I didn’t plan on quitting. In fact, if I had planned it, I wouldn’t have had the guts to go through with it.
But one day, in the midst of the quarantine, I was having a phone meeting with Kyle, my boss, and he was explaining how some things about my job would be changing a bit because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And I – half joking – floated the idea that maybe someone else would be better at the job. He seemed surprised, but we quickly moved on.
But a seed was been planted in my heart. And it soon started to take root.
Later that night, I mentioned the idea to my husband – What if I quit my job? – and he liked the idea. (As an aside, he has always said whenever I wanted to stop working, I was welcome to.)
So over the next couple weeks my offhand comment to Kyle hung around the back of my mind and slowly began to turn into actual “what if I did this?” conversations with various friends and coworkers, and literally every single one of them said “Do it.” Or “Of course!” Or “You should!”
And I realized that my fear was the only thing saying “It’s a risk. You should probably stay where it’s safe.”
I’ve been listening to that voice all my life. I hate that voice.
So I allowed myself to start to dream…
What things wasn’t I doing because I was working? What parts of my heart have sat dormant while I focused on the daily and weekly tasks of my job? Could there be something more in me? I enjoy cooking and writing and gardening and repurposing furniture and creating with pallet wood. But those things were always things I did for fun … squeezed into my spare time. Could there be something bigger inside of me that will only show up when I create space for it?
I have to find out.
I am sad, though. I feel like I am breaking up with boyfriend whom I love – and by “boyfriend” I mean “job” – because I am compelled to find out if there’s more for me. I am giving up the good for the dream of something better. Besides, it makes no logical sense to quit my job during a pandemic.
I feel like God is inviting me into the “What if?”
I’ve been at this place before in my life … the fork in the road with one sign marked “What if?” But I’ve never before had the courage to follow it.
Last year I attended a retreat where I looked closely at how God had wired me and what my unique identity and life mission is based on this. I suppose you could say the dreaming started then. It was life-changing four days.
And I think the seeds for more were planted in me there and have slowly been cracking.
As I’ve begun this life change, I’ve also started to realize how much of my security and identity is tied up in my having a job. When I talk about myself, I talk about what I do.
It super scary to me to think about how I’ll answer that question after I stop working.
What will give me purpose each day?
How am I pulling my weight for our family?
And in the grand finale of my Enneagram 2-ness…
Will I be loved and wanted apart from my financial contributions to my family?
But each little baby step I’ve taken towards the unknown, it’s felt … right. It feels like now’s the time. Like if not now, then when?
My husband the other day talked about how this moment in life is a blank canvas. And I feel like I’m standing in front of it, wondering how to begin. The potential for what it might become is both exciting and a little scary.
The first mark is always the hardest.