After a trial run last summer, I find myself officially unemployed again. It took me by surprise, but only because I had my head in the sand. Organizational changes this past year, the departure of my long-time boss and mentor, and the arrival of a new boss with new ideas about how to structure the team resulted in me signing separation papers at the end of February.
If you know me (or have been following along), you are aware that I have been on an eternal quest to live a more fulfilling life. When I say “eternal quest,” I mean years of therapy and career/life/spiritual coaches, writing the same questions over and over in my journal, trying new things, getting glimmers of ideas that I get excited about and then making a million excuses for why I shouldn’t pursue them and retreating back in to my unfulfilling career where the paychecks kept coming and the volume of work keeps me numb so I can ignore the eternal quest for a while. (The proof that this quest has been happening for what feels like an eternity can be found on this post I wrote ten years ago.)
I took this most recent job with the hope of better work-life balance so I could finally have some space to figure out what I REALLY wanted to do with my life. My strategy was to ride it out for a couple of years, hoping to cash out a small piece of equity and comfortably take some time off before I launched in to a new magical, fulfilling life that I would have all planned out by then. It did not exactly turn out that way. The new job got as stressful as the last one, the goal post of cashing out kept moving, and I just kept holding on for dear life. In February, the Universe got tired of waiting for me to make a move on my own and it gave me a big PUSH.
Astrology Interlude: You may remember me mentioning that a main theme of the astrology of 2021 was the battle of old vs new inspired by a Saturn square Uranus transit happening three times this year (most likely you forgot, but I did mention it!) When Saturn and Uranus square off in the sky, we see tensions between the old structures that are not serving us anymore (Saturn) and new, innovative changes we need to make to improve the structures in our lives (Uranus). Uranus represents sudden, unexpected changes that help us break free of the old stuff we need to let go of. The first of those three 2021 squares happened in February when all of this was going down in my life. Probably just a coincidence? #astrologyisreal
Initially, I pushed back on the Universe. I tried to find a way hold on to the job (Saturn), not because I wanted to keep doing it, but so I could continue to avoid figuring out what was next. It didn’t work, Uranus won. It was time to let go, and once I accepted this, I felt a huge sense of relief.
I did get angry with myself for not being prepared with my “next thing”. How could I have spent so much money on therapy and career/spiritual/life coaches and end up out of a job and still have no plan!!!
Then I took a step back and realized that all of that work I have been doing for the last three years has actually prepared me for this moment. Taking this job in 2017 shifted my energy and inspired me to try 100 new things. Those 100 new things led me to a CRAZY unexpected journey that opened me up to a whole new world of spirituality, creative entrepreneurship, and astrology!!! That journey also sparked lots of other ideas that tied back to passions I had explored and abandoned earlier like website design, financial planning, and writing. I kept those sparks on a slow burn in the background while I continued to earn and save money, which has put me in a much better place financially than I was at the start of 2017.
So now what?
I have options to take similar corporate jobs that will bring me safe paychecks (and healthcare), but I can’t bring myself to pursue them. It’s definitely scary not to consider those options, because they may not be there in the future, but the genie is out of the bottle and she does not want to go back in!
My heart (and the Universe) are telling me that it’s time to take action on those glimmers of ideas that I have abandoned, avoided, or talked myself out of along the way.
I have been consuming tons of blog posts and podcasts about entrepreneurship. I have always wanted to be my own boss, but I didn’t know what kind of business I could create and the idea terrified me. Now I realize that I have lots of creative ideas and I have built a life that gives me some freedom to take risks. Are these ideas going to make me any money? Can I create something that will help the world? Will being my own boss really make me happy? Do I have what it takes be an entrepreneur? (This is the type of stuff I write over and over in my journal. Welcome to my inner world.)
Listening to those entrepreneurship podcasts is an emotional rollercoaster. The beginning of the story sounds so cool when the person bravely quits their job to pursue their passion, then we get to the part where they have no idea what they are doing and are working all the time (that sounds fun) and then they talk about networking and marketing to sell themselves, and their products (yuck!!!). If no one wants to buy what I create, I am not sure how hard I will work to sell it to them, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. First, I have to start creating things! (Creating this blog post was a war, so if you are reading it, congrats to me for finishing it and thanks for reading it!)
The genie has been out of the bottle for two weeks and I can tell you that the resistance is real. In my first week away from work, my screen time was up to 5 hours a day. I am pretty sure no one fulfills their dreams by getting sucked in the rabbit hole of celebrity gossip, cute dance videos, and ads for anti-aging eye creams.
After I get freaked out by the entrepreneurship roller coaster and waste some time on my phone, I switch over to blogs and podcasts about financial independence and early retirement. I have spent hours crunching numbers and running “what if” scenarios to figure out how much time I can spend creating stuff that doesn’t actually make any money (or avoiding creating things and also not making any money).
The good news is, I have bought myself some time with those unfulfilling paychecks, my exceptional savings skills, and a well performing stock market (although I am anxiously waiting for that bubble to burst). If I move out of the most expensive city in the world, I will have even more time.
Net-net, I have no excuses anymore. The only thing between me and my soul’s purpose is ME and all of my fears (so many fears). I realize how privileged I am that this is the only thing standing in my way which makes it feel even more important to keep taking those scary steps. One thing I have learned on my spiritual journey is that when one person spends more time doing things that light them up, it raises everyone’s energy and makes it easier for them to do the same thing. (That sounds so corny, but it also makes complete sense, right?)
To help me push through my fears (and in turn, help light up the world), I am going to do my best to embody this advice from a beautiful Museletter written by one of my favorite, famous humans, Josh Radnor:
“Follow the charm. Cosmic forces will unfailingly rise up to meet and support your bravery.”