This week, I closed a fast-paced chapter in my life and I am taking a much-needed break before I plunge into the next hectic phase. I quit my job (again!) and have valiantly joined the ranks of the unemployed – those who sleep until 9 and have gigantic breakfasts upon waking up, then open the windows to let the spring breeze in and throw themselves on the bed to write a long blog post. Y’know, the hard knock life.
Quitting my job was not easy. I handed my resignation in on the first week of January but was required to work for three months. Oh how those days dragged. Yet as much as I wanted out, I couldn’t help doubting my decision. It’s really difficult to leave a job when you have nothing immediately lined up. We have been conditioned to latch on to financial security and the stability that a full-time job supposedly provides. We have been told to hold on to our jobs at a time of economic hardships and rising unemployment. But how often are we urged to do what makes us happy, to avoid stress and to pursue our dream careers? Hardly ever. And that’s why it was not easy for me to walk away from my last job as a social community manager at an advertising agency. There were many aspects of the job that I detested but it was a paying job and I was told to suck it up, give my all, show up to work and be a grown up about it. Eventually, I ignored all the terrible advice like, “you’re young, you should work now and do what you love later,” and “not everyone gets to do what they love, be realistic!” or “don’t quit your job, you need the money,” and walked away.
You see, I have become quite the expert on “moving on” having quit three full-time positions between 2008 and 2013. People told me that I was able to leave jobs because I am not entirely dependent on that pay cheque as I still live at home. They might have a point but the driving factor for me was not financial; I left jobs in search of that dreamlike happiness that comes with doing what I love, day in and day out. It takes a lot of courage to pursue dreams as they are shrouded in so much ambiguity. There is absolutely no certainty or clarity when you’re about to leap forward in an attempt to achieve a goal you have been fantasizing about for years. My journey has been full of doubts and anxiety as well as crippling blows from family, friends, acquaintances and even academic institutions, but with the solid belief that everything happens for a reason, I have continued to move forward. I’ve also taken steps back, stumbled and taken a few falls along the way, but that’s just life, non?
I write this post to thank all those who have read my scribbles, cheered me on, believed in me, provided moral support, guidance, recommendation letters and ice cream. I’ll keep blogging about my journey, the places I see, the people I meet and what I hope to achieve. Occasionally, I’ll write about food and sometimes I’ll whine a little. Bear with me and keep reading. Leave a comment every now and then. Be safe. Be kind. Life is short, do what makes you smile.
With love, F.