four days left

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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.

You might also like these related posts:

now what?

i quit my job today

10 ways to save for a desk job escape

the day I decided to quit my job

do what makes you happy

11 thoughts on “four days left

  1. Good for you! I was in the same rut and changed jobs this month…scary but so much relief now that it is all done.

    You will be fine! I am sending best wishes to you. Enjoy your life. Be happy.

  2. I too had a bout of severe depression when I was in my early 20’s and dropped out of my first degree. I think it made me really appreciate these times when I don’t quite know where I am going and when things are changing fast becasue it is such a contrast to those depressed years when all I did was think and do the same things again and again and again. if you can cope with depression you can cope with anything, it seems like this brave, bold decision is going to be the start of a great adventure. good luck (for what it’s worth, I don’t think you’ll need it).


  3. Hayley, I feel exactly the same way. Being depressed (and all the consequences that occurred because of it) was the worst time of my life. I feel, now, that I can withstand anything because I got through that.

    Thanks for your kind words!!

  4. I love your attitude about this new journey you’re undertaking. My family and friends would definitely tell you that I took my own sweet time to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life once I left the stable career behind. It frustrated the hell out of more than a few of them. But, like you, I knew I needed to take my time. I realized I’d spent all those years through high school, college, and my early working life rushing through to fulfill some plan. Problem was I never took the time to evaluate the plan or to really figure out if it was one that I’d created with my own best interests at heart. So, I slowed down. I experimented. I followed my instincts and I can happily say I was right to do so.

    I hope the next 4 days go smoothly as you close this chapter.

  5. Jenn your an inspiration! I came across your blog last night and spent part of last night and this morning reading your archives and you’ve inspired me to start making the changes I need to in order to leave my desk job.

    Long story short I’ve been working my way through a course that once completed will allow me to pursue a dream that I’ve had for a long time. I should have finished over a year ago but the ugly face of fear and “comfort” of my desk job has had me dragging my feet.

    I’m off today and tomorrow so I’m spending that time putting together my “get out of dodge” plan. I’ve been working my way through school without giving any thought to what needed to be done to let me be able to leave (extra savings, finish up some projects I’ve been holding off on at work, taking care of a few things at home)

    So I wanted to thank you for making me look at my current situation in a new light and wish you a wonderful 4 days at your desk job and a fun and happy new beginning!

  6. Liz! You have no idea how thrilled I am to hear that. Congratulations. I’m glad that my experiences have inspired you to continue to move forward with your goals. That’s the whole idea! Move forward, create your own happiness and if you’re feeling stuck, even if you’re “comfortably stuck,” why not shake things up?! It CAN be done. I’m happy for you. Thanks for commenting and please keep me posted!!

  7. I just stumbled upon your blog and alreay really enjoy it. I, like many, can relate you being stuck in a job you are unhappy with. I am so impressed that you actually did something about it! I hope, someday soon, I can do the same. Kudos!

  8. Fantastic idea to tell your story! So many people end up stuck in a job that they just drift into and don’t enjoy going to. I mean, this is LIFE! We should be loving every day of it. Also, I love your photos too. 🙂

  9. I think when I meet you I’m going to cry. Just a warning.

    And you are NOT nuts! You are A Creative, & we do things differently. Embrace the fact that you KNOW what works for you & you KNOW how you operate (most people don’t!) & keep on following your instincts. You’ll write up A Plan when you’re instincts tell you to!

  10. Pingback: When I Grow Up – The Blog » Blog Archive » Link Love: October 2009

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