Saying Goodbye to the Past
Back in January, I quit my full-time job to seek less stressful work good for my mental health. The hardest part was saying goodbye to work friends and the routine I’d established. I would no longer have someone readily available to have lunch with daily. No more work potlucks. No after work socials. No birthday cards and well wishes. I had to let go of the known and embrace the unknown.
My work ethic wouldn’t let me leave without having a plan. I left my old employer on Friday then started a part-time temporary job on Monday. Was it perfect? To be honest, I Googled “How to Quite a Job after the First Day”.
However, I stuck it out and a three-month temp job turned into six. They kept asking me to stay and again for fear of the unknown I kept saying yes. When the job did end, I doubt that they’d ever seen anyone happier on their last day of work.
Silver lining = I was learning what I didn’t want and what I needed to do.
Time is What You Make It
Fortunate to have the support of my family, for the first time since childhood I had the summer off. I began going to a writing workshop offered at the National Association on Mental Illness affiliate (www.NAMI.org). I met some new acquaintance sat NAMI who invited me to gatherings and, having more free time than I knew what to do with, I would show up. There I’d make another acquaintance or two who would invite me to another gathering where I’d show up. Rinse and repeat.
Still, that good ‘ol American work ethic keep nudging at me, “You must find a job now. You must know what you want to do now. You must do something, do anything!” One of my new friends told me “No! Think of this as Me-time. Don’t force yourself to do anything. Let it come to you.”
I’d like to tell my past self “Thank you for heeding that advice. It has been a glorious time of healing and enlightenment. When you get to this here and now, you’ll be so grateful you did!”
If I hadn’t shown up, I would have never [_____]
It’s said that showing up is half (if not 90%) of the battle. One invitation to a coffee shop gathering led to meeting someone who really helped me bloom. She is a life coach, a wonderful life coach, but most importantly just a wonderful person.
When we met she asked all the right questions, making me realize how my confidence was lacking (to say the least) and invited me to one of her workshops. I took some time to consider because it was a little pricier than I was comfortable. Again, I was scared of the unknown. Would I be wasting my time and money? I knew if I kept trying the old ways, I’d get the same results. If I wanted new results, I needed to learn new things. I took the leap!
Her workshop was invaluable and the kickstart I needed to get outside my comfort zone. With NAMI, the Courage Collective, familial support, and time I’ve allowed myself to improve my mental health, this year has been so different than any other I can recall. I feel free and light and myself. All because I let go and embraced the unknown.
It’s still a journey, a process. I know it is not linear. There will be steps backward. I also know that I am not alone. I know I can be gentle with myself. And I know if I can’t take a leap, I can just show up and take a baby step in the right direction. That’s how everything always begins.