This echoes feelings I’ve had, and I’ve heard plenty of other people express:
I have given up my secure academic job as Reader at the University of the West of England for the vagaries of life as a freelance. And why? Because I want to work – really work – and my job made that impossible.
Am I mad? The losses include a reliable salary, a pension, sick pay, a heated room, and a computer that someone comes to mend when it breaks down. But I can do without those (I think). The gain is a true academic life at last. I can devote my time to thinking, and reading and writing; to sharing ideas with others; to asking questions of the universe and trying to find the answers. The simple fact is that I could not do these things and the job.
I’m reading Blackmore’s Zen and the Art of Consciousness, which I think does a brilliant job of communicating how difficult meditation and mindfulness exercises are.