“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”. This right here is my first step.
I recently decided after working in the corporate world for 15 years that it was time to take a break. A year off, a year off from working a 9 to 5 job, although I don’t last remember when I worked 9 to 5 it was more like 7 to 8 but you get the point. Time off from endless meetings, time off from spiraling strategies, time off from aimlessly chasing titles and the next job and the next job. Time off from day dreaming with friends an alternative reality, time off from thinking retirement nest egg target, time off from being ‘busy’. Time off from not having time to spend with family.
Today is technically day 1 of my leave of absence for a year from work. For past 2 weeks I have been on a long overdue paid vacation and now I enter into the zone of no income and true ‘I don’t have a job’ frame and I won’ lie its kinda scary. When you have worked for 15 yrs. its hard to wake up on a Wednesday morning and not have anywhere to go, will take some getting used to. Over the past few weeks it also dawned on me how much of your identity do you associate to your career, your work and what you do. Now when I meet people I pause at the question of ‘ So where do you work? Or What do you do?’ and man do people ask that a lot or what.
So why now, why at 36 yrs. did I decide to take a risk of leaving a rather awesome job and a career with an upward trajectory, some initial reactions to when I shared the news included ‘did I win a lottery’? ‘what are you going to do?’ are you traveling? Do you have something lined up?. And the answer to most, if not all was NO. I don’t have anything lined up and I did not win a lottery, I actually do not have a plan and that’s scary as hell but part of the reason to do this in the first place is to not over plan or over think. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and you just don’t go from a driven person to aimless living overnight so I did decide to start with some goals and to make it more fun (or stupid crazy, depend on how you see it :)) I decided to publically share these goals on what I consider a virtual billboard – Facebook. Why? Beside being stupid, I read in a book one time that the best way to hold yourself accountable to your goals is to share them with people and so I did. And now here I am trying to stay true to them (so I guess whoever wrote that was kinda right). In case you are wondering what these goals are, they aren’t that profound or anything but are more things that I need to do daily, weekly, things that will make me put an effort every day. A year can seem short or it can seem like 365 days, 54 weeks, 12 months, 4 quarters (because I worked in finance for too long) long. So here are the goals (some of them):
- 365 journal entries and pictures (1 per day): the journal entries include a lesson learnt and what I am grateful for each day. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Picking a picture worth sharing everyday forces you to find moments worth cherishing on a daily basis
- 52 blog entries. 1 per week. Hence this post. This one is the hardest. I have probably written this blog a thousand times in my head during my random city walk and in my head all of those seemed super smart and awesome, the problem thought those words never made it from my head to paper (virtually :))
- 12 paintings and/or creative project completed and sold. I have been painting for a few years now and one of the goals for the year is to explore and truly invest time in finding a market for the art I make
- 4 cultures experienced – a bit more immersive travel than tourism
- 1 new language learnt
So today, this is my first blog post. After debating and being tempted to write for a while and constantly doubting myself on being actually able to do it I finally decided to not over think it and go with the flow. As for where I am at with the above mentioned goals so far I have been able to maintain a daily pic and a daily journal entry, but its what piz 17 of 365 348 to go… Today, with this post I start by 54 week blog challenge.
In the coming weeks, I am going share my first ever truly solo travel adventure to Atlantic Canada, other adventures as I experience them, my learning & development goals, potential exploration of side hustles and challenges (which I am sure there are going to be plenty) of a year off from work. It’s exciting and nerve wrecking but I am looking forward to seeing how this leap changes my life’s horizontal
For those interested in following my daily pic challenge my Instagram handle is