I had many fears when I quit my full time job after 7 glorious years of fancy titles, fancier company names and unmentionably low salary increments:
1. How would I finance my monthly shopping frenzy, one. Answer one: that itch died along with the need to be constantly seen in something trendy, because my new wardrobe was rapidly rotating pyjamas and those seasons last years, you know
2. How would I continue to be financially independent and hold my own in important decisions at home, two. The cash well, so to speak, was not empty, yet. Like the swan singing its last song, I was free to assert my opinion as long as it numbered > 0
3. What would I do with my time, three. This turned out to be the least of my problems. There always were movies to watch, afternoon naps to take and friends to catch up with. And the occasional "business development" for new projects, of course
Nine months to myself and some of my deeper malaises are floating to the surface like dead fish:
1.1 The worth of my CV, which I had painstakingly and strategically built to its impressive (as of June 2016) state, one point one. Another year of sitting around, dreaming and I could kiss any chances of getting another full time job worth my time goodbye
2.1 In five, maybe ten years all my peers, especially the ones I would refuse to be in the same meeting room with, will be VPs, CXOs and oh-so-definitely investors, two point one. I would be exactly where I am now, slightly worse the wear
3.1. Aforementioned VPs and CXOs will send their children to fancy international school holidays for "study tours", and eventually to Norway to study "design", three point one. I would scrape through something to support living expenses of my progeny for a merit seat at a local college
4.1 In their early fifties, people my age will be talking "early retirement", four point one. I will still be searching for my calling
On the other hand, I know in my heart of hearts, as I have known for every single day of the past nine months I have spent outside of the workplace, that I belong elsewhere. Even on the worst days - the days when I had no new clients, nothing new to add to my latest piece of writing and when everything seemed dull, I did not want to go back to work.
Maria Popova of Brain Pickings fame speaks eloquently and passionately about how anything worthwhile takes time, and laments our culture that values productivity and money over real immersion and following our hearts. She's lucky, I think, she stumbled upon her calling like one trips over an uneven stone on the footpath. I am too tired to study something completely new, too old for fanciful thinking, and too close to the ground to ignore the monthly bills. Then there are the others, my colleagues turned ex friends, moving on to better paying jobs while looking at me as a trapped bird would at the sky.
I don't know which is the greater fear: never tasting freedom, or not knowing when and where (if at all) real, life altering inspiration is going to strike.