OK, so I did it a week ago: I put in my resignation.
It is still so surreal to think it, speak it and see it in writing. But I did it. It’s done. Nov. 1 is my last day. Word has gotten out to my colleagues around the world.
I made this “unconventional” choice after a lot of thought, internal debate and subconscious planning. I put unconventional in quotes because not many people would leave a high-paying travel media job with health benefits and a 401K plan to follow the heart — it’s “unconventional” and “crazy” in the mainstream world.
Guess I’m not so mainstream? Nevertheless, the conventional pressures and considerations continue to tug fiercely, especially now that the decision has been made.
I am still a bit shell-shocked by it all. It’s been a tear-soaked week as I’ve broken the news to family, good friends and close colleagues. The tears come partly because I still question my choice; I’m scared, and that Fear inevitably taps Doubt on the shoulder. Ongoing waves of paranoia have been washing over me these past five days, and just like real ocean waves, they are hard to stop. The tears also come because I’m starting to shed the skin that has defined me for so long: my career.
I am starting to feel naked without it, and it’s not even Nov. 1 yet.
But I made the decision, one fueled by the heart and (after a lot of back and forth) agreed to by the head. I decided that I need this self-initiated sabbatical to 1) attend to family matters (taking care of my mom, specifically) and 2) carve out space to explore new opportunities. Neither of these life priorities would receive my full attention if I were still tethered to an all-consuming, corporate job.
While I love my job — it’s a rare blend of journalism and travel media consulting and project management — nothing has really changed for me these past few years, aside from the occasional promotion and raise. As nice as that is, it’s not enough. There’s more to life beyond my little cubicle and computer screen. My life has otherwise remained pretty stable, pretty safe, pretty stagnant. It’s also pretty fabulous to an outsider looking in, and I cannot deny those hooks. But that’s just what they are: dazzling, diamond-studded hooks. I am unhooking myself to see what I may be missing.
“Crazy” … I know.
The support thus far has been uplifting and wonderful and comforting. I am trying to surround myself with positive, open-minded people who champion my choice and will help me succeed. At the same time, I am bracing myself for the nay-sayers and those who question my practicality — as well as those who simply raise an eyebrow behind my back and snort “What the fuck is she thinking?” I cannot allow these reactions to introduce a heavier presence of Fear and Doubt.
Will the Courage that got me this far persist? Or will I crumble under the pressure and paranoia?
Please, God, infuse me with an extra dose of Courage — and pretty please give me a sign that everything will be OK.