So, two years ago I quit my job. I took that terrifying leap without a safety net. With a stupid mix of over-confidence and ignorance, I was convinced that it would be a simple thing to find another job… who was I kidding? There are no jobs - not in my field, anyways.
Ok, thats a lie. There ARE jobs in my field. The problem was I just didn't want them. With each online application, job description and interview, I felt more and more repelled by the idea of working in the same field. I felt like a part of me was shrivelling up and dying each time I opened my browser to search. So I stopped searching.
I decided to take a break from job hunting. I deserved a break, didn't I? And so I did - break.
I did a bunch of different things. I booked a european trip that spanned from Scotland to England and to France. I spent time with family and friends from out of town. I generally reacquainted myself with waking up without an alarm clock, showering on alternate days (more lies… way less frequent than alternate days) and getting back in touch with people i had lost track of. I renounced all my bras and stopped using concealer and corrector.
Another interesting thing happened: without the schedule and routine of a job, I suddenly had an abundance of time on my hands. Sure, some of this time was spent zombie-like in front of Netflix, but most was not.
Before this time, I didn't have any hobbies or interests. I would panic if anyone asked. Umm.. reading? “Film”? Seriously, who has time for hobbies? BUT NOW - I could find time.
Here’s what I decided to jump into (things to keep in mind: I am a 90 year old woman in a 36 year old’s body, who has been TOLD she looks not a day over 29):
—Recipes (Not cooking. Recipes)
—DIY (not well)
—Crafts (not well at ALL)
—Research (body care - hence the business, but thats another blog for another time)
—Online dating (yes, weird interest. Move along)
—Makeup trends (but not necessarily on my face)
—Pinterest (You guys! How come no one told me about Pinterest before?)
My interests are mainly sedentary - I can see that - but they make me so HAPPY and FULL. I’ve expanded my outlook on life and on myself. These little things made me cheerful and curious and generally a better person.
Career wise, my business idea actually sprang from this time of my life when i was exploring new things. Some of my DIY work (the better aspects of it) centred around natural beauty and skin care. I researched and tested and experimented till I had a skeleton of an idea. Again - another blog for another time.
This time to focus and breathe was probably the best gift I have ever given myself.
I now understand the predominantly European concept of a gap year. The time off from the ceaseless planning and coordinating of our lives offers a chance to break, regroup and refocus. Once those eyes are clear, theres a chance that we start seeing the right path, with clarity (or, at least, the next path that takes us to the right path).
And at the VERY least, we learn how to knit terrible hats for our families to keep their heads warm and crafty.