I wrote this note three weeks ago, specifically so that I would remember what I was feeling towards the end of my time at the company I worked for. Whenever I question my decision to do this, I re-read this note to re-focus my goals and remind myself of why I made this terrifying leap.
I’ve spent the last five years working for the same company. It was at the end of the start-up phase when I started here at age 23. Since then we have acquired companies, gone global, gone public, and been acquired by a huge corporation. I’ve been promoted multiple times and have learned more than I expected to learn in my entire career. I grew up here. I felt like a kid when I started out, but now I feel much older than 28. However, I am losing my luster. I’m losing my optimism. I’m no longer inspired. That is, in the end, why I decided it’s time to go. My last day is next Friday.
What comes next? I’m not sure yet. I am going to travel and I am going to move. These decisions have been looming for years, but it’s taken me a full five to get the gall to quit without another job.
It feels like every article, every book, every conversation is encouraging me to just GO. To travel without a safety net. I am lucky I’m able to even consider this option, but also terrified at the responsibility I carry in doing so. I gave my notice with the plan of not having a plan. I wanted to take space to follow my passions, follow the things that fulfill me on a daily basis, and let things be. Damn though… that is hard to do, even in theory!
As I plan different round the world trips, I throw dates up in the calendar sections like it’s no big deal. ”One month here, three weeks there, two months there… maybe my family will come for Christmas?” Easy to do when you are dreaming from the safety of your bonus structure and health insurance! When I end up deciding on a trip, I’ll need to make peace with myself. I’ll need to figure out how to not be so anxious all the time. I’ll need to understand peace and quiet. I can already imagine nights of panic and tears, which terrifies me but is also exactly what I crave- the challenge.
I want to live a life without regrets. I feel that if I don’t commit to doing this, I will have regrets for a very long time. However, the urge to “fix it” is a constant pressure on my shoulders. I want to find a job just so I will sleep a little safer each night, but what does that really solve? I wanted to do this to grow and change. I need to allow the space, the solitude, and the time.
It’s funny how people totally get what I’m trying to do and they get so excited about it. My favorite part of leaving this company has been the positivity I feel from others about this non-plan. It feels like I’m doing this for all of us and I love that. I feel hopeful that I can come through for them and for myself.