It’s been two months since I left my full-time job. Wow. Two months. Where did time go?
Well, I’ll tell you.
I smiled a ton. I set up meetings with people who inspire me. I met an artist who sews beautiful tapestries. I met one of Madonna’s chefs who’s also writing a book. I met a bartender turned bar owner and a former producer who now owns three kickboxing gyms. I talked to anyone and everyone about my dreams and passions. I listened to audiobooks about being a bad ass. I worked out…a lot. I stepped in to be a super amateur sous chef. I hiked ten miles along a vacant beach. I signed up to become certified as a personal trainer and to get my L1 certification in CrossFit. I drank sangria at lunch. I took walks around the neighborhood with coffee in my right hand and a donut in my left. I saw friends. I went to museums. I became a member at one of them. I enjoyed the down time. I enjoyed the me time.
While skipping through life, I also experienced brief moments of panic. As a result, I became a LinkedIn addict and applied for every job under the sun even though I wanted none of them. I’d apply on my way to the gym, as I was stepping onto a train, when binge watching Real Housewives. That Easy Apply feature on the LinkedIn app is magic.
I landed a few interviews. I got excited about a couple. But my gut wasn’t feeling it. There’s something else out there for me. I just didn’t know what. What I did know was that I didn’t want to do the same thing I had been doing. So I’d send an empty thank you note, hinting at some of the challenges that would prevent me from taking on a full-time job right now. Then we’d all move on.
During one of my networking meetings with a friend of a friend who started a successful marketing agency, I realized – because he told me – that I needed to chill. He reminded me of how unlikely it is that I will have this time again. Time to enjoy the city. Time to be report to only myself. Time to think about what I want and what I don’t want. He told me to set a timeline for when I will go back to the workforce. He recommended 40 days – I chose 150.
September. September is when I will go back to work.
Since that chat, I’ve made it a point to truly enjoy my freedom and I’ve actually taken on a few small jobs. The sous chef (ahem: glorified assistant for a friend) job was one of them. No, I don’t know jack about the kitchen. But I did plate a pretty mean charcuterie platter. I was also contracted to consult for a few New York-based fashion labels. It’s been nice to work around beautiful clothes again. Between all that, I agreed to be a personal trainer for a few of my friends. This job I enjoyed the most and was paid the least…as in zero dollars.
And most recently, I’ve been hired to do something I’ve been dreaming of doing for quite some time. I applied on a whim, thinking it would never happen (but secretly hoped it would). I didn’t have the experience or qualifications (yet). Three interviews later, the job was mine.
Is this the right time to make such a drastic career shift? Can I do this? Am I too old? Why did I want to do this again? It’s going to be an uphill climb and I have no clue how I’m going to pay my bills. What if I fail?
This is the thing. This is the thing I wake up too early in the morning to do. This is the thing I do when I need an injection of happiness. This is the thing that makes me feel good. This is the thing I do when there’s no money to be made. This is the thing I’ve been envisioning for myself. This is the thing I’ve been telling myself and my friends and my family that I want to do.
Cue INSPIRATIONAL PHRASE.
Be courageous. Your life awaits.
To be continued.