So. We’re a couple of weeks into the adventure, and guess what?
Oh yes. Predictably, I’m beginning to wobble.
The initial euphoria of making the big decision has evaporated, and while outwardly I’m still projecting an air of brash confidence, inwardly, frankly, I’m crapping myself.
Far from the bravado of a couple of weeks ago, and the determination and resolve I had to make this happen, over the course of a mere few days, it feels like every ounce of self-doubt I’ve ever had has congregated in a corner of my mind and is multiplying faster than the worst kind of bacteria you’ll see in any safefood ad. Those pesky little seeds of self-questioning are germinating faster than weeds in a greenhouse and I’m at a loss as to how to kill them off before they strangle me.
I’m questioning myself a bit. My abilities, my motivation, my confidence, my skills. Where I can best apply them to benefit myself and others. I’m panicking because I’ve been scouring the classifieds for new avenues, and – shock – there really aren’t that many jobs out there. (No shit, Sherlock.) Ridiculously, I’m scared that I’ll actually find a job and be a miserable failure at it. (That luxury is, of course, just a pipe dream at this stage.) I’m worried that come next year, I won’t be able to pay my rent. I’m afraid I’ll have to pack my bags and move home to my mammy, at the ripe old age of 32. And I imagine she’s twice as terrified at the thought.
All rational enough concerns, I suppose. Mostly.
I’m also struggling a little to maintain focus on my current job. Mainly because, following a really frantic period of juggling lots of interesting and stimulating projects, nothing new or challenging has come my way over the past while, and understandably, such opportunities will be thin on the ground between now and the time I leave. It all feels a little mundane. But I’ve made a commitment to my colleagues and my clients, and I intend to see that through to the best of my ability.
The stress is manifesting itself in funny ways. Odd dreams, tossing and turning at night. Absent-mindedness. I tried to put my seat belt on at my desk, this morning. (Mind you, that’s normal behaviour for a Monday morning.)
My friends have been wonderful, though. I’ve had plenty of encouragement, and offers of food and lodgings should I end up facing destitution. I’ve had physical and verbal hugs. I’ve even been offered a van to live in. So it’s not all bad. I’m very lucky.
In the grand scheme of things, chucking in a job – or potentially a career – isn’t such a big deal. Right?
It’ll work out. It has to. And I’ll keep telling myself that, until it does.
Yes, Anne-Marie, all rational concerns. Even the odd dreams, tossing and turning at night and the absent-mindedness – quite normal I would think. Trying to fasten your seat belt at your desk .. hmm… not so sure. You might want to see somebody about that! 🙂
Seriously though, you are forging yourself a new future and that's bound to be a rollercoaster! Go with it – you've got youth on your side – and sure you've always got that van to go live in!!
Continued good wishes to you.
This comment has been removed by the author.
I quit my job to become a freelancer two years ago. The freelancing didn't take off, and I've been floundering ever since.
We (my husband and I) moved in with my parents – I know it's not that easy for everyone but it was always part of the plan when I quit; they have a huge house, we all get on, and personally I think independence is overrated. I earn practically nothing right now, but I have read lots, learned lots about the world, grown lots of vegetables, taken up new hobbies, and had time to decompress and be my own person for a while. I don't have a regular job but I have volunteered, been an activist, earned casual money here and there, tried new things, met new people in new areas of life, and sold things I created. I have been depressed, stressed, confused, aimless and scared but I've also experienced gratitude, excitement, fulfillment, wonder and joy from trying new things, finding new opportunities, and spending more time with friends and family and with myself. It's been a real rollercoaster ride, and it looks like I'm going to come out of it soon with a casual job doing something new for a company I love and respect, with enough flexibility to keep gardening and creating. I've been very, very lucky. I know that. It's also been very tough at times. But I have no regrets. 🙂
Your fears are totally understandable and valid, but the opportunities ahead of you are infinite if you're open to them.
(There's a great book called 'Screw Work, Let's Play', which is largely about helping people to start their dream business but, whether starting a business is for you or not, has tons of advice and encouragement for figuring out exactly what kind of work makes you happy and how to achieve it. I highly recommend it.)
I wish you the very best of luck, and congratulations on taking the first step to a new future!
Things will work out Anne Marie. I stayed in a dorm bed of a hostel for the first 3 months of this year praying that a job would turn up in Galway, and now that it has I couldn't be happier. Everything I could want and more. You'll find the right path now your eyes are open and searching.
(great to see you writing again)
Thank you so much, everyone for taking the time to leave your comments above. When I falter, it really helps to read all your stories and words of encouragement.