Why I Quit My Jobs to Travel, Part I
Part II of this post is now up at : Why I Quit My Jobs To Travel, Part II
“At some point we all begin to love the unknown or continue to fear it”
I have to apologize in advance for two things. One for not being able to tell you where I read that quote or who said it. I’d love to give them credit but their message stuck with me more than their name as I’m sure was the goal anyways. The other is for making this next bit all about me. I want it to be about you but I need to give some background so you can contextualize it and try to fit the pieces into your own situation.
I’ve felt it before. It happens when you become complacent in a situation that you know at the very core of your existence does not fuel your soul. It’s that feeling of immobility. Maybe you just got that job you had your eye on for a year or maybe your sister just had a baby or maybe you don’t want to be too far from your family. Maybe you just don’t want to leave your unfulfilling relationship because you hate being alone or maybe you feel obligated to be loyal to your friends even if they have wronged you. There are plenty of reasons to stay in place. I just “didn’t have enough money” and “don’t want to lose my job that makes me miserable.” I’m not saying that some of those reasons aren’t legitimate; I already miss my 4-month-old niece like crazy. It is when you say those things but feel the truth at the pit of your stomach and continue to ignore it; that is inexcusable.
I’ve learned a lot in the last few years. By far more valuable lessons than I have learned in all the years before them. I have reached the crux; the pivotal moment where I can choose to begin or choose to continue.
Let’s rewind a little bit. I did not wake up on a Tuesday and think “I’m going to quit this job that will provide me with potential opportunities to better my life so that I can drive around aimlessly.” I had to learn a lot of hard lessons first. I had to do a lot of reading, a lot of reflecting, a lot of writing. I’m still working on it.
I really lost myself in 2015. It was a bad scene. I went through a really bad and embarrassing breakup, I was kicked out of my band by my best friends, I destroyed my reputation amongst my peers, became severely depressed, lost a lot of friends, and burned a lot of bridges. It has been by far the most confusing few years of my life. I was overcome by grief, embarrassed to the point of complete isolation, and ashamed of my actions and myself. I still have trouble reconciling those poorly thought out and anxiety-fueled decisions. If you’ve ever experienced crippling depression and anxiety, I feel you; I’ve been there.
Alas, I have risen up and came to the understanding that I really am in prime position to achieve the things I’ve always wanted for myself. Today, I am happy and healthy. I’ve been working on myself and shifting my focus away from anything that could hold me back. I took control and now I am a P90X graduate (-25 pounds) and have been voluntarily alcohol free for almost 2 years. I’ve been to therapy just about every week for the last year and began the process of picking myself apart so that I can piece myself back together in a way that is more beautiful than I could have achieved before. These days my mind is moving less like an out of control speeding locomotive and more akin to a fine-tuned Mustang. Because I am a creative person, my mind is always moving fast but all of the parts seem to be functioning more efficiently and safely. I am constantly in flux between digging deep down within myself to mine out where I have come up short and searching for truth outside myself to help me make atonement.
For the 3 years between when I moved back to Syracuse from Brooklyn I had many conversations with a good friend of mine about wanting to do some traveling. I went and saw him last week a few days before my departure and was amused at his comment about my recent decision: “How long did it take you?”
I had become complacent. I was trapped in a cycle that I myself willingly walked right into. Every single day was exactly the same as the last. I’m going to repeat that for everyone. Every single day was exactly the same as the last. I never want that to be the case with my life.
Here is something I wrote on January 10th, 2018:
It’s been a year since I started actively pursuing this one job as well other countless other jobs in and around Syracuse. I finally gave up. I haven’t sent my resume out in months. It’s been so discouraging. Today I told myself that I was going to have a discussion with my parents about wanting to move away. In the same day, I finally get an email with an interview offer for the job I have been chasing after. Very simple administrative. I don’t know what to do. I had completely given up on the thought of SU and school and finding a job here and have been focused on thinking about where I want to be and where I belong. I know I don’t belong here. It’s like the devil is tempting me.
Wayne Dyer outlines a concept in his book “Power of Intention” that has always found it’s way back into my psyche. The Universe is always sending us signs about our decisions and the course our lives should or should not take. When you ignore those signs, it will send you more, and they will get progressively stronger. Some people finally wise up and see them while others remain blind. Each time I feel that something in my life is going awry I look at the details and ask myself “What am I missing and what can I do to lessen this load?” Most often the answers are stupidly obvious and can be found in the pit of your stomach. That is what happened when I accepted that job. Throughout the year, the Universe turned me down again and again and again and it said “YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE HERE.” So what did I do? I ignored it for 365 days straight until finally it said “Fine. I’ll show you. I tried to make it easy for you but now I’ll show you.” On the same day I decided it wasn’t really what I wanted, it was offered to me. It’s all a test. It’s all a sign to me.
It was in that exact moment when I accepted that job that I finally came to understand the truth. I had a head on collision with what I already felt deep down in the pit of my stomach. It was crystal clear and undeniable: This existence is not fueling my soul and I need to seek one that does. Something has been calling to me from another place, a place where I will be a better fit, where my unique talents and contributions will make my life better and compound by making the lives of those around me better. Something has been pulling me though I can’t quite pinpoint from where. All I know for certain is that it’s not back there.
There aren’t always going to be doors to where you want to go. Sometimes you have to climb, run, jump, swim, duck, dive, shift, and pivot. Sometimes you just have to build that damn door yourself, install it, and walk right through it.