Entries from March 2016

Sabbatical of Sorts

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Things have been different here. Not here as in the blog, but here as in my life. About a month and a half ago I put notice in at my main job. I didn’t have another one lined up, but it was time for my review and I didn’t want to do the company a disservice by creating some meaningless goals to try and pursue that my heart absolutely wasn’t in. I had been thinking of leaving for a while, I had been in a constant rinse and repeat of trying to tell myself I had it good and then being frustrated daily. I tried for a while to do things the responsible way, look for another job without mentioning anything to my current boss, but I felt guilty and the dynamics made it all really uncomfortable and totally unfruitful so when things lined up and it was review time, I knew it was time to honor what I had been feeling and take a new leap.
I gave myself and my boss a large chunk of time to get things figured out. I wasn’t in a position that could be easily filled as my daily, weekly and monthly responsibilities spanned from the creative to admin to something else completely. I want to say I also spent that time furiously looking for a new job, that wasn’t exactly the case. I did, however, start talking to more people. Because my impending departure was now known to my boss I felt a lot more comfortable putting the word out that I was looking. Full time, benefits, creative and I wanted to give myself a raise.
During this past month and a half I also did a TON of inner work. I asked myself questions over and over again.
What do I WANT to do? What matters? What are my values? What are my interests? What are my goals? What do I want to look back and see at the end of the year?
The list goes on and on and on, and then doubles back. I wrote my list of what my dreamy life would look like almost daily. I wrote my list of 10 goals for the year weekly, not looking back at the week before to see if anything changed or dropped off. I read books like Playing Big and Leap… I listened to podcasts, I took baths to try and calm the pressure that was building in my head. I felt like I had to figure out the “right” next and figure it out SOON.
I talked to friends, I asked questions, I emailed strangers, I went to interviews to get practice interviewing and talking to new people…
Now that I’m writing it all out, I’m realizing I did a lot more work than I felt like I was doing at the time.
Normally job hunting time is madness for me, it’s a mix of self loathing for not being x, y, or z and wondering how anybody finds what they are looking for on craigslist. (Spoiler alert: most often they don’t). This time there was definitely some of the normal job hunting self loathing but I switched it up and added some grace in there. I added some curiosity, some belief in what previously seemed impossible, I added some “what if” questions and sometimes I even let go. Not for long, but the practice was started. Two weeks before my last day I was a stressed out mess, I wondered why I do what I do to myself, why I take leaps of faith, why I can’t just do things the “normal” way. At the risk of exposing my secrets, that’s something I wonder often.
But something shifted right before my last week, I suddenly became a lot more calm about the whole situation. Maybe it was a mix of all the questions I had been asking myself, maybe it was the counseling appointments I’ve had weekly for months now, maybe my practice of letting go was catching on, or maybe, just maybe I was realizing that while the way I do things isn’t “normal” it’s something a lot of people wish they were brave enough to do. No matter what it was, I was calm, and happy and excited. I all of a sudden knew that my unemployment wouldn’t last forever (it never does) and that I was fully honoring myself and my wishes.
I’m on the other side of employment for now, on my fourth day of an unpaid (savings paid) sabbatical. But I’m not freaking out and I’m not feverishly job hunting.
On my last day of work I had a call scheduled with a company I had interviewed with a few weeks prior, I thought the call was to go over why they were going in a different direction. Imagine my surprise when I was offered the job. I sat in silence on the phone as the details were listed out, I said thank you and then after I got off the phone I zoned out.
You know when you think things are going to go one way and you prep for it and get yourself ready, and then something comes in and completely changes the game? That’s where I was at. The game was changed, and for the better DEFINITELY, but it was still changed, and my planning, prepping, finally okay with how things were going to go before this call mind was swirling.
I finally pulled it together and took in the new situation. Not only was I getting a new job, but I would still have time off to relax, to read, to explore Nashville, to try out things I’ve been wanting to try out but have been putting off and to continue asking myself those questions that I started asking a month and a half ago.

Here I am, Sabbatical of Sorts day 4, I spent the weekend before dancing and celebrating the end of one thing and now I’m into taking some time to breath and plan for the new one. I’ve read three books in three days, taken baths, seen friends, taken naps and written lists of what I could do to make sure that at the end of this free time, this gloriously free time, I’ll look back and say “yes, that time was well spent.”

I feel very fortunate and grateful for this. Sometimes I get a little stressed about money, sometimes I get a little stressed about “not doing it right” but I keep bringing myself back to gratitude and appreciating what this season is. I’m figuring out what I can take from it and most importantly learning how to savor it.

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