How do you make the decision to leave your job, sell your stuff, go on a sabatical, and buy a round-the-world ticket … if you are prone to depression, anxious about the future, struggle with the unknown, love the comfort of home and need to be in control? I did not think about any of this too much. If I had, I would probably not have done it.
The thought of staying, however, was more depressing than the uncertainty of leaving. The choice was obvious.
9 years is too long to do something that you dislike. What started off as a stepping stone, a place to learn about the publishing industry when I completed my degree, became my life. Years were consumed by deadlines, meetings, emails and publishing books that I had very little interest in. For years, I knew that I had to get out – but to what? I moved companies… and then cities… (and almost countries). But, it ultimately dawned on me that I had to get out of this career that I had not passion for. Or it would destroy me.
There are things in life that you do, that don’t necessarily excite you, but you do them because you know it will get you to the place where you want to be. But, when you
don’t know where you want to be, this is pointless. So, why was I doing it? To pay a mortgage, to have the life that I thought I wanted. But, I was not living, I was surviving – I used to wake up in the morning, wishing that I had some kind of illness that would enable me to call in sick, counting the days until the weekend, and then spending the weekend in recovery – from work.
When my morning routine got to the point where I was hitting the snooze butten for almost an hour before I eventually got up, all the while trying to talk myself into getting up and going to work, I realised that I needed to find a way of living that energised me. This career was sucking the life out of me. I knew that I had to find something that I’m passionate about, something that I love doing. I’m still searching… but, I’m hopeful.
Its just over a year since I left the publishing industry. I’ve worked as a waitress in Greece, tried my hand at caring in the UK, travelled for a few months. And, every day, I am grateful that I made the decision to let go of a life that was not good for me. I am back in Greece, working as a waitress for the summer. Its hard work, but I love going home in the early hours of the morning with my wages and tips in my pocket, knowing that my job for the day is done. I sleep late, I read, I go to the beach, I have a life – and I don’t have to convince myself to get out of bed in the morning.
I don’t have a plan, and I still catch myself wondering about the future (every now and then). I still have moments of depression (who doesn’t?) and anxiety about money. But, right now, I’m doing something that I enjoy, and I know that I can stop when I’ve had enough.
“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back. A new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” Anais Nin