I was about a year into my dream job with my dream company and I quit to work at a supermarket.
Following graduation is the long stretch of using your degree to get a job. I’d say the first year is the toughest. Your family will ask you what your plan is at gatherings, your friends will post about their successes all over social media, your mind will tell you you’re not good enough.
You’re going to get a job. It may be your dream job, it may be an assistant position at a company you’ve been following, it may be too big or too small for you, but you’re going to take it.
This job is only the beginning. You’re going to learn skills that will follow you throughout all of your endeavors.
You will jump head first into something unfamiliar and exciting, you will learn and fail and develop as not only an employee, but a coworker. You will learn about people, integrity, and culture.
I thought I was exactly where I needed to be, and I was, up until I realized it was no longer the right fit for me. I took a step back and looked around. I wasn’t the same person anymore.
I wasn’t willing to learn new things, I wasn’t waking up smiling, I was uninspired and my flame had burnt out — as well as my mind.
The next couple of months followed me with doubt, uncertainty, and an eagerness to opt out. One morning it hit me like a ton of bricks and I just knew.
I was no longer afraid, I no longer made up excuses, and I felt a drive to make it work. I was hired as a full-time employee at a supermarket as a second source of income and worked 16 hour days to save and manage my debts, and then I quit my corporate dream job to follow my intuition.
Leaving my job and the city allowed me to reflect on my well being, begin creating and doing things I forgot I enjoyed. I started writing again, photographing, talking to strangers and indulging myself in passionate people and projects. I re-discovered my love for travel, found a cheap flight to Iceland and booked it within minutes. Iceland made me feel small in the best way.
I remembered how I felt when I picked up my first camera. I remembered being a stranger, and the unfamiliarity of being surrounded by a language other than your own. I felt at peace with my mind to write, meet new people, and be.
For the first time in two years I felt like I had the chance to begin listening to myself again on this road of re-discovery. The freedom of freelancing is intimidating. Student loans, bills, expectations. Stability.
It took me years to feel confident in myself and my work, but I realized that working odd jobs and spending more time creating and exploring is vital to my personal goals.
This gave me the freedom to spend time outside and re-define my fears. We all have fears. They may be large or rather silly, but they belong to you.
My fear is stability. I never feel at ‘home’ – I find home in strangers and friends whom I connect with over exhausting nights, home is in waterfalls that force you to feel what they’re made of, home is in the moon guiding you over the mountains, it’s the shooting stars that scream look up, it’s the laughter over bonfires and moments that make you lose all train of thought.
Home isn’t a place — it’s a feeling and it’s so powerful that when you think you’ve lost sight of what home feels like, it will appear off guard and remind you to believe in a world of chance.
What I’m trying to say is, not everything works for everyone. Your fears don’t define you.
Do not compare your success to the accomplishments of others. Your choices are your accomplishments.
A year ago I wouldn’t be able to tell you the same. You’re not “just” working, you’re being proactive and doing what you need to do for the universe to find the next adventure for you.
Taking the first step out of my comfort zone and leaving my stability led me to an offer to move and work in Alaska this summer, and I truly believe it was the universe guiding me to this opportunity.
Trust your instincts. Work Hard. Create. Get outside.
The past year has taught me that you will make it work, or you will make up excuses. When opportunities come your way to learn and develop, take them. If you ignore them the universe will ignore you.
Just because life doesn’t go how you planned does not mean you failed. Just because you don’t want to live your life the way others live theirs does not make you wrong.
I know this is the right decision, because it’s the easiest one I’ve made. The world is made of people and projects that are full of life and make you want to be a better person. A better friend. A better co-worker. A better global citizen.
It’s made of experiences that will drain you, and make you question choices you thought you’ve figured out. The labyrinth is the constant circle of comfort you allow yourself to be contained. The labyrinth is an endless chase for something more.
The difficult part isn’t the chase, it’s the mindset. Chase your daydream.
The universe has endless opportunities waiting for you. Lose your mind. Take your time. Explore your world.