How I've come to quit my job: A courageous journey or a quarter-life crisis?

How I've come to quit my job: A courageous journey or a quarter-life crisis?

"Give your character stakes. Real, primal stakes." -- Blake Snyder, Save the Cat!


At this moment in my life, I am 27 years old. I've been married for 6 years, and in January my wife and I will be having our third child (gender TBD). As of this writing (10:02 a.m. ET on Monday, August 13), I'm supposed to be rushing to clock-in and get my headphones on, and otherwise just be ready to sit in the call queue in anticipation of another phone call that could mean a auto insurance sale.

That is no longer the case. I put my two weeks in at my "real" job las week, but they sent me home the following day. A the end of those two weeks, I won't have health insurance either.

To those of you who know me personally, I know there is likely one of two things running through your head:

  1. You're an idiot
  2. No guts, no glory

I imagine the reality of this situation is somewhat true on both counts. But the time has come.

Don't misread me -- I am thankful for the position I just left. It was a great company that provides a great commodity, but the actual function of my position wasn't something I could physically bring myself to do for 40 hours per week. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I am of the creative temperament and born during the information and technology boom of the 80s; my head is full of movie and literature quotes. I'm a writer of screenplays, short stories, marketing material and (I hope) a few novels.

Traditional employment does not suit me.

During the last 5 years I have held four "real" jobs. The last two combined barely account for a single year. There's something that happens when I get in an office setting, particularly in an office setting where I'm not able to practice what I'm good at. In short, I lose my head. The day-to-day experience is similar to being crushed beneath an ever-turning stationary wheel. I'm pulled up around the circumference of the wheel from time to time, but only to be thrown back beneath it to further feel it's grinding force.

To me, this is not life -- working in a such a way that I am in a perpetual state of exhaustion and broken of spirit. I see others in similar situations and I'm pained to see it. To me, life isn't too far from the art of storytelling. There needs to be, as Blake Snyder says in his book Save the Cat!, "Real, primal stakes," for a story to have any real significance. The stationary lifestyle of working 40 hours per week in an environment that progresses me neither personally nor professionally is not a life with any risks. It's the safe life, a boring and otherwise inconsequential existence.

Therefore, I'm embarking on an experiment: Is it possible for me to support my family through alternative employment means, to make money on my own steam and not through an expected base paycheck, regardless of my performance? We shall see. I've thrown myself into the shark pool and I'm bleeding profusely.

There will be slight shift in this site during the weeks to come. A new layout perhaps (UPDATE: done!), but also chronicling of my (mis)adventures as someone who has made what many will see as a foolhardy error.

So watch and see the train-wreck or observe as the garden of my words and efforts continues to grow. Either way, something has to happen. And if I fall face-first to the ground, the dirt will taste sweeter than the honey of ordinary success.

My name is Marcelo Asher Quarantotto.


I am a father of three beautiful daughters and husband to the most gracious, saintly creature I've ever met. (You'll find pictures of them here from time to time.) I am also a multidisciplinary storyteller.