I’ve been holding my breath.
For the last 12 months, I’ve been holding onto the last gaps of air in my lungs. Not even realising it. Falling into a rhythm, at first, it’s easy to cope without air, you find reserves, you can live with less but soon, panic sets in. Fear and gasping. You can’t hold on forever.
This week I’ve exhaled. I quit my job.
I’m ready to taste my life again, to breathe again and to quite literally write a new story with my life.
I’ve always wanted to be the girl that gave up her job and followed her dreams. Now the reality is here and it feels empty. Like I’ve opened a door into an empty room and now I need to fill it. With opportunities, with ideas, with things. But it feels empty in a good way. Empty has never felt good to me before. Empty has always been terrifying. Busy and full, that’s what my life has always been and now, I’m looking at empty for the first time and seeing so much potential. There is so much space to fill. I’m ready to take up my space.
The road to achieving our dreams is full of failures, broken hearts and hard work. I know the next few months are going to be more testing than ever, but I’m so grateful for the unwavering support of the people who love me. You continue to be the ground beneath my feet when it feels like the world is about to crumble away. From bursting into tears to dancing around my kitchen, I can’t quite believe this is my last full week at work.
“You are so brave”. A couple of people have said this to me over the last few weeks.
But the truth is, I don’t even feel like I had a choice. I don’t feel brave. I had to leave. I’ve looked burnout straight in the eyes before and I know it’s smell, I know it’s telling traits and I know how it creeps slowly and quietly into the depths of your heart. I had no choice.
But the truth is, I feel like a fraud. I’m not brave. All I’m doing is the only thing I know how to do, living the only life that feels true to me. It doesn’t feel brave, it feels like a brutal fistfight but it feels like truth. It feels like a “hell yes”. It feels like going all in. It feels like the first step in living a big life.
“Follow your bliss … If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” — Joseph Campbell
I’m doing it, it’s here and It feels like I’ve been waiting all my life for something to happen and now every new door I try, it seems to open and I just can’t take it all in. I’m writing this so I can remember on the days when I want to tear my hair out, on the days when I’m working for free, on the days when I don’t seem to get a break, I’m writing this so I can remember – you used to dream of days like this. You used to dream that your life would look like this. Laura, You’re doing it. You’re living your truth.
The 12 things I learnt from quitting my job:
1. As with all things in life, reality is different from our dreams. I imagined fireworks, champagne parties and life-affirming conversations. But then so far everything has been so normal and that’s how I know it was the right thing to do.
2. It takes times and meticulous planning. You can’t just wake up and hand your notice in. You need a plan.
3. It is just exciting as you would imagine. But It’s also just as scary.
4. People only say nice things at the end. Hold the people you love close to you and tell them every day how incredible they are. Shout from the rooftops to let the world know how lucky you are to have such wonderful friends. Call the people you work with out on all of their qualities and skills. Thank people daily. Don’t wait until the end. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
5. It’s not luck. It’s hard work. Part of me wants to gush and say how lucky I am. How grateful I am for this opportunity. But more of me wants to say hang on a minute, I’m not lucky. I made a plan. I worked hard and I showed up. Day in, day out, even when imposter syndrome had me wanting to crawl under my desk. Even when I wasn’t sure if it was worth it, even when it nearly broke me, I made a plan and I worked hard. Friend, it’s never too early to start making your plan, there is no luck involved.
6. You can’t compare the start of your work to someone else’s middle. I look at other people who quit their jobs to travel the world, to start a business or to write a book and they make it look so easy. But if we compare ourselves to other people who are at different stages to us, people who are even on completely different journeys, we are not offering a fair comparison. We are just making it even harder for ourselves to get started. So don’t compare your start, to someone’s middle or end. Just do the work, just start.
7. This is the easy part. It’s all uphill from here. As my pal, Rachel Hollis says, “This isn’t a question of whether you can do something well, because nearly anything can be learnt, this is a question of whether you are humble enough to suck for as long as it takes for you to become better”.
8. You can’t ignore the pull of the things you were always meant to do. And if you’re not sure if you’ve found it, keep looking. It will find you, when you least expect it, in the place where it’s always been, waiting for you to be ready. Dare to want what you want.
9. Surround yourself with people who believe in your limitless potential. Then on the days when you feel like a fake, you’ll have your own army, your own cheerleaders. It is so important to curate your life and this includes the people who are in it.
10. Back yourself. If you believe you can do it, if you show up, with enthusiasm and belief in yourself for your own life, other people will see it too. It’s contagious. Back yourself so it gives others the courage to do so too. Don’t wait for permission.
11. Be grateful for all the things you’ve learnt. These things have helped get you to this point. You wouldn’t be here without those lessons, those people. Be thankful for all of the experience and all of the wonderful things you’ve discovered on your way to this point.
12. And finally, Monday has never felt so good!
I’ve taken a long and unplanned break from my regular Monday blog posts. When I handed my notice in my head seemed to explode and although everything told me I needed to write, I couldn’t. I’m continuing my break over summer to allow myself time to rest, recharge and be ready for September when I relaunch with new ideas and slightly tweaked focus. I can’t wait to share this with you. Sign up to my newsletter to be the first to receive updates, travel stories, book reviews and so much more…