“Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Howard Therman
I quit my full-time job a year ago today.
What a strange, exciting, mind blowing sentence to write out loud. I’ve been reflecting back on this past year a lot recently. Thinking back on the opportunities I’ve had, the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, the time I’ve been able to focus on my goals.
I have had the opportunity to be available for my friends, I have traveled Europe for 3 weeks, I have been able to focus on my relationships and my marriage. I’ve been able to focus on being alone, something I didn’t know I needed as badly and as regularly as I do. I have begun to focus on my values, and prioritizing what actually matters to me. I’ve learned who I am and who I’m not. I’ve let go of the fear of what others think. I am choosing to be vulnerable, even though it terrifies me. And most importantly, I have chosen to be present.
Everyone I know has said how much happier, lighter, freer, I seem. And it’s true. It’s so obvious to me now how unlike myself I became. I wouldn’t even recognize who I was a year ago, now. I had no idea a job could harm a person so much.
That’s not to say it’s been easy, though. I’m hustling to make enough money to put food on the table, and stressing about how to get where I want to go. I don’t know what my next step is. Sometimes I feel like I’m stumbling around in the dark. It’s been a difficult transition time in my life, but I suppose all transitions are difficult in their own way. It’s change, isn’t it? Change is never comfortable. But if we pay attention, change is the best thing that will ever happen to us.
I would never, will never, trade this uncomfortable transition for a job that pays well but steals my soul. I don’t regret my decision to leave, not even for a minute. Have I questioned if the timing was right? Of course. Have I wondered if maybe I’m just crazy? Absolutely. But to make significantly less money but feel truly alive is the best decision I have ever made.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year is that you can’t do it alone. You need other people who will remind you how valuable you are. People who are willing to brainstorm and strategize and dream with you, who will celebrate the tiny little victories with you because they love you. That’s it. It’s simple; it’s love.
And I am so incredibly grateful to have a community of people who believe in me, who believe I can accomplish more than I feel qualified to accomplish, who will celebrate the tiny little victories with me. I am grateful to lay my head on my pillow at night knowing I will wake up the next day with a new opportunity to love that day, and to help someone else love it too. I am grateful to have the opportunity to realize what truly makes me come alive, and to be able to define what that is. I am forever grateful to feel like I am here for a purpose, and maybe, just maybe, that purpose is within my reach.
It’s not always easy, this life. But I’m grateful to still be here.
I believe it’s our responsibility as human beings to find the joy, to find the hope, to find what makes us come alive. And then to share it with the rest of the world.
Thank you to everyone who has shared yours with me.