I quit my job.
This past Friday, after the obligatory two weeks following my resignation, I wiped my computer clean of all traces of myself, gathered my last possessions, and walked out the door.
It felt exhilarating.
I had long desired a change, a chance to do more of what I am truly passionate about. In retrospect, I realize that for months I was waiting for some sort of sign, some external force that would convince me that yes, now indeed was the time to leave.
I think that many of us, myself included, are often too afraid to make the leap because we’re not convinced we’ll land on our feet. We spend our days doing the menial work that brings us little joy (but pays the bills!) as we wait for the stars to align.
The truth is, our fates are not written in the stars but in the choices we make everyday. It’s in the habits we cultivate, the company we keep, even the food we eat. For years now I have brought paint to paper, building an illustration portfolio that eventually I was proud to share. I’ve become part of a vibrant arts community here in Des Moines, taken and taught creative workshops, and sold my work at various seasonal markets and online in my Etsy shop.
The truth is, our fates are not written in the stars but in the choices we make everyday.
I realize now that I need not have sought a sign to tell me what to do. I had been living with it for years. The only thing left to do was to recognize it, and take the leap.
After giving my official resignation two weeks ago, I feared that I would be plagued by doubts. But I was not. If anything, my conviction that I had made the right choice only grew. I may be young, but I’m not so much of an ingénue to not realize what I was giving up in leaving my corporate job. The security of a consistent paycheck, an HSA, a nearly vested retirement fund – these things top the list of what I have left behind, but they are nothing compared to what I will gain.
Right now, as I look forward to a week ahead full of barre classes to teach, AIGA meetings to lead, and both local and international illustration commissions to complete, I recognize that I am still in free fall. I haven’t yet touched ground on the other side and when I do, I’m sure I will stumble at first. Right now though, the view from up high is breathtaking.