What do you want to be when you grow up?
The answer ought to be simple — though there’s a whole discussion on privilege to be had regarding precisely why it’s not — whatever you ‘re willing to work to achieve. An astronaut, an actor, President of the United States. Personally, depending on the day, I either wanted to study dolphins as a marine biologist or be a fabulously rich writer who idled away entire years at a time. There were no calculations of how this might all work, that wasn’t the issue — one kid I went to school with was determined to become a cat.
For too many of us, real life soon got in the way. We eventually decided to follow our more realistic ambitions of gaining some semblance of financial security as we witness the collapse of our economic system and the mega-rich formulate how to best use our bones for protein powder. Soon, we were caught in the system. Working for the weekend swallowed us whole. Late-stage capitalism chewed us up in its gears.
Yikes, this is getting bleak. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Be a bold creative, entrepreneurial risk-taker, or lucky-as-shit supermodel. Or, be one of the three people Stok Cold Brew Coffee pays $30,000 to chase their dreams. That’s right, if you’ve always wanted to learn how to make sushi from the best sushi chefs in the world or, I don’t know, brew beer with a Master Brewer, there are publicity-craving companies out there who want to give you $30,000 to quit your job and follow that ambition.
The payout will be divided up into $20,000 for travel and expenses and a $10,000 stipend. Just email your application to SToK@icfnext.com and hope they want to pay for you to go study the mature great white shark population at the Farallon Islands. (Are we projecting here? Maybe.)
There are a few caveats: you have to be 21 or older, you have to be ready to take your sabbatical between October 1 and December 15 of this year, and you have to be able and willing to document your journey on social media. Applications are open through Labor Day. Step away from the spreadsheet and go get ’em, tiger.