Every time I have given notice of something related to my leave of absence in the past two months, it has felt like a big chore that I dread. When I told several of my bosses at work, I absolutely dreaded those conversations, with good cause since I didn’t feel great once they were over. That was probably because I didn’t feel all that sure about what I was doing and didn’t have a great “story” as to why I wanted to do it. It was just more of a feeling that I couldn’t go on any longer in my current job and knew I was meant to do something else.
Today was another one of those situations, though decidedly less stressful than the conversations at work. I gave my landlord notice that I was moving out at the end of July. I waited until the last minute to tell her because I knew that my travel would become real and I would have to have a REAL PLAN once I told her. My temporary living arrangement will be at my parents house until I get on the road. Which means that I need to minimize my time there, otherwise they will drive me crazy. I love my apartment, my neighborhood, and my independence. Letting go of my apartment feels like I am losing many of those things, but I need to remember that I will get it all back when I return.
After having told my landlord and getting it off my chest, it is starting to feel like one of those transitional periods. Like when you graduate college or grad school and are moving out of your dorm/apartment and maybe out of that college town to somewhere new. Those transitional periods usually leave me feeling a little unsettled, scared, hopeful, excited. And that is exactly where I’m at now.
I feel fairly sure that I will land on my feet, but the time in between may be somewhat painful…
Just found this article in Budget Travel that sort of describes what I am looking for in my travels, where I’m at in my professional life, why I was (am!) so scared to take the leap:
Welcome to my first blog and my first posting! I just embarked on a six month sabbatical from work after years of yearning to do something different from management consulting. My plans include lots of travel, maybe learning Spanish, and taking some time to figure out what I want to do next. I wasn’t bold enough to quit outright and felt like taking a leave of absence was a good backup plan in case nothing else worked out (management consultants are risk-averse!!)
A friend of mine suggested I try out a blog as a way to document my time off as well as force myself to try different things while traveling and write about it. I have never been someone who posts facebook or Twitter updates everyday and generally do not love drawing attention to myself. However, I have been reading several inspiring blogs for the last few years of people who left everything behind and traveled, people who tried new jobs and failed miserably but eventually found something they liked better and are much happier for it, people who sold all their belongings and feel happier and more free just living simply…and so on.
All of these blogs resonated with me probably because they all reflect in some part a deep longing from me to do all of those things. After being scared to do this for at least 3 years now, I finally took the plunge and asked for a leave of absence from work. It wasn’t easy and I had plenty of conversations with co-workers and family who told me it was a terrible idea, I was ruining my career, I would never make partner, blah blah blah. But I also talked to people who had done it, were happier and still successful afterwards and thought it was an amazing idea and that I would be much better off for it. I finally stopped caring what all the nay-sayers were saying and decided not to let my job control me anymore and took the plunge!
I am still scared and not sure if it was the best idea, but continue to find inspiration and little sparks of clarity everywhere on why it was the right thing to do. I will use this space to write about my journey, my epiphanies and general musings on life.
So here’s to new discoveries!!!