When I quit my job, it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I had nothing else lined up and no idea what I was going to do, but it turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me.
You know that voice in your head that tells you that something seems off? That you’re not doing what you should be doing or that you need to take a risk? Well, if you’re anything like me, I’ve become really good at turning off that little voice. It may be because whatever is saying is too scary or different or because adapting to change can be hard.
But inevitably, there’s always going to be that wake-up call, even if it takes a while, that encourages you and pushes you to trust your gut. Coming up with the courage to quit my job wasn’t easy, but looking back, it was the best decision I could have possibly made.
Let’s go back a few years to April 2012. I was a newlywed loving life with my husband and our thinks-he’s-a-human-dog, Jaxson. We were on cloud 9 after our wedding and honeymoon! I mean, grinning ear to ear all day, still tan from our honeymoon (thank you, St. Lucia!) and feeling absolutely incredible.
But when we came back home and reality hit, I realized just just how unhappy I was with my current job and career path. Major buzzkill! So I rode the adrenaline wave from our wedding and became inspired to take a leap of faith.
And after asking myself “why not?” and coming up with nothing, I knew it was time– I quit my job!
It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I had nothing else lined up and had no idea what I was going to do, but I was determined to discover my passions and to find out what was going to make me happy.
Now, before I go on, it’s important to know that I do realize that the intense happiness I felt during this special time in my life was likely not going to be matched by a job. BUT there’s a difference between feeling good about going to work every day and dreading Monday mornings to the point you get a stomach ache every Sunday night. Not fun!
So, over that summer, I tried anything I could– I volunteered, went to networking events and even took an unpaid internship. I was willing to do whatever it took to figure out what was going to click.
I even started a blog: The HappyJax Life, named after our dog, Jaxson.
My goal was to document my journey towards living a true HappyJax Life. This meant following a few simple guidelines that I created for myself as I took this leap of faith:
- Do what makes you happy.
- Give everything at least 100%.
- Share your love.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
In general, it was about making the best of anything that life throws your way and trying to look at life the way your dog would– doing things that make you happy and letting things roll off your back. Have you ever seen a dog bump into a piece of furniture and then dwell on it? Of course not! They shake it off and move on, chasing after whatever toy their heart desires. And while I wasn’t chasing toys (more like chocolate and wine!), I did want to live more like Jaxson. I wanted to be happy every day, let the little things go and make the most of life.
After all, I had quit my job, so the least I could do was really give it my all and put everything I had into creating the life that I wanted for myself.
I was hopeful that between my new mindset, the steps I was taking and the things I was trying, that something was going to work out and a new path would be clear. And by the end of summer, that’s exactly what happened. My unpaid internship turned into a full-time job offer and I ended up working at the same place for the next three years, only leaving when my daughter was born.
I had no idea that quitting my job and taking that blind jump was going to teach me so much:
- It’s okay to go out of your comfort zone.
- Living on a tight budget doesn’t have to be miserable.
- Taking risks is not always a bad thing.
- Putting myself first does not mean I am selfish.
- I am capable of more than I give myself credit for.
The only thing I wish I would have done differently during that time is keep up with my blog. As I continue to learn more about myself, I realize that there have been too many times in my life where I may have a great idea with good intentions, but I let myself get caught up in the life around me and I don’t follow through.
And while things like a new job, starting a family or moving are not small things, I tend to solely focus on them and forget about the other stuff– the things that give me an outlet, the things that I do just for me.
So now it’s 2017 and I have decided that it’s not too late. I can still get back to that HappyJax life mindset and apply it moving forward. Only now, it’s more about me completely and wholeheartedly embracing this beautiful, messy life of mine. (Learn more about the inspiration behind Messy & Mine)
Life has been and will always be messy. It’s just the types of messes that change over the years. Back then, it was about my career. Now, it’s about figuring out motherhood, finding every day balance and becoming the best version of myself.
And perhaps most importantly, it’s not just for me anymore. Now it’s for my daughter. I owe it to her. I want her to see me as a strong, independent woman who views herself as being pretty awesome and who loves the life she worked so hard to create for herself and her family. Because ultimately, that’s all I could ever want for her as well.