Week 25: Quitting My Job
One fine day in late May, while on my Hacker Paradise trip in Lesvos, I woke up clear that I needed to quit my job (yes, the same one I wrote a post about in February). Later that day, I found out that one of the contractors I admired most was let go, and two days later the person I admired THE most was let go.
I had already had the inkling to leave; early on, it became apparent that the company culture was toxic. The woman I was hired with left after six weeks because of it.
I still deeply respect the organization's mission (healing through plant medicine), but felt this wasn't reflected in management. Right before I decided to leave, my boss accused another employee of abusing her in a past life. In doing so, she sealed my resignation letter.
Within three days, I gave final notice that I would leave in a month. That led to four one-on-one calls with the CEO and other leaders within the organization. As a result, I agreed to revisit my contract at the end of June instead of outright make a decision now to leave.
Something was still gnawing within me. I was getting headaches every day in early June, when I wanted to be fully present in Lesvos during my final weeks with Hacker Paradise. I saw that other digital nomads were able to work hard, but also live remote lives without being unduly stressed.
So I decided to actually leave, no reconsiderations involved. And now - I'm finished! But my gut had to go through the wringer before I fully listened to it. It has been yet another reminder to always follow my gut instinct, and be willing to let go of something comfortable when something great has still not shown signs of appearance.
There are many quotes from the likes of Deepak Chopra that say, essentially, that when we let go of something no longer serving us, we make room for something far greater. These ideas are great, and some have helped me push forward; however, nobody talks about how much the interim sucks.
While some might call leaving without a backup plan an emotional, and not logical, decision, I’ve come to understand these ‘knowings’ as highly logical - so logical that they belong to the realm of intuition, and are beyond the analytical brain’s comprehension.
I do wish I had a professional backup structure behind me, but it also gives me incentive to do something I've always wanted to try - freelancing, instead of having one client or employer - in something I deeply love. Writing and editing was a huge part of my previous position, but I want to dive into the creative waters of individuality.
Freelancing feels like a daunting idea to take on, because I'm jumping into an over-saturated pool. But this is what I love doing, and the only legitimate question I have come up against in exploring this option is: "Why not?" In my short experience, I have found the old adage that "what we love will sustain us" to be true, even if it takes a hell of perseverance to come to that point.
Even beyond this quest to the castle of freelancing success, there is so much to do with time: I want to learn how to code, I want to write my book on Cassini, I want to take courses to develop so many aspects of myself - my work with horses, my intuition, my ability to help heal.
I am trying to trust the way the path is winding, and rely A LOT on my friends who believe that I have somewhere to go, even though the way there might not be paradise. There is no undervaluing a support system of people who can see you with eyes not your own.
One more thing: I toyed with the idea of calling this post something like "Attempting to Freelance," because I know that when we start to say no to something known, something comfortable, what we are saying yes to is hugely motivational...and perhaps even the reason why we turn from our current situation.
However, saying no requires acting on boundaries, and although 'boundaries' is nowadays a loosely flung around word, THEY ARE EVERYTHING. They might involve barring others from invading your personal space - physical, mental, or emotional; they might involve fortifying weak spots within yourself, like saying no to another [insert addiction]. In any case, they are how we move forward.
They require self-respect.
So I do not gloss over the quitting my job aspect of this journey, for although it is not what I'm looking at as I walk away, acting on the knowing that it is no longer for me is an essential, although uncomfortable, initial step in finding my next home.
Here's an article in a similar artery.