I quit my six figure job to become a field worker.

Picking cilantro from sunrise to sunset is a whole lot different than being your own boss.

This is adapted from a newsletter I started to document my adventures this year. If you’re interested in following along, please subscribe. I’d be honored and would love to have you along for the ride.

Back when I was a college student I stumbled into what is arguably the best possible college job: tutoring. I was coaching high school water polo and swimming and was a math major, so it was only a matter of time before I was helping my athletes out with their math homework. From there the word got out and I was on my way.

Tutoring is arguably the best possible college job for a number of reasons. You set your own rates and schedule. You’re your own boss. The overhead is virtually zero. You get paid in cash. It was more than enough to pay my way through undergrad and grad school and still have plenty left over.

After grad school I went to law school and stopped tutoring. And after law school I got myself my first “real” job at a law firm. However, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to practice law. That’s when I stumbled back into tutoring.

I figured tutoring would just be a way to earn some cash while I figured out what I wanted to do next. But a year later I learned some tricks of the trade and was earning more money than I ever had practicing law.

I learned that by doing group tutoring and teaching classes you could earn way more per hour. I learned that people will pay top dollar for help preparing for standardized tests. And I learned that raising your rates over time only makes you more popular.

So that’s what I’ve been up to the last four years. Most of the tutoring is online, so in addition to being my own boss I’ve been able to travel the world extensively while working from some pretty remote locations.

It’s been pretty amazing. The only problem is that I don’t really want to do it anymore. I think I’m a little more interesting and have a little more talent than being a tutor requires. So I gave it all up on the first of the year.

I’m giving myself a year to do whatever I want. To try things I’ve always dreamed of doing. To work on some things I’ve always wanted to improve at. To do some really hard things just to prove to myself that I can. To go on some adventures. I’ve sketched out the rough outlines of what I want to do, but I’m leaving plenty of room for the unknown and the unexpected.

The year may be a complete disaster and a waste. Or it may be the greatest year of my life. I’m okay with either outcome.

The first thing I wanted to do was work on a farm harvesting crops with migrant workers. I know — it’s random. Maybe even a little bit crazy. But it’s just something I’ve always wanted to experience and see for myself. So I did it. I harvested cilantro from sunrise to sunset for a few weeks.

Let me tell you, that is real work. And it’s pretty mindless work, which leaves plenty of time for reflection. Those are the types of experiences I’m going to be engaging in all of 2021.

I’m going to bike across the country, visit national parks, drive Route 66, do some intensive language lessons, and explore my African American roots. I hope to meet a lot of people, collect stories, and learn a lot. And I’m also planning on writing more to document those experiences and to share those lessons.

This is adapted from a newsletter I started to document my adventures this year. If you’re interested in following along, please subscribe. I’d be honored and would love to have you along for the ride.

BS Math & Masters in Public Policy, Cal Poly. JD, Georgetown. Minimalism, digital nomadism, reading, eating well, exercise, good coffee and conversation, LVT.

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