I quit my job in corporate America one year ago yesterday. I have written about that moment many times on this blog and on my Instagram account. It was the scariest decision I had ever made: how do I leave a good paycheck and benefits and paid time off? And really, how do I leave all of this ego? Because for me, that’s what it came down to. I was so damn proud of everything I had accomplished over the years, and I still am so proud of those days. It’s hard to leave your ego at the door.
But you get to a point in life when things stop lining up. When you keep seeing the same patterns over and over and over again. And you truly have to listen. You only get a short piece of time to listen, and if you turn your back, these things go away. For a little while, at least. And then they come back, full force. You can hide again, and keep going down the path you were going, and the patterns will disappear.
But they always pop back up.
These 12 months have been the hardest 12 months I’ve ever experienced, and that’s not because I left a full-time gig. It’s because of life, sometimes the things that happen are out of your control. And so it’s hard to put these 12 months into a word like freedom or bliss. That’s what I thought they would be.
And there are moments, especially recently, where we’re finally able to breathe. Where things line up. Where I can look back and think, oh yes, this – this place. Right here. I love it.
Going out on your own, leaving the “safety net” of corporate America, it’s very scary. And so is not living the life you were meant to live. And really, so is living the life you were meant to live. It’s all scary, just in different ways. You choose which level of scary you want to go with, and then go for it.
My 15 years in corporate America marketing and the 7 or so years before that in random retail, customer service, and event planning jobs served me incredibly well. I get into situations every day where I say, just do it like this. This is what the next step could be. And all of that knowledge, it’s from nearly two decades of managing people, leading teams, making decisions, planning campaigns, designing, copywriting, interviewing, etc, etc, etc. I apply that every single day, both to my yoga teachings, and to our design business. So it was worth it, all of it.
And all of those jobs, all of those bosses, all of those experiences, and all of those years under fluorescent lighting, it’s making these days so much sweeter.
These are not easy days. The time of knowing when your next paycheck is coming and what that amount is going to be are way over. The times of looking at said paycheck and realizing you have accrued two weeks of paid time off are way over. The times of knowing, my boss is out of town, and I finally get to breathe for one week without someone down my throat; hallelujah – they are over. Turns out, you’re that person, breathing down your own throat, constantly.
It’s not easier, going out on your own. But it’s worth it.
The funny part in a not funny way is I thought I’d have so much more free time now. My husband says I do this to myself, that I wouldn’t know what to do with free time, and he’s mostly right. So I’m working through this, contemplating not taking so many sub teaching gigs, setting priorities again, writing out little reminders of what the point of all of this is. Which helps. I’m the person where I need to be constantly reminded of the most obvious thing, over and over again. A lot of us are like that; if we weren’t, the self help industry would have never been built. We all know the answers. We all know what the best decision is in our life. We just choose to look the other way at times. Hence, for me, lots of journaling, and lots of written reminders.
We celebrated my year of corporate freedom last night on our patio with my Costa Rica tacos, cashew ‘cheese’ sauce, asparagus, brussels sprouts, and Corona Light. It was quite the feast, and it was delicious.
My recipe creation has dwindled drastically since I got back from Albuquerque in February, but a dear friend gave me a new cookbook, and I’m starting to get excited again about trying new recipes of others, and of making up some new recipes of my own. For now, I’m leaving you with my favorite lunch of all time, something I eat almost daily: avocado dill sandwiches.
Avocados get a lot of negative PR because they are ‘fatty’, and so I am constantly defending them. It makes me sad that we get so caught up in calories and fat. It’s a fruit. Eat it. And eat your veggies. And stop worrying about all of this.
And, listen, listen, listen.