It’s been just over one year since quitting my full-time job. On December 15th, I celebrated my liberation!
I regret now that I didn’t transcribe this journey. I would have had little nuggets of wisdom tucked away to share with others. My prayer journal is the only true reflection of how far I’ve come since I left my corporate role.
A great deal of my posts have been about how I feel and what I’ve learned – from family suicide, to racial profiling, to tragic losses like the death of Whitney Houston. But in the months since I started this blog, one I dedicated to my journey, I still haven’t shared my story.
Many people have asked me how I decided to quit my job and pursue my passion. The truth is I never felt like I had a choice. It wasn’t a decision, it was surrender. I walked into my office one Thursday in December and I hit a road block. I knew that I couldn’t work there anymore. I could no longer wake up angry every morning. I did not want to dread mornings, I wanted Monday through Thursday to be as joyous as Friday. It was time to find something to appreciate about my life.
I resigned. Then, I took a week or so to really think about that. It was an abrupt change, a true time of metamorphosis. What did it mean to be unemployed? How had that changed my lifestyle? What kind of burden did it put on my partner? What was next? I knew what I wasn’t going to do any longer; but I needed to know what that meant I was choosing to do.
My mind went first to my novel and the small company I’d started four years prior. The desire to be a publisher came from somewhere and I wanted to honor that. Though revisions on my novel had remained untouched for over a year, I moved right back into it. It was as if I’d fallen asleep with my computer on my lap, woke up and continued to type.
My soul was being fed; I was coming back to life. I became myself in writing these characters. I donated the clothes that were deemed conformist – tweed slacks, “work shoes”, pea coats. I made the decision to finally cut away my relaxed hair. I started availing myself to things I never allowed myself to do – biking, vacationing alone, embracing the title “writer’ – change came in every area of my life.
I prayed more, and listened to my heart. I allowed myself to just be, without giving in to a desire for reassurance, and good followed that surrender. My company was accepted into an accelerator program for small businesses. In less than one month, the first chapter of my novel was seeing download numbers I never expected. In my travels, I met women just like me who were following their pen inspired dreams. I found purpose.
And that brings me to today. I recognize that the climb is far from over; there are still so many steps left to take before I can plant a flag at the top. I also recognize that my feet are no longer at the bottom. I can see more clearly the starting point than the end victory. That is what makes the climb sweet, though; the humility is never too far away.
I don’t encourage anyone else to follow in my footsteps. If I’ve learned anything on this journey, it is to design your own path. You will never be your whole self if you are in someone’s shadow. I only hope that in sharing my start, I can inspire a start or ignite a fuel in others.