There is something that I keep feeling and denying to acknowledge that is a form of lying to myself. It's a lie I've been telling myself now for over 10 years. There are a lot of good reasons for why I've been trying to deceive myself, needing to pay my own bills and take care of myself being the biggest ones, but there's another reason too.
I don't like the work I'm currently doing, it doesn't fill me up, or light me up in any way. What it does do is pay my bills and allows me to live a lifestyle I really like, but when I'm honest with myself I can say I dislike the work a lot. That is the most uncomfortable thing I've ever said on this blog. I've been afraid to say that publicly or to anyone outside of my closest friends and family for a very very long time, but it's time to live honestly and saying it out-loud is an important first step to changing what I don't like. I'm terrified to push the publish button on this post this morning.
Part of what is so difficult about saying it outloud is that I'm afraid others will think I'm not grateful for what I have. Many people would love to have a job like mine, Monday through Friday 8-5pm, paid vacation, benefits, a 401k, and a wonderful salary, I'd be an idiot to walk away from that right? I'm aware of just how good I have it. I'm so grateful for what this job has and is providing me, what it allows me to do and for the incredible people I've gotten to work with over the years and still work with, but it's not who I am or what I want to be doing. It never was. I thought it would buy me time and money to figure it out and help me establish myself with a nest egg and then I'd be able to buy myself time to work on what I really want to work on. 10 years later I feel like I don't have much to show for what i've done, and I haven't been working to really build my own dreams.
My goal is to be doing something really different this time next year. I don't want to be at a big corporate job any more. The hardest thing is that I had to say that to the person I respect most at work this week. I've said it to him before, but I think he really heard me this time. He is the person that I left Lincoln Financial to continue to work with, the person I respect most in the industry, the person who feels more like family than like a co-worker. He's like the older brother I always wished I'd had. He asked me directly about some of my goals for the next year and I'm at a point in my life where I have to be 100% honest including with myself and that means I can't do this job anymore, and I told him that. It was not comfortable to say, I don't want him specifically to think I'm ungrateful. In building an escape plan from a job like this I have major fears like maybe I'll go bankrupt, loose my house, my car, horror of all horrors have to move back to OH and in with my parents, but oh my goodness I can't keep lying to myself and pretending this is ok. I'm currently selling out. I probably won't go bankrupt or have to move in with my parents, but if I'm catastrophising that's where my mind goes of what could go wrong with this plan.
The longer I do this job the further and further away I become from the person I want to be and the art I want to be doing. It's that simple.
I must be brave enough to acknowledge that continuing to work this job that provides a great life financially doesn't fill up my soul in anyway and that does make me a sell-out. I'm terrified to share this so publicly, but if you read this blog you probably already know this about me or you've guessed it. I might not have said these words, but it's screaming from the core of most of my posts.
What I'm not saying is that I'm quitting tomorrow, or a week from now or even this year (I'm not totally crazy) but I'm taking steps to have more control over my time by this time next year. Unless of course you are my employer and you read this and decide that I'm fired which will simply accelerate my plan a bit faster. That isn't my plan, but I'm sure it's a risk I'm taking by sharing this post. I'm choosing to be honest and transparent with myself and they say it's important to share your goals if you want to make them a reality, so I'm sharing.
what I won't do is give less at my current job just because I want to be doing something else. I'm completely grateful for what I have and I want something else, the two are not mutually exclusive. There is nothing wrong with wanting something else. To echo Lindley's advice yesterday I'm entirely grateful for what I have while I'm working towards something else and if I don't share it publicly I'll never ever do it.