All lit up.
Six months ago, I left a job I had every intention of loving and staying in for as long as possible. “Left” is a bit misleading - my job was being eliminated and I chose to go quietly rather than to try and stay on in a different capacity. Normally, something like this should have caused an implosion in my orderly, cautious life. But instead, when I found out that the Amazing Organization I Used To Work For was letting me go, I tried something new - trusting my gut.
Because my gut was telling me - nay, SCREAMING at me at the top of its imaginary gut-lungs - GET THE F*** OUT OF HERE BEFORE YOU SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST FROM STRESS.
I’m an anxious person - very anxious. And not having a plan has, for most of my life, been something I can’t handle. Even if the plan changes, just knowing that there IS a plan is comforting for me. Usually when things are scary or bad, that’s the first thing I ask myself: what can I do next? Can I make a plan? And so here I was, with absolutely no plan at all, but knowing with full certainty that my job being eliminated was a sign and a gift from the universe. And for once, instead of fighting, I just gave in.
And it felt AMAZING. I remember calling my dude up on the phone and telling him the news. There were tears, but there was no sadness, just a release of two years of stress and growing self-doubt that had been building in me since taking The Job I Had Every Intention of Loving at the Amazing Organization I Used To Work For. That was the story behind those tears: letting go.
My dude was a big part of the eerie calm I felt in the days and weeks leading up to my last day at The Job I Had Every Intention of Loving. He was just as sure as I was that leaving was the best possible thing that could happen for me, and adamant that I take a sabbatical of sorts and figure out what the hell I might want to do that would bring me more joy and less heartache. I think he also was pretty eager to have a partner who could sleep through the night again, too.
And take a sabbatical I did. I thought for a little while that I might experience guilt about it, but that never happened. Because from the day I left my job, I have been busy, doing things that I love and that fill me up. For instance, yoga teacher training. That was something that I think surprised many people in my life, because it came up so quickly and seemingly out of nowhere. But I just knew it was something I had to do. I could feel it, though I couldn’t explain it.
Being a full-time student again was amazing! I realized just how long it had been since I took the time for myself to learn a totally new skill. And not just the physical work behind yoga, but the philosophy and history of yoga, filled my mind and heart with wonder and kept me extremely busy. Perhaps most importantly, though, yoga teacher training gave me my groove back. I had a purpose and a goal, I had new friends and old supporting me along the way, I was making amazing connections with my fellow trainees. I remembered my worth and my talents, which I had nearly forgotten during my time at The Job I Had Every Intention of Loving. Truly, I left that place nearly believing that I had nothing to offer, which just isn’t true, and I can feel the absurdity of that belief now. Never again will I let people or a job or any other thing bring me so low and lose faith in myself.
So, now it’s April, and I’m a certified yoga teacher. Which is amazing. And I plan to teach, not full time, but as much as I can, especially right now while I’m still getting my feet wet and gaining confidence as a teacher. But something else has been brewing for me over the last few months: I’ve realized that I’m a grown up, with lots of experience - almost 20 years!! - and I don’t have to go back to work. I can work for myself.
It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, and there’s no time like the present, especially when you’re starting from zero. I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, from trying. So this website has gotten a face lift, and my life has a little more direction now than it did in the fall. Like, a smidge more. I still don’t know exactly what’s to come, but I’m trying to ride this wave of calm as long as I possibly can, practicing this whole go with the flow thing. Who knows what’ll happen? Maybe I’ll even do something with that book of mine!
For now, I’m just feeling grateful, for the privileges in my life that have allowed me the time and space to figure things out, to make room for clarity and courage. For all my family and friends who have supported me wholeheartedly in taking time off work and now in figuring out what working for myself might look like.
I’m also grateful to The Job I Had Every Intention of Loving, and the Amazing Organization I Used To Work For, and even the people there who made me feel bad about myself, because without all that, I wouldn’t have landed in this newfound space of calm and self-trust. It’s so true that everything happens for a reason, even the shittiest, most painful stuff. And I’m thankful that I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and trust that I’d come out eventually, all lit up inside and outside again.