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Okay, I'll admit it; I'm afraid. No, not afraid; terrified. Every step I've taken so far in my professional life has been obvious. Go to school. Get a degree. Get the job recommended to me by my dean. Each step was straightforward and simple. I knew what I could do, how to do it, how I would feed myself, etc.

But I'm breaking that chain. The nice, tailored life I set out to build for myself is being thrown out the window and I'm striking off on my own. Why? Because nothing felt right anymore. I was disenfranchised with the company I was working for. The School, Job, Wife, Kids plan was thrown to the wind because of, well, everything I've ever written here on LiveJournal. I wanted to move forward in my life, not just stagnate like I was.

And I thought I could be smart about it. I had been planning for a while for things to go upside down. The writing has been on the wall for months and I had planned accordingly. When I finally decided it was time, I turned in 3 months notice to give them good time to get things squared away. I talked with my parents about my last resort backup plan. I started making sure I saved every last penny I had to make this work.

Yet here I am, up at 1:30 in the morning, unable to sleep and sweating bullets because I'm not sure if I've done what's necessary to have continuous health care coverage. I'm worrying that all of my talents and ideas are useless to the public and no one will pay me for them. I'm deeply concerned that my marketing skill, when it stops being arm-chair speculation and textbook regurgitation, won't be even REMOTELY good enough to feed myself, let alone have enough money to truly take on some genuinely risky projects.

Everyone I've talked to so far has spoken to me like I'm some kind of planning savant, and if that's true, then the one thing I can say for certain is that my analysis of my plans suggest that I'm taking on an incalculable risk, and all I'm doing presently is trying to put crumple zones, seat belts, and air bags on a car that I'm about to drive in a Nascar race. All of that won't help me win the race, it'll just lower the risk of being mortally wounded when I inevitably put it into the wall because I'm not a racecar driver.

I was hoping that as I got closer to the actual date, my deep fears would start to move away, and I'd start to feel the energy of the project. And to some extent I have felt the energy. It's not enough to overwhelm the anchor-weight of repeated days of terrible customers, and I still can't bring myself to do much after work, but that's not as important as the fact that my fears haven't ebbed at all. If anything, the uncertainty around the simple logistics have worked to strengthen every nagging concern 100x over.

The old cliche, "don't quit your day job", when speaking to most artist rings louder and louder with each passing day. Sturgeon's law says that 90% of all things that are made are crap, and the amount of arrogance I have to have to think I'm in that 10% in a field I have no formal education in is just laughable.

But the one thing I can be sure of that hasn't wavered is my resolve. I'm losing sleep over the details, but I'm tired of failing at trying. The original middle-class checklist, School, Job, Wife, Kids  was derailed because I was afraid to try. Well, I'm a HELL of a lot less afraid of business than I am of intimacy, and by god I plan to try with all of my might. There will be bumps, but I need to not be afraid to call in favors. I WILL call HR tomorrow and I WILL get this issue with the health insurance worked out. I WILL get to the SBA and I WILL give this the best damned try I can. Ya, my car may wreck and I may be left crippled, but which mattered more, the guy on the track who just lost by default, or the fan in the stand who once dreamed of racing but gave up?

It won't be easy. I expect a lot more sleepless nights. Hopefully the health insurance thing will be easy. Hopefully the initial Patreon run will give me some nice offset that will help take the initial burden off, even $100/mo would be a good step forward. Not enough overall, mind you, but more than enough to get the confidence to start moving forward.

In any case, it's time to give sleep a second go.