A few days from now I will be starting a new job at a new company in a new city. It pays better than my previous work, I would still be a technical writer, and it’s only on a 6-month project basis. And I am not excited about it, if any I dread it, the way I used to dread Mondays.
Two months ago I resigned from work and since then my life has become so much better. Suddenly, I was free to wake up whatever time I please, go to wherever without worrying if I still have enough leaves, and hang out with my friends without pulling a Cinderella so I’d still have enough sleep. The thing that I had been dreaming of everyday in my office’s desk; the total freedom of not having a schedule, not waiting for Fridays, not fearing Mondays, not worrying about the deadlines was suddenly a reality. And I was on a roll like a prisoner who was given parole. I did so many things that I couldn’t do when I still had work and boy I had a blast.
It is the happiest I’ve ever been in years. I went on trips; five destinations in two months’ time, focused my time on blogging, and freed myself from stress and worries. I didn’t have to ask for anyone’s permission, I didn’t have to answer to anyone, and nothing is more intoxicating than that.
For the first time in many years, I wasn’t stressed and I felt like the most fortunate bitch in the hood, living the good life that once upon a time was only a dream. I didn’t make room for my fears and worries. I didn’t obsess about where would I get money when my back-pay runs out. I passed copies of my resume to some companies, most of which were referred to by former colleagues and friends, but I didn’t wish to work for any of them. I went about the whole business of job hunting without being consumed about the need to be accepted. I went to interviews relaxed and free from expectations. If I got accepted, great, if not, it’s cool. Indeed, I felt bold and fearless and I loved every second of it.
Have you tried living this way? A life unrestricted and exhilarating? When was the last time you’ve taken a leap of faith? These past two months have been my leap of faith and I felt so alive and if I had my druthers I would love to keep this lifestyle forever. But despite not worrying I wasn’t blind about my responsibilities; I am sending my youngest sister to college, I have bills to pay, I am currently living on a temporary basis at my friend’s condo and I can’t live here forever. So despite being all happy and cheerful about my newfound freedom, at the back of my head, I knew I had to get back to work. I did try to find a freelance job and I even took some writing and editing gigs, but they weren’t really enough to sustain me.
I told my friends that I still want to become a freelancer full-time, but if it doesn’t pull through right now then I shouldn’t force it. Hence, I don’t want to close my door to going back to the corporate world. Sure, I still want the freedom, to own my time and to be my own boss, but if it’s not possible now then it’s okay. The important thing is I find a way to earn a living.
Then I found it. I accepted the job offer and I am now two days’ shy of doing it. I have wanderlust running through my vein and it is highly unlikely that I would ever stop traveling. But for now, I am going to keep still, go back to work, and schedule my trips according to my day-off. I am allowing myself to feel a little sad that I am going back to the old routine of waking up-dressing up-showing up to work.
But in the grand scheme of things, getting a job is a blessing, not a curse. I think it’s normal for most people, specifically travelers, to feel like they are dragging themselves to work. After all, who really wants to work? I’m sure if everyone has a choice, none of us would work our ass off and that we would all choose to be out there, explore the world, and not care about money, bosses, leaves, bills, and such similar things. But as an adult, there should always be a balance between reality and dreams; you should go out and get your dreams but don’t lose your head and forget about your responsibilities. There are means to do it; you just have to find what works best for you and believe me there is always a way.
So on Monday I am going back to work. I will do what I have to do, meet my new colleagues, write technical documentation, wear my OOTD-worthy clothes even if my officemates think I overdress. But I am a flamingo in a sea of penguins. I will always be different than everyone else and I am not ashamed of it. Maybe I will hate Mondays again and look forward to Fridays but that’s okay. I will do my job and I will kill it. And on weekends and whatever days available, I’d still respond to my wanderlust.