Saying No To a Steady Paycheck

I’m in the the Coast Guard. That means I get a steady paycheck, full medical, solid job security and a simple, straight forward way to earn pay raises and advances. So why leave and not make it 20 years and make retirement at 38? When I first announced I would be getting out and pursuing other paths I was asked almost daily if I was sure I wanted to give up my steady paycheck. And every single time I answered yes. I was and am 100% positive I am doing the right thing. For me life much more than having an easy future. Money and steady income do not equate to happiness. It’s an old concept and we’ve all heard it a million times, but I truly felt that the steady paycheck was no longer a good enough reason to keep doing the work I was doing. The world was literally calling my name but I didn’t have the freedom to answer the call.

Many people face the same dilemma I did. Do you give up a job that is kind of boring or only kind of what you want but has a steady paycheck or do you take a leap and pursue your dream without the certainty that you will survive? Surviving means different thing to different people. Many people are just fine surviving with a subpar job and living comfortable, boring lives. While others suffocate and fade away because they want to pursue other things but are to afraid to leave the clutches of money and a known future. I know this is especially true of people with children. It’s hard to up and leave a steady paycheck when you have extra mouths to feed. However, money and security in a job is a false promise. Even the military is not as secure as everyone would have you think. Too many of us place our faith in the steady income and the safe futures promised to us. Society says if you follow xy and z you will have a good life, healthy children, and a lovely retirement. But we all know that is not true. Lay offs, paycuts, sickness and death are just a few things that can happen in the blink of an eye and leave you wondering why you wasted time doing something you weren’t satisfied with. It’s a real struggle choosing to pursue security or your dream.

For me the decision was difficult.  Leaving a steady paycheck is not always as easy as I hate my job and want to see the world. I actually really love the Coast Guard and think it’s a wonderful career. It all comes down to what will you want to see flash before your eyes when you die. I knew that if I continued to keep my job in the military I would be let down by the system eventually and always regret not pursuing my hearts desire. My hope is that you too are able to make the right decision for your own life. There’s no right answer. That is something you have to decide for yourself.


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