As of this morning, I have four days left of the desk job.
No way. I can’t believe it.
It’s been “someday” for so long now. And suddenly it’s “four-days-from-now.” Yikes!
I’m feeling all the usual suspected emotions: excited, scared, confused, eager, unsure, worried, relieved, curious, panicked and pleased. I’m also feeling incredible grateful.
I’m grateful that I am able to do this, that I live in a world where it’s possible, that I’ve allowed myself to create this space and that I will allow myself to fill the space with whatever feels right.
I’ve been getting a lot of great emails lately from people who are unhappy in their jobs, or who wish they could quit but just don’t know how. I’m certainly not an expert on the subject, having only done this once in my life so far. But it’s wonderful to hear from people who are like me, who have found themselves in an unhappy situation and want to change it. I hope that we all find the strength to make those changes, because it is possible to have a job that you love. That option does exist.
I’ve come to learn recently that the way I’ve gone about this is not for everyone. I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, or what my life will look like six months from now. I have some ideas, but I haven’t got a concrete plan of action, I haven’t saved up thousands and thousands of dollars, I still have bills to pay every month, student loans to worry about, a high New York City rent with which to concern myself. I also like to buy and eat food. And sometimes I go to Target and spend $20 I don’t have on things I don’t need.
So, if I’m quitting my job and don’t have a new one lined up, why haven’t I made a specific step-by-step plan? Why haven’t I mapped out exactly what I’m going to do, when, for how long, and what I hope to achieve from it? Why haven’t I started my next big project NOW so that I can just walk into it in four days?
As many of you know, I experienced severe depression and was morbidly obese when I was in college. It was a painful, terrible time in my life. And even though I did eventually hit a rock bottom, out of which I had no choice but to climb, I’d lived in that state of miserable discomfort for years before I did anything about it. Of course my family wanted me to get better, of course my friends were worried about me, of course my mother constantly encouraged me to take a long, hard look at my situation.
And of course, I didn’t change until I was ready. Until it was time – for ME – to make the change.
Now, I don’t liken this wonderful, happy quitting-my-job and seeking-something-better stuff to being depressed and overweight. Right now is an exciting, rewarding time in my life. That was not. But one way in which the two experiences are connected is this: I learned from the first one that I do things at my own pace. Even if my brain wants to hurry me along, even if people who love me have a time-line in mind, I can’t be hurried. It’s just how I’m built. Perhaps it’s because I’m stubborn, or perhaps I’m just a creature of habit, but I’m very much someone who has to do things in her own time. Always have been. And if I don’t feel right, for instance, about making a specific concrete plan of attack to move me through this transition, then I’m probably not going to do it. What does feel right to me is listening to my instincts.
What feels right is to set my intentions for this transition, spend my time in ways that make me feel fulfilled and then See. What. Happens. It also feels right to trust that I will end up somewhere pretty good.
Maybe I’m nuts.
We’ll see! EEeeeeeek!!
I do know that I’ll wake up on Monday morning of next week without a desk job to hurry off to. That’s step one. Let’s see how that day goes. Then, as I’ve mentioned, I’m going to give myself a solid week of relaxing and sort of just puttering around. I’ll probably see a movie or two, maybe reorganize my dresser drawers, I’ll probably exercise a lot and cook sometimes and stay up late for no good reason. I’ve been meaning to cut pictures out of magazines for a while. Maybe I’ll do that. I need that play time. That’s the extent of my plan for the first week.
And after that play time is up, I’m going to get to work! Doing what?! Writing, performing, baking – whatever strikes my fancy. And I think I’ll also exercise and cook and relax and enjoy my friends and fill myself with things that I love. And I’ll feel how lovely it is to be spending my time like that, rather than at a desk working for someone else, doing something I don’t like. That’s the extent of my plan, as it stands today.
My thesis statement: I’m going to pursue work I’m passionate about.
And I’m going to do it until the money runs out.
And I’m hoping that it never does.
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