I quit a job I love late last month.
A few weeks shy of my 29th birthday, I received a job offer that forced me to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Do I want to be a communications pro – a field I’ve been working in for over eight years – or do I want to be an honest-to-goodness writer? Turns out I want to be a writer.
The signs were there from an early age. I wrote and wrote when I was young, and then when I got older, I wrote some more. But somewhere along the way, I lost my love of it. I grew up and got a real job and a husband and a house and a dog and a big, bad case of the blues.
When I turned 20, I remember wanting so badly to be a Grown Up. Now that I’m turning 30, I fear I’ve grown up too soon, that the weight of my ever-present fear has stripped away my ability to feel joy, to be open, to live – really live. But that’s the burden of hindsight: we can’t go back with our hard-earned wisdom to guide our way out; only forward, fumbling in the dark.
Medieval map-makers would sometimes mark a warning on uncharted territories: here be dragons. Life doesn’t come with a map, though; it’s all uncharted and rough terrain. But when you’re ruled by fear, as I’ve been through my 20s, you wear a deep rut in the tracks of your days, moving from familiar space to familiar space. It’s a safe way to go through life, but a scary way to live.
So I quit a job I love last month. “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” I let go of my fear – with no small amount of fear – and decided to be different. Not because my 20s were bad (they weren’t, not really), but because I want my 30s to be better.
And in deciding to be different, to live differently, I’m venturing a ways off the path I’ve been plodding along, to uncharted territories, lands unknown.
Here be dragons.
Hold on to your butts.