I spent the vast majority of my life following the "typical" life path that had been set out for me by society - go to school, work hard, climb the corporate ladder, get married, buy a home, etc.
Yet, still I was searching for meaning, and I felt incomplete and unfulfilled.
When you derive your happiness wholly from your career, as I did, you are left very vulnerable. As I suspect happens a lot in Corporate America, I endured leadership changes, cultural shifts and company politics, and gradually, I was marginalized and stripped of most of my responsibilities.
I felt my career begin to decline, and I was lost. Furthermore, when you feel disenfranchised and undervalued at work, the negative feelings make it hard to find joy in the rest of your life.
Even though I was miserably unhappy, I likely would not have made the contrarian personal decision to quit my job had I not endured a near-death experience last summer. After going out on medical leave, I realized that the vast majority of my life had been focused on academic and financial success, and that this ultimately did not help my mental health.
This summer, I am focused on exploring who I am as an individual and reconnecting with my childhood self. In high school, I was in a band and wrote and performed my own songs (you can find some of them on my Social Musings by Austin YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmvDAlGjeBbr8fUZ5S2OYwg).
Unlike when I was in high school in the 1990s, today there are more avenues for Creators to reach an audience and ultimately monetize their work. In fact, I want to make a bold statement:
There has never been a better (and more democratic*) time than the present to earn a living as a Creator
* What I mean by "democratic" is that making a living as an artist in the past meant you needed to have an incredible combination of talent and luck, and this career path was for very few people. The expansion of social media and the tools provided to Creators (such as TikTok's strategic partnership with Shopify and Instagram's Shop) allow for the typical New Economy Creator to actually earn a living.
For example, you can find my new single, "Austin from Austin," on the following online locations: TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, where it has been viewed thousands of times in less than a week. Furthermore, the video was entirely produced with technology that is accessible to almost everyone in the developed world (basically your phone and a computer).
As a New Economy Creator, I’m starting to enjoy my life more than I ever have before, and I certainly have less stress, which has tangible health benefits. While I will miss the camaraderie and all the friends that I’ve made throughout my two decade career in finance, I realized I was not in a healthy headspace, and I’m grateful that God spared my life so that I might do something meaningful with the rest of my existence.
Please follow me on my spiritual journey toward ethical self-actualization (see definition here: https://www.socialmusingsbyaustin.com/post/my-interview-with-ludwig-wittgenstein-and-the-definition-of-ethical-self-actualization) by subscribing to the blog at the top or bottom of this page. This way you won't ever miss out on the Musings!