Yes I really did. Hence the reason I’m awake at 4am!
This feels like a massive, massive day for me. I’m scared and excited in equal measures.
For about five years now I’ve had a dream. A dream to write, to run workshops, to work with people to deliver a message about living a different life; a life that is the opposite of consumption. Which is about family, and good food, nature and spontaneity and meditation and letting go.
For me it’s essentially about living a mindful life. I truly believe the move to living my life like that has helped me manage my mental health, help me come off anti depressants after seven years and stop spiralling further into debt
It’s also helped me develop more into a person who revels in others success rather than envies it.
Alongside that since I was incredibly young I’ve had a dream to be a writer. As a child I wrote poetry. As a teenager I embarked on a creative writing degree. I started this blog in my 30s. I’ve always been too scared to put myself on the line and ask for money from my writing.
I’ve always lacked the confidence and ability to believe in myself. Even though others around me believe.
For the last few years I’ve told myself ‘When I’m financially settled I will try and freelance as a writer’, or ‘when I can afford to do a part time job I’ll freelance as a writer’.
Well guess what?? Still not happened. As often in life, I’ve been procrastinating for a long time.
I moved into a job just over two years ago where I convinced myself I’d write and do workshops etc outside of the role.
I kept up this blog but outside of the role I found it hard to motivate myself. My job is full on in a high pressured sector. I don’t work particularly long hours but the hours I work are undertaken without breaks. In a mezzanine space with no access to natural light or air.
I’ve been subjected to horrendous pressures and other challenges that I can’t openly talk about in a public forum. It has significantly affected my mental health and has now started impacting on my physical health. This week I found it difficult to eat thanks to mouth ulcers all around the inside of my mouth that also gave me earache. I get regular headaches. I come home most days and cry.
My dream has been getting ever distant because I haven’t had the emotional capacity to drive it on.
In all honesty I’ve been a shadow of the person I really am.
I’ve tried to find other jobs but nothing ‘felt’ right. I found a job I thought I could love but they didn’t love me! In hindsight it was for the best.
Finally I woke up. With the help of my wonderful family and friends I hatched a plan to give me about 6 month’s from when I give my notice in to when the money runs out.
I worried about it some more. I told myself I can’t quit my job. I don’t earn a corporate wage but I earn enough to live on. I would be taking a BIG paycut. To zero essentially.
Finally after the week from hell at work I realised I am going to have to be brave. To spread my wings at the cliff edge and take a step. To trust that my wings will open and be strong enough to carry me on and upwards.
Let me tell you, it’s my greatest fear to be unemployed. I don’t know why, but I’ve always lived in fear of being in a role that doesn’t give me security or where I might be made redundant.
Now I’m choosing this. Do I need checking for sanity?
It could be the start of a midlife crisis, I am turning 40 next month after all. I think however that living a mindful life has given me courage. It’s certainly reduced my need for money. It’s also given me a longing to be out of the office block. What right does an organisation have to deprive you of natural light and fresh air? No amount of money is worth that. As humsn beings with finite lives our experience here is so precious and we take it for granted all the time. No longer will I do this.
So come January 5th I will be unemployed. I’m scared and excited in equal measures. I am starting now to look for freelance work. I may have to do minimum wage jobs sometimes to get by. I may doubt myself a 100 times. There’s likely to be tears.
But I have quit anyway.
I have chosen to believe in myself. To have faith. To choose freedom over finance. Luckily my wife is incredibly supportive and I don’t think to be honest I’d still be well enough to be writing this now without her.
So I hope you’ll join me on what is likely to be a rocky journey. I have to say the hope and belief that people have had in me, and in my writing have helped me come to this decision. So thank you. Thank you for believing. Thank you for walking by my side. I’ll return the favour someday. Freelancer for hire…