6 years ago today I left my corporate job and had no idea what the future would hold.
I headed out to a blank slate and no plans. I had started this blog a couple of months before as an online diary. Sharing what we were doing to prepare to live on one income, reassuring my parents that I was not going to lose my mind without a job, and just writing with no clue what the future would hold.
I remember walking out of the office after waving goodbye to my then co-workers thinking oh crap what happens now. I had to have John pick me up because I no longer had a company car as of that moment. I was no longer a corporate risk manager, I was no longer employee number 3293f that I had been identified as for over 13 years. I was ????
I cried as John pulled out of the parking lot of my old job. I couldn’t put into words what I was feeling as tears ran down my face and I just looked at John hoping for a life preserver. Something that would keep my head above water and tell me life was going to be ok.
There was no instant life preserver, there was no road map to follow of what to do next, there was no new job to head to, there was just fear, excitement, tears, and every other emotion possible.
I didn’t know what to do with myself. I went from working 50-60 hour work weeks to 24 hours a day of time with no plans. I didn’t know how to identify myself anymore. I wasn’t the risk manager who handled court cases, angry phone calls and received threats more often than I wanted to admit. I no longer had to get up at 6am to get dressed in a business suit and heels and drive in my company car to work.
I was just me floating in a pool of time with no plans.
This blog became my lifeline to sharing my feelings, projects, and how we were living on one income. I could tell my Mom to read my online diary and know that I was OK every day. I felt normal sitting at a computer at a desk typing. It didn’t matter that no one was reading it I just had to type. I had to find a way to normalize my life when there was nothing normal about it.
My friends were all still going to work each day, John was still leaving each morning to head to work and I was sitting in the house looking around in wonder. Sure the first few weeks I played hard. I went out with friends on the weekends, I played in the garden, I read trashy romance novels while sitting in the sun working on my tan, I did nothing and loved it.
That only lasts for so long before the fear of real life runs into you like a train.
I had to learn that fear is a good thing. That it propels you to do the things you never thought you could. Fear drove me to realize what my life passions were and that it was OK to live them. Fear push me to learn to cook so we had food on our plates at night. Pushing past my fears gave me the motivation to share my life and our story online not knowing if anyone was going to read it. Fear pushed me to be here typing this post today.
It’s funny how fear can manifest in different ways depending on where you are in life. Prior to leaving my job fear kept me going to work every day. Fear kept me from living my dreams and making them a reality. And then life threw this crazy curve ball and fear drove me to live my passion.
I love this quote from Jack Canfield! It is such a good reminder that fear can hold you back or it can drive you farther depending on how you respond to it.
As I look forward my road map is so different than it was six years ago when I left my job. My online diary has turned into a full time passion that now employs an assistant and a few others to help me run it. I still live with fear on a daily basis not knowing what will happen but the past six years have made me realize that fear is a part of life and you have to decide how you move forward with it.
I have learned that there is not always a clear road to follow, that the smooth life path you have planned doesn’t always end up working out, that life throws at you ups, downs, curves and changes you never would expect. I have also learned that living my life with a focus on my passions, my loves, and what excites me has made life so much better than what it was when I was living my life for a paycheck, dreaming about my next vacation that I hoped would get approved, and counting down the hours until Friday at 5pm when I could escape work for 48 hours.
We only have one life to live. Lets make it the best life we possibly can!
The past six years have taught me so much about myself and who I want to be. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 years bring!