The following is an unedited transcript for Season 1, Episode 10 of my podcast, Written, Spoken, provided to help all of my readers and listeners — especially those with hearing disabilities or for whom English is not a primary language — access and enjoy the content of each and every episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or other platforms here.
I Quit My Job 10 Years Ago, Now I Finally Understand Why
[00:00:03] Hey there. I’m Dave Ursillo, and welcome to the season finale of Written, Spoken. In the first season of my new show, I’ve shared ten recently written essays in the format of the spoken word and the result has been this podcast. I hope you’ve enjoyed this mixed medium. As a passionate communicator of ideas, stories, and thoughts I hope you consider worthwhile of your time, this podcast has been something of an experiment for me. I don’t have enormous ambitions to become the next Joe Rogan of the podcasting world, or plan to land sponsorships with, you know, food delivery services and mattress companies that you hear advertised on just about literally every other podcast that’s out there. Written, Spoken has been about connecting with you in a new way. I hope a thoughtful way, a personal way. If you’ve enjoyed the show let me know with a quick review on Apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever you’re listening. A review and a five-star rating go a long way to helping us find new listeners. Also telling a friend, your partner, or someone close to you about the show is also hugely appreciated.
[00:01:05] In his final episode of season one, I’m marking the 10 year anniversary of quitting my job to pursue my career as a writer. I’ve talked about this story plenty of times in the past so the challenge for me this time was to find a new way to tell the story. I think ten years later what follows is the most honest angle the most authentic perspective that I’ve come up with yet. I hope you enjoy it. Here’s the episode.
[00:01:35] Dear friend. Ten years ago on May 19th I quit my job. But quitting my job was not about spiting the world of work or giving a middle finger to the recession or proving to the people around me that I was bigger than the work I was being given a chance to do. Quitting my job 10 years ago was for beginnings, I now understand, not endings.
[00:02:02] The first beginning that I wanted when I quit my job was to begin to feel better. The second beginning that I wanted was to begin to figure out who I really was. The third beginning was to begin to walk my own path. Fourth beginning to feel like my life mattered. A fifth beginning was to do some good in the world in some way. The sixth beginning was to get a publishing deal and to write a good book that helps people.
[00:02:34] I didn’t realize it at the time but despite beginnings 1 through 5 representing the most clear and obvious priorities — what with inner wellness, self knowledge, healing and surviving, coming before all else in this world — I staked everything on that sixth beginning my book publishing dream, instead. Even though it was a glaring mistake, putting all of my hopes for healing onto a book project was the most convenient distraction from the daunting in our work that I was really facing a decade ago.
[00:03:09] It was also an easy fixation because it was one that I thought society and people around me might understand and even encourage. After all publishing a book was a career aim. It was a lofty ambition and a socially lauded goal that I thought others would be more likely to accept. Telling everyone that I had quit my job because I was overwhelmed or hurting or feeling lost didn’t feel like a real option. Instead it felt shameful. Telling myself that I needed to quit the world of work as I had known it because I was sad and confused felt shameful too. I could barely admit it to myself let alone anyone else that I quit my job to feel better, and to figure out who I really was, And to find a way to walk my own path in life. So instead I transposed all of those vital inner priorities onto an external tangible outcome. For me it was a book through which I hope that all the rest from my depression to my crisis of identity would somehow magically get fixed.
[00:04:18] As it turned out, I didn’t land the publishing deal and didn’t write the book that I aspired to write. And thank the Goddess that I didn’t. Because even if my expressed goal was to write a book, I was really hoping beyond hope to somehow fall into feeling better without doing all of the uncomfortable inner work that was required. My priorities were misplaced. I wanted a shortcut. I hoped that I might somehow be able to skip ahead.
[00:04:48] Unsurprisingly I hit wall after wall in pursuit of my false priorities. Today I’ll tell you that we cannot and will not accomplish our inner work or begin to heal our wounds or endeavor into deeply knowing our true selves by staking it all on an outer external anything. It doesn’t work like that. It never does. It cannot.
