When I was in high school I remember thinking that when I grew up, I didn’t want to be “one of the herd.” I didn’t know for sure what I wanted to be, but I knew that I didn’t want to wake every day and go to an office and sit under fluorescent lights in front of a computer all day, working for “the man.” This mentality toward the concept of life and work may have developed out of my love of Radiohead, mixed with some influence from The Matrix and Fight Club. My attitude, as with many young people, was that I would do something more meaningful with my life than work some corporate job and chase a buck. I deserved something better and I was going to make it happen!
Fast forward to today…
seven years out of college, I’m a web developer with a 9-5 job at top advertising agency. I sit in the car for two hours a day, to and from work. I have things that need to get done and I have bills to pay – like everyone else. Not exactly what I had planned! But also not at all horrible, as I’d imagined when I was fifteen. My job, though it can be stressful at times, is rewarding, challenging and engaging on every level. And to be honest, I’ve become more than comfortable with knowing exactly how much my paycheck will be every month. This whole “work” thing is actually pretty cool in terms of being able to support myself and to feel safe and comfortable.
Which is why it’s so hard to wrap my head around the fact that I just gave my three week notice today.
The second after submitting my resignation letter, I felt a wave of fears rushing in. All day, I’ve had ups and down in my emotions, surges of intense excitement and sheer panic. I knew this was a big decision, and I’ve been planning on making the leap into the freelancing world for a while now. My inner 15-year old has been calling to me, inspiring me to dream of a lifestyle where I make my own schedule, work on projects of my own choosing, have time to maintain a more dedicated yoga practice and teach more often. I even signed up for the Make Awesome Happen workshop so that I could get the momentum going in that direction.
But still, I don’t think I was expecting as much intensity as I’m feeling! Somehow, it still feels like it’s happening all of a sudden.
So I took a deep breath and I pulled a card out of my “Own Your Awesome” affirmations deck and read the words “I am allowed.”
In this moment, it really resonated with me. All of those fears that I was feeling were just a story I was telling myself. Insecurities about leaving behind a good job, worries about whether or not I’ll be able to make enough money, even a few seconds of questioning my own sanity.
When I was 15, I deserved to live the life I wanted. These days, I need a card to even tell me that I’m even allowed to.
I am allowed to take risks.
I am allowed to go after what I want.
I am allowed to not be sure all the time.
I am allowed to follow my heart.
I am allowed to create the life I want.
I found myself sitting here, wondering how all of this even started. And I realized it was exactly a month ago today, when my yoga teacher and owner of One Down Dog, the yoga studio where I teach, informed me that she would be opening a second location in my neighborhood. My initial response was excitement that there would be a location closer to my home. Then I started to wonder if there was a way to get even more involved.
The wheels in my head started turning and I started to get very excited about the idea of making that dream of “maybe freelancing someday” become a reality – really soon!
And I did.
I’ve officially given my notice, and in three weeks, I will be 15 again! Just kidding. I know I will most likely be working harder than ever. But that is what really excites me! I’ll be working and learning and growing and experiencing new things and meeting new people. I know I will need to reflect on things and tweak things as I go. And that’s ok.