Written by Jenny
Okay, that headline might sound a bit more dramatic than what the reality was.
Mainly because I haven’t just literally quit my job. What I did last week was to leave a resignation notice to my employer. So it is halfway quitting, I guess…
But also because the last day of my employment will only be in end July which means I still have 4 months (!) of office work ahead, and I will have to work my whole last summer in Copenhagen… poor me right!?
All that being said, just taking this first small step has made me feel incredibly relieved! I have never been good at keeping secrets and I in general find it difficult to keep my mouth shut about big things happening in my life. On top of that I have a really close and open relationship with my manager, which made me feel very dishonest and guilty for not telling her about my travel plans earlier. It was a real burden to carry this secret for over half a year, but now I am finally free of it.
Once I have had my last day in the office I will find myself in uncharted territory as this will be the first time in my adult life without a “real job” and a secure income. Unlike Kristian, I do not have an actual plan yet for how I am going to make money as a traveling nomad, and that actually scares me a bit… what if my savings will run out before I’ve figured out how to earn money? What if something unexpected happens or I cannot afford the daily living expenses? What if I get robbed?!
I guess we all fear the unknown. I mean, nearly every day I hear people around me complain about how their jobs, relationships or life situations makes them miserable. They moan and groan so much that they are not only making themselves miserable, but everyone around them as well. They get through each day of misery only to go home, clean their houses, prepare dinner and go to bed, so they can revisit the misery all over again tomorrow. If people really hate their jobs so much or have such unsatisfying relationships, then why do they stay in them?
The answer is simple – change is scary. It freaks us out.
And I am no different. I have many fears. I can keep on imagining all kind of scenarios where everything just goes horribly wrong and I end up cleaning toilets in a jail for criminally insane in India for the rest of my life. But if I just keep listening to those fears and keep convincing myself that the unknown is far worse than my current situation, then I’ll probably never move on.
To overcome the fear we all have within us, we need to start asking ourselves; what is truly more frightening – the thought of being miserable day after day, or the thought of the unknown? We need to stop and consider the alternative. What if the “unknown” will lead to a situation, where I’ll wake up happy and energized every morning? What if the “unknown” would give me the opportunity to go out and do the things I love the most, every single day?
To be honest I am not exactly sure when the shift in my brain happened. Maybe it was my 30th birthday? Or when I started meditating every morning? I might have been influenced by Eckhart Tolle’s masterpiece “The Power of Now”? Or maybe it was that cold and dark November morning when I rode my bike to work with freezing rain bombarding my face, feeling like a thousand small needles, thinking that I would rather be anywhere else in the world than on my bike heading to an office where I would spend the next 8 hours of my day, giving my time and energy to someone else’s benefit.
In reality it was likely a combination of all those things.
But somehow, no matter how, I went from thinking I could never quit my job, to sitting down with my boss and confidently informing her that I would be leaving to start traveling and thereby ending my employment.
Every time thoughts of fear try to enter my brain now, I force myself to listen to my gut feeling instead – because it tells me not to worry and that everything is going to be just fine.
I have decided to go with the advice Timon gave Simba when he worried too much about life – and I am encouraging you to do the same!
“What a wonderful phrase, ain’t no passing craze
It means no worries, for the rest of your days
It’s our problem-free philosophy”