[00:05:15] Because I never got the publishing deal that I hoped would help me fix all of the inner struggles and questions and doubts that I was avoiding, I eventually resorted to working on beginnings 1 through 5. Everything that I have done in the years since has run through beginnings 1 through 5. The true priorities. My soul priorities. The work within my inner world which I now understand must come first and before the outer world can follow.
[00:05:45] Now a decade on, beginnings 1 through 5 are no longer “beginnings” so to speak but ongoing and lifelong and lived-in practices that support me daily. They now exist as the centerpieces of my self-knowledge work that I continually reside within and practice. I know that I have to prioritize them over every other external object or outlet or goal every single day. And now more than 10 years later with my inner priorities straight and focused I finally feel comfortable and confident to return to that sixth beginning. But this time I hope for all the right reasons.
[00:06:34] On social media I’ve been lately teasing out a so-called super secret project for months. And today to mark the 10 year anniversary of quitting my job or should I say my pursuit of new beginnings, I’m excited to reveal that my super secret project is indeed the 6th beginning that I desired when I first quit my job 10 years ago: honoring my dream of landing a publishing deal and writing a good book that helps people.
[00:07:04] Since last December I have been actively engaged in the process of pursuing that six beginning; a dream that I had almost entirely left behind in recent years. Over the last five months I’ve written a 143 page treatment for a nonfiction book and with the guidance and support of a literary agent whom I queried and with whom I have struck up a relationship for these months, have been revising it to perfection ever since. If everything continues to progress as steadily as it has we may very well begin to pitch the project to book publishers as soon as within the next few weeks. Going the traditional publishing route to becoming an author has been a dream of mine for a long time, despite my misplaced priorities a full decade ago. And even though this is still very much and as of yet unfinished process ,which is why I’ve been a bit hesitant to share it at all, the reasons why I want to share this active and ongoing journey with you is exactly because not everything in my life or worker inner world is being staked out on the outcome or the end result of this book publishing pursuit. Ten years after quitting my job I’m finally ready to return to that sixth and final beginning. I’m excited to see what unfolds from here.
[00:08:25] To you my listener. I also want to say thank you. Whether you found your way onto this podcast through my newsletter or found your way onto my newsletter from this podcast; by way of meeting me at some point over the last 10 years; or a chance Google search or coming to one of my yoga classes, however we’ve connected over this 10 year journey of my writing, I just want to say thank you for being here.
[00:08:52] I write for many reasons but one of the most rewarding reasons is having this opportunity to exchange an honest moment with you wherever you are in the world. I believe that even silent words on a page or a computer screen or a phone for that matter the not so silent words being spoken to you through your earbuds are a way for our souls to meet without ever having actually spoken.
[00:09:17] I hope that as our souls meet, your soul feels even the smallest amount more seen, witnessed, appreciated, loved, understood, and supported. That is ultimately why I share my words. You are a major motivation for the writing work that I have done over the last decade and I hope to continue to earn that privilege for the next decade to come. Yours, Dave.
[00:10:04] All right that is the end of this week’s episode and that is the finale of Season 1 of Written, Spoken. Thank you so much for listening. Stay tuned for a Teaser Trailer of Season 2 over the coming weeks. Remember to please leave us a five-star rating and a helpful review on Apple podcast so that others can enjoy the thought candy I hope to offer here in your ears.
[00:10:30] As always you can find me and more than 500 essays and stories like the pieces you’ve heard spoken aloud on this podcast at DaveUrsillo.com. For speaking engagements, workshops, one on one coaching for writers and creatives, and my writing course, Unavoidable Writing, please visit UnavoidableWriting.com. Until next time thanks for listening. And remember you have a voice. It’s time to use it.
[00:10:58] I’m Dave Ursillo and this has been Written, Spoken. Season 1. Bye for now.