I used to work on Michigan Avenue in the John Hancock tower for a venture capitalist. At the age of 23, I thought I made it.
Somehow, I evolved from a poor refugee immigrant to a student with a full ride to an environmental scientist miraculously jumping into the world of startups.
With my new job, came a new identity. I felt important. I finally was going somewhere with my life.. becoming the person I desperately wanted to become. Successful. Rich. Wanted.
I got to shake hands with Bill Gates. Get advice from Jim Collins. Have a drink with Common.
I was in email threads with entrepreneurs that I listened to on Tim Ferris’ podcasts. I felt like I was living in a dream and surrounded by people I aspired to become.
However, after three months, I realized the job wasn’t fulfilling me and wasn’t what I wanted.
I wanted to like the job. I wanted to love it–this was it.
But I didn’t.
I heard my truth but I lacked the courage to walk away in the first moment I heard my intuition speak to me.
I felt ungrateful and guilty for not being happy at this dream job I had manifested.
Two years ago, I would have killed for the job – but now, the job was sucking the life force out of my bones because it didn’t give me joy.
I became extremely depressed. I dreaded my morning commute. I no longer looked forward to spending time in the office.
A darkness took over my soul.
My entire life was centered around this job.
The “dream” job became a nightmare.
I felt completely trapped.
Every morning, I would numb myself with Adderall – waiting for that high to kick in as I made my way to work.
I started writing poetry and inner musings to navigate through my inner darkness, but I had no idea what to do with them.
Though I was writing like a maniac, I refused to listen to my soul’s calling. The words were in front of me but I denied them.
I even hired an established and professional writer to coach me and didn’t spill the beans that I wanted to be a writer until our last call together.
I was afraid to admit that I didn’t want the job.
Denying that truth made it hard for me to hear any truth.
When we smother our intuition, we don’t smother just some of it, we smother it all.
As the writer in me surfaced, I put my head down and continued to commute 2 hours a day to my self-imposed prison.
One more month, I told myself. One more month until I quit.
Then on a Friday, a week before Thanksgiving, I was invited into the office of my supervisor for a review. I swallowed my tears and told him the truth.
For the first time in my professional career, I expressed how unhappy I was – and immediately, I was let go.
That Friday, I packed my belongings, left the John Hancock and never came back.
Instead of repressing what I felt, like I did for the last six months, I listened to those desperate cries of my soul and spoke with my heart. I finally set myself free.
I knew I was living an unaligned life. I was depressed because I was pursuing opportunities that brought me agony instead of joy – even though they looked auh-mazing on my resume.
After I was fired, my soul came knocking multiple times to steer me in the right direction but I refused to listen.
I was free but I still felt lost.
Depression, anxiety, boredom, utter fear – all of these emotions attempted to point me in the right direction but instead, I’d run.
Unemployed and unsure of what steps I needed to take to build a life that was in alignment, I would wake up every morning and write.
A month after I manifested being fired from my job, I finally was brave enough to submit a piece of writing to a publication I admired.
I received an email saying “Congratulations, your article has been published!”
I was in utter disbelief. The truth I had been denying myself finally showed up in a way that I couldn’t ignore.
I was a published a writer.
My words have a place in this world.
We are all afraid.
We all feel trapped and scared to walk away.
What’s more important is that we keep on walking, especially when fear is telling us to stop and run back to safety.
Too many of us are pursuing lives that kill our spirit and perpetuate the story of fear.
Following the heart may be one of the most terrifying endeavors we ever embark on but it also is one of the bravest things we can do in this lifetime.
Getting fired from my dream job was the best thing that ever happened to me.