I have tried for days to write this post.
I have wanted to write this post for months. I practiced it in my head. OK, I had one line down, but still. This should not have been the post that I struggled to write. It kind of bothers me because rarely, if ever, do I struggle to find words to say something. Why now?
I was thinking about it all wrong. I was trying to tell the story by looking behind me, explaining what has led to this moment, this decision, and focusing on the doors that have been closed. But none of that matters, really, because this isn’t about what came before. This is about what is yet to come.
Allow me to digress for a moment. It’s relevant, I promise.
When I looked at Kat’s writing prompts for this week’s Writer’s Workshop, I read her list of last week’s favorites. Way at the bottom was one that struck me. Jerralea (at Jerralea’s Journey) wrote about the gift of belief in herself: “Often, when God is ready to use you at a new level, you will start to feel dissatisfaction for the way things are in your life. This is so that you will be ready to do something new.”
That’s true, I thought. Very true. It’s why at the end of a school year, teachers get kind of tired of the students in their classes and the students get very tired of the teacher. It’s a normal part of the cycle. It’s how we’re able to let go of one another. And nobody thinks about the year behind; we all think about the summer and, eventually, the new school year that will follow. When it’s time to say goodbye, you know it.
I have felt that dissatisfaction Jerralea described about some things in my own life over the last several years. It was minimal at first, almost unnoticeable. But over time, with changing circumstances, that dissatisfaction grew. I was changing and I knew it. I wanted something different; I had become someone different. It was time to say goodbye. I just didn’t quite know how.
I read a lot of Thoreau. I read him over and over again. Some of my favorite lines – and the ones I have found the most inspirational – come from the Conclusion to Walden.
I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one…
I learned this, at least…if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary…
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
That’s exactly what I am doing right now.
To borrow Thoreau’s words, I have a new and different life to live and cannot spare more time for the one I have been living. I have spent hours upon hours imagining my life from this point forward. I am stepping across those invisible boundaries and laying the foundations underneath my castles…
I quit my job today. Well, several days ago, now. With a great deal of support from those closest to me, I committed to the decision to do something new, something different, something that enables me to live the life I have imagined for myself and my family. That life, very simply, does not include punching anyone else’s time clock and so I am setting out on my own. I have “hung out a shingle,” so to speak, and am now effectively self-employed.*
This is huge. HUGE. It’s exciting and terrifying and dizzying all at the same time. This decision has been a long time coming and has so many reasons why. But rather than focus on the doors I close behind me I am focused on the open door ahead.
Thanks to Kat and Jerralea for the inspiration I needed to find my words!
*Come back again to find out more about what I’ll actually be doing!