little portion at the end where it says “All the good stuff” (look closely)... that’s my advice to you: KEEP GOING. I’m still in it, and I can see how the good stuff will keep compounding. Really connect with your values, with what drives you. You will lose faith over and over, but just keep reconnecting. I think you can get to “the good stuff” A LOT faster than me if you don’t cloud your intuition, your high school senior, with self-doubt. Fucking find that HS senior who knew, “In 10 years, I will be a badass!” And let that person motivate you. 

Don’t let her down :) 

Funemployed... Again?

Hi Friends!

As I approach my 31st birthday next weekend, I am inspired to write again.

Those two things have very little to do with one another. It’s just that while I took this chance to write, I wanted to also remind you that it’s my birthday soon (and I’m accepting gifts). Ok, ok, they are somewhat connected in that my birthday is a time (like New Year’s) where I reflect back on my life and how it’s progressing. I feel quite good about mine and I felt it was time to get back to my creative hobby— writing.

This 30th year has been my best one so far. I continued my tech-related freelancing gigs, grew my Airbnb/rental biz with Mario (my partner and lover), cried a lot, was angry and irritable a lot (very sorry, Mario), laughed a lot, traveled a lot, and had some major personal breakthroughs. I believe my next year will be even better, and with that….

I have an announcement to make.

I’m not pregnant or engaged. Chill yourself, mom.

Ok, here’s my announcement:

I am committed to FUNEMPLOYMENT.

But wait, you’ve been Funemployed before, Miz…

You’re not wrong. Four years ago I quit my job for the first time and took a four month hiatus (since then I’ve quit many more jobs). At the time I coined my hiatus “funemployment” based on the fact that I was unemployed and having fun—emphasis on the unemployment. Like F-U-employment. 

Now, four years later, through many attempts at various jobs and repeated cycles of self-denial, depression, anxiety, and self-discovery,  I am officially FUN-employed. I am actually doing and committed to only doing work that lights me up, that’s aligned with intuition, my vision, and my purpose in life. Work that...when I think about it, I’m not like, oh shit I have to go do that....I’m like HELLS YES! Work that allows me to enjoy my life how I want to (think passive income while I traveled around Croatia & Spain for the summer! Yehaw!).

And now I’m back here, on this blog, to share some of the daily realities of funemployed life, the trials and tribulations that go with it, and some silly stories along the way.

Eating figs lights me up (Eating figs is not work though, guys. I just needed a picture, because you people like pictures).

Eating figs lights me up (Eating figs is not work though, guys. I just needed a picture, because you people like pictures).

I also want to do work that lights me up, Miz!

OK, what work lights you up? If it’s winning the lotto…I’m gunna have you close your eyes, take a few deeps breaths…and get a new dream. If it’s playing with puppies all day… OK, we can work with that (think dog trainer, owning a dog wash, boarding dogs). We can make the puppy dream happen. I cannot help with the lotto.

A somber story about the lotto…

When I was young my neighbor’s ex-husband actually won the lotto. He later died by suicide in his ex-wife’s house (my neighbor). I was home with a babysitter when this happened and another neighbor came to the door. I answered, and she told me what happened, with sirens blaring in the cul-de-sac. I must have been ten years old. It was quite shocking to my young brain. So with that said, I don’t have a favorable bias towards winning the lottery. That’s why it’s not a valid dream IMHO (that means in my honest opinion, mom). 

I think with the lotto you miss the journey. People get the end goal of “OMG, I’m rich” very suddenly, and there’s no journey to be satisfied with (remember that whole “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” thing?). So, while I do believe it is actually possible to win the lotto, I just don’t recommend it. And I wouldn’t sit back waiting for it to happen like, “Oh, if I could just win the lotto everything would be better.” NO. People who sit in bleak cubicles under fluorescent lighting all day always say this. DO NOT be a bleak cubicle person. Winning the lotto won’t make you happy. It won’t solve your problems. Get a new dream, please. 

Ok, now I have my new dream. I want to be funemployed too. Now what, Miz?

Well, you’ll have to wait for another blog post. Based on my track record, it could be a long time, so in the meantime, make a vision board and wait patiently.

My 2019 vision was like, “Eat vegetables, stretch, wash your face, and sleep, you ding-dong!” And it turned out to be a surprisingly great year!

My 2019 vision was like, “Eat vegetables, stretch, wash your face, and sleep, you ding-dong!” And it turned out to be a surprisingly great year!

I promise I won’t make you wait too long, and I promise I can help you also achieve a life of funemployment! More to come my friends :)