I spent a lot of hours staring at the inspirations posted to this wall. And over that time, something changed. I changed. My perspective changed. What's important changed.
Last month I quit my job. I quit my job again again. I did this in 2007 as well. As a friend so eloquently quipped, "so this is a pattern?" Well, yes. And no.
That time I left because I blamed my unhappiness on others (coworkers, bosses, clients, etc.) This time, I quit fully accepting that I wasn't happy and that I had to do something about it. I had to make the changes in my life to live my days the way I want to live my days. I am embracing the unknown. With little certainty and knowledge of what I'll do or where I'll end up, the one thing I have today is faith that if I work hard, put myself out there I can create the lifestyle design I want to live.
Here are some of the things I learned when I quit my job. Again.
1. When you quit your job - especially a great job that invokes responses of envy whenever you tell someone what you do - people don't get it. And they don't have to get it. It's not their journey.
2. I don't have to do what everyone else is doing. The world says get the job, get the title, get the paycheck, buy the thing and you'll be happy. What I really wanted was time and space in my life to do the things I feel called to do and the places I desire to go. I also realize that it's rare to find someone who loves what they're doing, even if it pays well, has the corner office and affords one all the comforts of life. For me, freedom was becoming more and more important that stability and financial security.
3. The future of work is changing rapidly - if organizations don't adapt, they'll be left behind and employees will leave. If individuals don't personally adapt, they'll be left behind with a traditional work/life unbalance. Take a look at some of the articles in the Google search for "future of work" to get an idea of what I'm talking about it. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you're really missing the boat and the opportunities that will be coming in the next few years.
4. You really can work from anywhere, at anytime, on your schedule. I've literally checked email, written, brainstormed & connected with co-workers and project partners from the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska to the near Mexico border in San Diego to the edge of the Pacific Ocean in remote central coastal Oregon to the whenever I've needed to over the past month. I've used technologies, project management tools and cloud services to be connected & "working." It doesn't matter where I am or what time it is, i'm available as I need to be when I need to be and it makes no difference where I am. I've used solar power to charge phones, tablets, computers and can work from remote wilderness areas if I need to. Give me a bench, beach or coffee shop in anytown, usa and we're in business.
5. Work was making me sick. Literally. I couldn't focus. I had headaches often. I was tethered to many masters and pulled constantly in seven different directions simulutneously. Everything was important, and nothing got accomplished. The illusions of immediacy & urgency trumped any actual work meaningful progress, brainstorming and reflection. I couldn't think. My brain hurt, my fulfillment wained and I knew change was needed.
6. I value time & space in my life, the gaps, more than busy-ness and security and routine. Today, my life has more spaces. I sit by the river often. I work from coffee shops. I take breaks for exercise and eating healthy. I can serve others when the call comes. My life is less frantic, less hurried, less stressed, more peaceful, quieter, still both internal & external.
I may not know where I'm going, but today I have faith that if I do my part, work hard, put one foot in front of the other, create space for opportunities and am disciplined, everything will be just fine. And if it isn't, it will be as it's supposed to be.