Things You’ll Feel When You Leave Your Desk Job For Your Dream Life
So as some of you may know, I quit my job this week in pursuit of Femiio, in pursuit of myself, in pursuit of MY life. And if you didn’t know… SURPRISE BITCH. WE OUT.
There has been no shortage of emotions in the 36 hours since putting in my resignation, so I figured I would write about the major ones this week in case anyone out there is considering doing the same thing but is curious about what it might look like on the other side. ALSO please keep in mind, I am only 36 hours out so a lot of this will change in a week, change in a month, change in 6 months, but for the fresh-out feels, this is what we got:
1) “What the fuck did I just do?” Now, at first glance this one sounds like regret, or the lamenting of a mistake having been made, but rather I’d argue that it’s a natural response to going against the American, Meritocratic, Capitalist Messaging we’ve received all our lives. The thing is, “I need a stable desk job” is a mindset that we were trained for longgggggg before any of us actually sat our asses at a grey desk. It’s ingrained in us as part of How Life Is Supposed to Go™. You get your high school diploma, you go to college, you meet someone, you graduate and get a job (or hit grad school and get a job), you get married, you spend 40 years at aforementioned job “working your way up the ladder” *eye-roll emoji*, you retire, you die. That’s the lay out, that’s the script. So to step outside of that — maybe delay college, or skip it all together. Maybe forgo a desk job for a more flexible schedule. Or leave a desk job and pursue a dream — I mean it feels batshit bananas because it’s not the script. It’s not the routine, it’s not the written story. So yeah, there might be a couple (or a truckload) of “What TF did I just do?”’s when you pull the trigger, but it’s okay. It’s normal. What I’ve found helpful is to gently remind myself what I did. To remind myself *why* I did it. What I stand to gain by making the choice that I have, and that quiets the questions a little bit.
2) Freedom. The feeling of release and relief that comes when you let go of your stable job in exchange for something bigger and better is so potent, it’s almost dizzying. I’m not sure we know what to do with that kind of freedom when we get it, honestly. There’s a little bit of that feeling of “going off the grid”, completely unbound and expansive. You may feel untethered, but then you may also feel like you’re flying. And I guess which one arises depends on your perspective.
3) Anxiety. Y’all. You can be absolutely sure of your decision. You can know in your body and soul that you did the right thing for you. And you very well might still be hit with a wave of anxiety when you put it into motion. I mean it makes sense right, this is no small task. As I mentioned in #1, all our lives we’re low-key told that without a steady paycheck from an established institution, we will die. Immediately. No lag time, you just *poof* into non-existence when the last check runs out. So to willfully release that steady paycheck feels like willfully releasing your lifeline, but spoiler alert: it’s not. Remember that you (hopefully) have a plan (or if you don’t have a plan, that part of the plan is to have a plan by a certain time) and you will not cease to exist, you’ll think of something. My advice would be to think of the worst case scenario. Picture and lay out the WORST thing that could happen if you leave your desk job and jump into your passion. And then walk through the exact steps you can take and a timeline you can stick to that will eschew death or homelessness. Then when you’ve done that, let it rest, breathe, and stay present. You got this, you’re going to be okay.
4) Excitement. HOLY HELL YOU DID IT!!! You changed your life you started the process! Hopefully in the midst of everything you’re feeling, you make concerted efforts to again, remember the Why. Remember what you’re SO looking forward to when you leave the routine — all the things you can do with your time that you couldn’t do beforehand. Visualize the life you’re actively taking steps towards, and I mean don’t just see it but like *feel* it. Feel the crowd cheering after you finish your first tour, feel the pride of seeing your book land on the New York Times Best Seller’s List, feel all the good things and let them sit in your bones. Again, you FUCKING DID IT. Like a goddamn boss, celebrate that shit!
5) Alignment. There really is nothing like using the life you’ve been given to make choices that line up with your values. Some time ago I wrote a blog about wanting to live a life that was sustainable, meaning that what I produced sustained me, so I could produce more, etc. The word I didn’t have then (or maybe did have and then forgot) is alignment. To live life in a way that feels congruent, so that I am myself in every sphere I walk into. So that I don’t need to feel stifled in my workspace to avoid talking about racism, or restrained to asinine quips about the weather. So that I can wear what makes me feel like myself and show up fully, without charade or mask. It falls in line with freedom, the freedom to be and choose and BE. When you take a step in the direction of your Self, that’s what you get: congruence, alignment, freedom.
OBVIOUSLY there are more than five emotions to leaving your day-job and it depends on the circumstances as well as the person. And like I said, even within my specific person and circumstances, the emotions will surely shift. I’ll keep y’all updated, but in the meantime, here’s to being fully ourselves and living out our best lives. Cheers!