When I was 28 years old I decided to quit my job. I had always wanted a full-time job because that’s what I thought you were supposed to do after graduating college, and grad school and staying busy fulfilling the hopes and dreams of a young 20-something.
I had worked my full-time job for 2.5 years but became bored with the work after only three months. By 2.5 years in, I was tired of the monotonous regularity of having to function within the same schedule day in and day out, not to mention the stress my work caused me. So after countless hours daydreaming about what life would look and feel like outside of the confines of my designated workspace, it didn’t take much thought or planning for me to decide that full-time work behind a computer wasn’t for me.
A few months later some co-workers, friends and I celebrated my last day at a brewery near the office and a few days after that I departed to Hawaii to meet my family for a spring vacation. I brought a thick, heavy book with me called, Start Your Business and read that on the trip, highlighting steps and information I thought was important, but I didn’t really have much of a plan about what I would do next.
Fast forward to a year later. I had just self-published The Every Year Calendar, a dateless inspirational journal filled with original art, daily intentions, inspirational quotes, writing prompts, and goal setting exercises. I believed this would become my life’s work and started offering customizable versions to life coaches as client gifts.
But I had a problem.
Despite my background as a marketer, I became paralyzed when it came time to market myself or my work to the outside world. I didn’t want to share myself or my work with anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted people to know about my work, I just wanted them to discover it on their own–without having to share it online, or on social media, or anywhere, really.
A few months later I graduated from a master’s of Intuition Medicine® program and realized energy medicine was my passion and decided to launch an energy healing practice to help other lost souls like myself find themselves and their purpose, just as I had done and was continuing to do.
But my problem didn’t go away. I was terrified of being judged by my peers and random other faces on the internet for my career choices. I cringed when I had to talk about what I did for a living and became embarrassed by my Every Year Calendar, which ended up becoming a Living Now book award winner for best Journals and Calendars of 2016.
By July 2015, just a year and a half after I left my job I had a nervous breakdown. I cracked. I couldn’t stop crying, I felt raw inside and out and decided to blame my loving, supportive boyfriend for all my problems because I didn’t want to believe that I brought this amount of stress and sadness to myself.
Rock bottom hit once, and then again in October. I wasn’t learning the lesson life was trying to teach me. I needed to find the courage to share myself, my tools, and my gifts with others. I needed to face my fears. I needed to get out of my head and loosen up!
Today, five years later, I feel like the “loosening up” practice is still in the experimentation phase. In the time since I broke, I’ve slowly, slowly been learning how to trust myself. I’m starting to put myself and my work out into the wild abyss also known as the internet, Instagram, and starting this year...youtube.
Facing my fears and learning how to share myself and my work has definitely been a long, arduous journey that I know isn’t over yet. I do not regret quitting my job. In fact, I recommend it to those who are chronically dissatisfied with anything work-related (relationship related too, but that’s another story).
What this whole experience comes down to is having faith in the process. If life sucks, look around and see what’s causing you pain. Chances are, if you’re struggling you need to try a different approach. If you’re afraid of what you have to do, that’s exactly the direction you should begin exploring ASAP. There is so much joy to be had. Often times we blame our problems on other people but it’s ourselves who cause our biggest stressors. At the end of the day, you’ll be proud of yourself for taking the risk.