Fear. The notorious thief of dreams, passion, love, and the feeling of being alive. It has robbed every last one of us at some point in our lives, and with passive attitudes, we continue to let it happen. We let fear continue to beat us down in the school yard taunting us like we’ll never be good enough, strong enough, or brave enough to stand up for ourselves. So at what point do we realize that we have the power to fight back? That we are better, stronger, braver than the fear that has been holding us down? Where do we find the strength to set the souldier inside all of us free to silence our worst fears?
Fear and bravery come in many forms. Bravery being standing up for someone who is being teased, working a job you don’t necessarily love with confidence and a positive attitude every day, gambling at the casino or on a decision that could change the course of a project/program, staying calm in the middle of a chaotic situation, or quitting your job to do what you love even though you have no idea what the outcome will be.
Part 1 – Letting the Cat Out of the Bag – May 10, 2012
I walked into the office feeling numb and not really thinking much at all. The anxiety leading up to the day where I tell my supervisor I’m leaving a steady job I’m actually happy with to travel the world was eating me alive. Surely I’d have my neck rung when I tell my fellow employees I’m leaving right before their busiest season ever or so I thought. Naturally, as I sat down to break the news, the speech I had prepared in my head failed to surface, and I just came out with “My last day here will be June 8″. The reaction I received wasn’t what I was expecting. It was one of support and excitement for the dream that makes me truly happy. Obviously, they were disappointed, but they have my best interest at heart, in terms of my personal and professional growth.
Their understanding took me by surprise, but what a relief it was. My gratitude and appreciation for their reaction and the opportunity shot through the moon.
By the end of the day, I had broken the news to at least 10 people, and I was exhausted, sad, thrilled, just a mixed bag of emotions. My head was spinning the whole day as I bounced around to different meetings, but I felt much lighter and more free from the worry and fear of being ripped to shreds.
It was a huge hurdle to clear, and there was really no way to prepare for it other than to go in and rip the bandaid off. After all, there’s no easy way to tell people you’re leaving. The best thing you can do is be gracious, not burn the bridge, and look forward to the adventure ahead.
Part 2 – Last Day on the Job – June 8, 2012
All those nights I spent working and watching movies at home in college instead of going out to the bar have finally paid off. All the worries I had about quitting my job, having enough money, finding the courage to go are behind me now and in retrospect, silly to begin with.
During the last month between breaking the news and my last day, I’ve felt happier than I ever have in my life. The decision to leave a job is not an easy one to make, and part of me is sad to leave behind all of the new friends I’ve made. One of the voices in my head keeps asking why I’m leaving when I was so happy with my work. Why give it all up? The truth is that I would be happy staying behind to work, but the pull to travel and see more of what’s outside my commute between work and home is much stronger. Every day I spent working at the office was another day I wasn’t being honest with myself about who I really am, what I wanted, and another day I let the bigger dream slip away. That’s a miserable position to be in, if you ask me.
On the road, it will be me, my survival instincts, and independence working every day to put my fears to rest and fighting to keep the dream alive. I’ll be working on various projects as I go, of course, and part of that work will involve traveling into the depths of the Earth to pull you further out of your comfort zone as I do the same for myself.
So here I am, 5 days away from leaving home for a year or possibly longer, feeling uneasy, nervous, nostalgic, ecstatic, thrilled, inspired, and more. I’ve come a long way from one year ago, and even though the transition into a new lifestyle will be a bit bumpy, I couldn’t be more ready, grateful, and merry.
This is it.