"As long as I'm having fun, I'm not quitting."
- Sue Johanson
So....I did it.
I officially, totally, no-going-back-ing-ly did it.
|No going back. This was my situation last year. And it turned out to be a blessing. Maybe this is too? (And yes, this image is kinda TMI. My apologies.)|
I decided not to go back to my "real" job.
|You never know what lies ahead.|
You know the one. The one that is in the industry I have been in for about 15 years. The one where I have lots of experience. The one where I worked my way up, moved around, increased my salary bit by bit. The one where my title got more and more impressive on the business card.
|What does success mean to me? What does it mean to you?|
The one that paid the bills.
The one that slowly made me miserable.
My maternity leave officially came to an end yesterday. That was the day I was supposed to return to my role of "Director" at the non-profit organization I worked for.
|I felt kinda lost. It was more than a fork in the road. It was kind like this.|
But I stood strong. I made the difficult decision to take a leap of faith and not go back.
I am staying true to me. I want to have more flexibility to be with my kids. I want to write, be creative, do something that brings me fulfillment and a sense of joy.
|This is how I try to picture it. Still scary though.|
But being authentic does not always immediately get food on the table and the mortgage payments paid.
|This is a photo of the dinner I made last night. NOT.|
Now, of course, my husband works full time - and he works damn hard - so there is food on the table and the mortgage gets paid. But it is much more difficult...especially with three active little boys to think about. Hockey. Baby stuff. School fundraisers. Hockey. Oh...and did I mention hockey?!?
|Hey...at least we don't have a dog. Or a dog that plays hockey.|
I feel.....scared. And excited. And terrified. And happy. Yeah...pretty much I am not too sure how I feel. But I know it was the right thing to do for me. Some famous band named after a small insect once said "money can't buy you love", and I would agree.
|Here's a hint. Oh, you knew what I was talking about? Frick you're smart!|
It also can't buy happiness and fulfillment. (Although I would be willing to give it a test-drive if you have some to spare. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?)
|This dude never fails to make me laugh. And Ferris did take a little test-drive of a different sort in the movie. Remember?|
I don't make big decisions easily.
|This is one way of doing it. Perhaps not the best way....|
|This is another way. No, still probably not the smartest way.|
I find them extremely stressful and I am always second-guessing myself.
I am not, however, second-guessing that I am alone in feeling this way. Taking any leap is hard and it is difficult not to just hold your breath instead of remembering to continue to breathe.
|Just breathe people!|
In and out. In and out. Ahhhhh...OK. I just reminded myself there again. Feels good to relax! Writing about this is a little stressful you see.
There was a lot of comfort in having that "real" job. A steady, reliable paycheck. A nice title next to my name. My own office with a door and benefits and perks and travel and schmoozing with the big-wigs. But was that really me?
Really, it started to feel like a role I was playing. Which, by the way, I am pretty good at. The whole acting thing. I can really put on a brave, happy face when I need to. I can play the part.
But after a while...like an actor who plays the same role in the same play night after night after night...it gets tiring.
I was tired dudes!
And not to say I am not tired now! Three little boys? Are you kidding me!?
|How does she manage to still look decent? This is soooo not me!|
But you know the difference between the "ugh!" tired and that "I just spent the day outside at the cottage, swimming and playing and having fun tired"? Well...yeah...there is a big difference.
And that really was not a very good comparison, because my days are not filled with swimming and playing and having fun at a cottage...but I hope you catch my drift.
|Catch me drift? If you did, make a wish!|
I'm a different tired. At least I know I am being more me and less of an actor.
Now if I actually was acting...like I mean really acting...that would be even MORE authentic as I would LOVE to get back into acting...but maybe when my kids are older. One positive step in the right direction at a time.
So, yeah. I did it. I left my "real" job.
And you know what the funny thing is?
I feel a lot more real.