It all started in August (well from what the outside world could see anyway).
After 15+ years of working as a corporate sheep I dug up enough nerve to break away from the herd. I had enough.
I had enough of the fear induced atmosphere. It was a toxic prison where my manager was a neurotic game player that loved to play executioner based off whatever his favorite minions were feeding him that day. I never knew the rules and refused to be a snitch to match their spineless work ethic.
So I removed myself.
It was not an over night decision. It was months, hell it was years in the making.
But, yes it did come down to a few crucial months where my fear of the unknown kept me locked there with the hope that things would change. I don't know what I thought would change, maybe myself. I thought maybe I would go back into my numb comma, that maybe I could suck up being unhappy 40 hours a week for a paycheck and some vacation hours.
I couldn't. I couldn't go back into my comma, I couldn't suck it up. I couldn't breathe.
Very literal at times.
I was required to wear long sleeves everyday in order to cover some tattoos, and after one particularly long day, I got in my car and I felt like I was suffocating. I couldn't breathe and it felt like my blazer was strangling me. I couldn't get it off fast enough and as I yanked at the sleeves gasping for air, I ripped one of the seems. When I finally got it off, I rolled the blazer into a ball and chucked it on the floor. I sat there for a few moments staring at my steering wheel trying catch my breath.
I was frazzled from the fight for oxygen and shockingly aware of what my next move needed to be.
I left that day knowing the end was near. I threw that blazer in the garbage and it felt good.
My first month not working was exhilarating! Each day I kept thinking it was a dream and I didn't really quit. It felt like a long vacation. I woke up early, worked out, hiked the canyons, wrote, a lot, cranked music and scrubbed every room in my house. I was finally doing exactly what I said I would do if I wasn't locked up in an office all day. I had endless energy and I was determined to 'kill it' each day. And I did.
Man, was I feeling good, but then came the burn out...
My second month was drastically different. I let my fears of "not knowing" take the wheel for a minute and it drove me straight into a depression. I was pissed off I felt pushed out of a job, I was depressed about not having another one even though I didn't want another one.
I chose sweat pants and 9 o'clock bed times over date nights and I was taking each " So what are you doing with all your free time?" question as an insult. I was rapidly withdrawing from the outside world.
The fact is, I was doing a lot with my time. I was allowing myself to feel mad and sad. It was the best thing I could have done. I proved a lot to myself during that time out. I re-built myself from the inside.
I got over being upset about what had happened and where I thought others felt I "should" be and gave myself the freedom to choose what I want to be.
I strengthened my internal middle finger muscle so it was strong enough to stand up to what doesn't serve my souls best interest. I learned that saying " Fuck that shit!" to whatever doesn't respect my worth is a very liberating and spiritual act for my spirit's well-being.
So here I am, just finished month #3 of not working ( for someone else) and I wake up each day feeling inspired by new projects regularly. I have notebooks full of ideas outlining art projects, poems, and adventures. All of which, you will see as each of their time comes.
I let go of others' opinion of me and what they "think" I should be doing with MY "free time."
*Life fact: None of our time is Free. How you spend it is your choice. You always have a choice*
I traded a 9 to 5 for a work when I feel inspired time schedule, which is usually from the hours of noon to 8 p.m. and then again at midnight to 3 a.m. , if creativity and insomnia strike at the same time.
Or I have the times when an idea pops up and all I have is a receipt in the glove box to scribble on so I don't lose it to the mess in my head before I get home.
Now, when people ask what I am doing with my time, I shrug my shoulders and say " Oh ya know, just living." And I mean that. I am actually living. I am seeing some things for the first time and I'm allowing myself to feel my way through situations so I don't repeat the bad and learn to follow the good. It's weird that I'm learning these simple tasks at 37 years old, but I don't know if I had the courage to comprehend them before this.
My life leading up to this has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. And somewhere along the way I learned to release my grasp on the panic bar in front of me and put my hands in the air. It's an awesome view from the top and a thrilling ride that has woke up my senses on the way down as I squeal and laugh with the wind in my face; I'm launched up the next hill.
I wasn't sure I was going to share this part of my journey here, but in order for you to understand me and know who I am, you have to know what has lead me to this crossroad.
While my actions may seem spontaneous to some, even crazy at times, my intentions are always cruel free and only have best interests at heart.
" I aspire to inspire before I expire."
And that my darlings is what I'm working on in my "spare" time.
Rock the boat. Make waves. Break the mold and then make a new one. Add sparkle generously.