Tuesday marked my last day in gainful employment. I promised myself this year would be a year of taking more risks, living more purposefully, stepping out and documenting my journey as much as possible. I’m unashamed to say I’ve failed woefully at documenting much of it until now. This promise to take more risks and live purposefully stemmed from what can only be described as my year of turmoil. 2017 was one of those years I will never forget, a year that in some ways changed my life and the events of which are still changing my life even as I write this. It was a year of growing a backbone and truly realizing that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. As a popular adage goes, it was a year of “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong“.
From health to career and domestic issues, it was relentless and seemingly never-ending. Yet in all of this, little did I know it would be the fuel I needed to drastically change my life so to speak.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my life and the trajectory of my life and how miserable I’ve been in my job. Don’t get me wrong, my job has been great to a certain degree. I learned a lot, it paid well and I got to work in some pretty challenging and interesting projects. But there has been a growing unrest within me for years now. At times I’ve tried to reason with my mind and convince myself that perhaps I’m discontent and I should be more content with where I’m at in life. But that unrest has only grown louder and stronger, causing a lot of worry and thoughts about what next to do with my life and feeling frustrated at the sense of unfulfillment and not living up to my full potential.
Backtrack to 2015, I spontaneously decided it was time to leave a job I had enjoyed for the past 5 years on to something new. However, I did not know what I wanted to do with my career and my life. I felt like I was at a turning point where I needed to figure out what I was created to do, my purpose for living. If you’ve ever been on that journey of trying to find your purpose, you will know that it is a journey that takes years to figure out and sometimes it’s never figured out. In my haste and uncertainty about what next to do, I went for the next job that came along in the same industry I’d been in all along. It wasn’t too long after starting the new job that I realized why I had that discontent in the first place and I knew it wasn’t going away any time soon. Yet again, I found myself feeling like I wasn’t where I was truly supposed to be and doing what I was created to do. This was only further solidified by the corporate slavery, bureaucracy, gender inequality and institutionalized discrimination I encountered, coupled with illness, depression and prolonged periods of absence from work. Yet with all these things, it has been the very catalyst that has opened up the doorway into finding my purpose. I’ll admit I don’t have it all figured out yet but I’m closer to it and I’m working on it.
I came to the conclusion that I had given it my best and I would rather give the unknown a shot than live with the regret of never knowing what could be. So with this in mind, it was time for me to set things in motion and step out in faith into new, unknown territory. On the 7th of February at 5:46 pm, I handed in my resignation from a fortune 500 company and it felt like a burden had been lifted. Yes, I quit my job and I don’t have another job lined up yet. I have a potential opportunity in the works but nothing is guaranteed until it is guaranteed. Truth is, it was probably one of the scariest and boldest things I’ve ever done and it wasn’t an easy decision to come to. I’ve dreamed and imagined countless times what it would be like to walk away from a job with no certainty of where the next pay cheque would come from. No amount of dreaming or movies or books prepares you for the actual process of quitting a job without another job. Am I scared of what will happen next? absolutely not. Was I scared before I quit my job? terrified! But now that I’ve actually done it, I’ve come to see that:
What appears to have more power and hold over us in our minds actually has no power when we muster up the courage to take that leap of faith and face it head on.
I am by no means advocating that you quit your job if unhappy with it, without first finding another job or having a plan in place particularly when it comes to personal finances. I’m merely stating that this is what I needed to do, it was the right thing for me to do, and for someone else it might be the right thing to find another job first. Some people might not understand this, perhaps even call it foolishness. That’s okay, wisdom and opportunities can come even from acts of foolishness if we’re open to learning every step of the way. But ask yourself one question, have you ever felt like I felt? Like there is more to life than the daily drudgery of your present situation? Can you relate with what I’m talking about here? I’m convinced that so many of us are trapped in jobs we hate, feeling a sense of discontentment and a desire to do more, be more, create more! Yet somehow we can’t get out, we feel stuck. The fear of failing coupled with bills to pay keeps us bound in our present circumstances, so we resign ourselves to our fate and convince ourselves it is for the best. But what if there’s more out there if only we’d let go of the fear? Just what if? What if we take a chance? There are no guarantees of success but there are also no guarantees of failure, and that in itself is a reason to try.
For more inspiration, check out Oprah’s super soul chat with Caroline Myss on Finding Your Purpose.