08 November 2011

So, I Quit My Job...Now What?

Three weeks ago I put my notice in, that I was leaving my job. I started putting things into action to achieve a dream - a dream of exploring, helping and doing something worthwhile. So why am I so nervous? I guess, it's mainly due to the events that have unfolded in the last two weeks. With the loss of my mom and now the financial mess that remains unsorted, I feel as though my life, my safety net and certainty have come crumbling down beside me. I feel lost in the rubble, unable to create a path out. I've become...passive and uninspired. It's hard to see the light when covered in such darkness. But I know I'll get that..."joie de vivre" back, that sparkle in my eye (I see glimpses of it every now and then.) But for now,  I have to take life day by day (sometimes hour by hour!) and try not to let my circumstances stress me out. Whenever I (foolishly) question the decisions I've made thus far or worry about not having a steady (albeit, very small) income anymore, I try to remember the following questions. (Hopefully they might inspire others to take a risk and follow a dream as well):

1. Do I love my job?
The answer to that is a resounding 'no'. Comfortable? somewhat. The truth is, I've never loved my job. But, I needed to make/save money. Plus, being a photographer in tourism taught me a lot about my passion. Taking literally, thousands of photos a week helped me learn about cameras and how to quickly compose a great photo. But I always hated the long hours, standing in one spot under the blazing sun...bored out of my mind. I hated always working nights and weekends - not really having a life outside of sleeping and working. I didn't care for working for such a huge corporation either. It's easy to get lost in the midst of all of it. I longed to work for something I had a passion in, something that had true value in it. And this wasn't it.

2. How would I feel a year from now, if I was in the same place?
Oh, how 2 1/2 years flew by at my job! And it's been 3 years since I've graduated college...and life is just passing me by. If I truly thought I had to spend another year, making no progress in life and in myself - I would become seriously depressed. I owe it to myself to follow a dream, to invest in myself.

3. What are my passions?
I'm so positive on this: travel, cultures, photography, art, film. Everything points to my exploring what's out there.

4. Will there ever be a better time to go?
True, I could work and save more money, but I'm only getting older (not that 25 is old..) and the world is only getting crazier (weather, governments)...and I think I've found myself at the perfect time to go. To have gone 2 years ago, I wouldn't have the money and the world might've been easier...and to go 2 years from now, I would have plenty of money but I fear the world may be out of control. So, now's the time. I'll take my small savings and see what I can do with that.

5. If I could do anything in the world, what would it be?
None of my ideas include me at the job I was in...that's what really helped me leave. I want to be a photographer, a cinematographer, an artist, a volunteer...all in relation to other cultures. Bringing out the beauty, the quirkiness, the fascination in our differences. I don't know why I have such a pull towards these things, I can only hope it's because I'm truly meant to wander the world and....do something. (That's the gypsy in me). What it is, I'm still not sure. But I hope to discover it and myself in the process.

6. If I come back broke, would I regret it then?
Not at all. It'll suck...I'll have to start from the bottom again. (Who's to say I'm not at the bottom already?..) But then again, maybe not. Maybe I'll find success in one form or another along the way. And if not, I wouldn't trade my travel experience for the world. It's funny...at the job I just left, I would always hear things like "I wouldn't trade my job for the world." I'm happy for them, we worked at a magical place and I can see how they feel that way...but I always thought to myself, "That's exactly what I want to trade my job for: the world. To see and explore the wonders it holds."

7. Could I live with myself, knowing I let my dream go?
No. Is it weird to say I fear what I would become if I don't do this? Living in America, it feels like there is a specific model life you're expected to follow. But sometimes you just need courage to stand up for yourself, realize how you want to live your life and take a risk.

This is my life, no one can live it for me. Am I naive? Yes. But I've thought about all of this - my future - for years now. This isn't a rash decision. I've weighed the pros and cons and thought about the circumstances. More importantly, I've prayed...and hopefully I'm right about this, but I truly feel like it's been laid on my heart to do this. With all that's going on, I haven't finished my travel planning and the departure date isn't set yet (hopefully January or February), so in the meantime I'm going to work on me. I'm going to do all the things I never had time to do when I was working:
  1. I'm going to travel to my own backyard. I want to wander Southern California and build up my photography portfolio and experience more sunrises.
  2. I will start working on starting my business. Graphic Design, Photography, Video Editing. I have a lot of experience...it's time I start thinking about how I can potentially fund my travels.
  3. Start networking/mingling. It's no secret that I'm shy and I need to work on that! I would like to meet other travelers, perhaps in the CouchSurfing community.
  4. Work out regularly. I need to get ready for backpacking!
  5. Go to church. It's been a while since I've gone regularly. And I need comfort in the midst of all that is happening in my life right now.
  6. Keep writing on my blog. I have SO many past travels still left to blog about, and I would like to get those all up before I leave.
  7. Read. I miss reading.

1 comment:

  1. Where are you guys as of February 23rd? I'm awaiting a blog update.... :)



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