I did something big recently. I did something that – for me – is the emotional equivalent of jumping off a cliff. Which, despite how scary it is, is something I’ve always wanted to do.
I’ve been a bit of a daredevil throughout my life. Something that I don’t think most people would naturally assume about me after meeting this quiet, organized woman on the surface. She’s very logical about her choices, she chases safety even though she knows it isn’t real (oh, more on this here). She can talk to and get along with almost anyone – she was built on diplomacy and a need to make those around her happy as much as she can. She’s not wrong for wanting to live her practical, ordered life. But she was fortunate enough to be paired with a wild soul that needs. Needs to feel the wind on her face, the calm in a summer sky, the passion that builds and builds and builds, growing until it shatters over her and changes her. She needs to cry to a song, for its beauty and its pain. She needs to dream so much bigger than the practical side can ever believe is possible.
She has stood on the top of a rock without any tethers, overlooking all the others in an open landscape and wondered what it would feel like to jump. Just for a moment – to feel the air rushing by her as she flew towards the ground below. It’s not a depressive thought for her; she’s never wanted to hit that ground. But she has wanted to know what it would feel like to fly. The pure freedom of it. The joy of it.
The practical woman is great at her job. Organized, always ready to help. She’s become somewhat indispensable with her analytical brain and her eagerness to run the numbers. She knows she makes a difference to those around her.
But the soul, well, she just wouldn’t stop asking for something else. She kept whispering, “This is not your life.” And though I was very good at this life, I knew she was right. I want to follow myself. She’s been whispering for a very long time now, “Go. Go. Can’t you hear me telling you to go?” Sometimes she’s claimed to have been screaming at me to go, but her voice is so soft and so easily drowned out by noise of the world. For her, go means leave. It also means to do the things that have scared me. The things that have felt like they were too hard or too big for me. It echoes the Henry David Thoreau quote hanging in my office, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” Over the last years, I’ve analyzed almost every word of that simple statement. What does go mean? What does confidently mean? What are my dreams? Okay, that one I already knew.
So I quit my job. Without having anything else lined up. Without having any direct plan other than breathing into my life, spending some time focusing on connecting to that core of me and on what my best life would actually look like. The practical side thinks we’re maybe a little crazy, but she also understands that we will never be full until the soul gets what makes it happy. This is going to be a wild little experiment.
I’m scared. And I can’t wait.
I have one more month at my job, and my last day will be two days before my 35th birthday. So if you want to hear more about my process as I move through this exploration, stay tuned. If not, no hard feelings. When my husband and I first talked about this, I said, “People would read a blog about my feelings?” I honestly am surprised when people who don’t actually know me get invested in what I feel. But, that being said, maybe you’ve felt these kind of opposing forces in your own life and you can relate. I’m certainly not recommending that anyone else go out and quit their job – I’m doing what works for me right now. I might regret it. It’s too early to say. But I want it so badly, badly enough that I’m willing to deal with the consequences if it turns out to be a mistake. I’ve wanted, so much, to be brave enough to follow my own voice, and that’s really the only thing I’d recommend to anyone: to follow theirs.
This is going to be a variety blog for now. I’ll write about things I’ve learned about life, about my current transition out of my job and into something. I’ll throw in some poetry and some short stories when the mood strikes. I’ll probably start talking in loose terms about my book. As a fiction writer, I don’t really know how to do this blogging thing, but I’ll tell you the truth about my life and my thoughts, many of which also make it into my stories. If you like my writing, there will eventually be a novel you can read, but I’m not sure how or where it will be published yet.