It has been 5 months since I quit my corporate job to focus full time on writing and photography. It’s taken almost that long to decompress from the stress corporate life instills. Five months to take a deep breath and realize that there is more to life outside a cubicle.
I’ve realized too that I’ve learned a lot about life and myself. Things like letting go, taking the world in and being true to myself. The path I have chosen has been to find balance in my life, to be with my family, to focus on my creative side and to let the stresses go, as best I can. It’s been an enlightening 5 months. It has flown, for sure, but in realizing it’s only been five months, I’m surprised at all I’ve learned in that time.
Focusing on my creative side is good for my soul.
In trying to find the balance, I’ve realized that I need a creative outlet in order for me to stay balanced. Whether it is writing, photography, scrapbooking, painting… it doesn’t matter what it is, the outlet is necessary for me to stay sane and in control.
Being available to my family makes a difference.
Seeing the relationship with my teenager improve, as a result of stopping what I am doing and listening to what she has to say, is worth every effort in doing so. I can say the same with my husband…And my sister…And my best friends. I know now not to multitask when those around me need my attention. That is, focus on one thing at a time and give everything I am doing my full attention. Multitasking isn’t always the answer. I find when I’m focused on one thing at a time, I’m more productive.
I have a need to travel
When I was a teenager, I knew that I would travel in my life. Growing up in a small town, I knew that I wanted to explore the world. I knew that life on a farm was not for me. I now know, in my forties, that I need this outlet. While at home, I’m a homebody, focused on my family and their schedule. But give me my passport, some travel money and a flexible schedule, I’m outta here. There is too much of the world to sit and stagnate. And in the meantime, I’m rediscovering my own backyard and what it has to offer.
I am open to learning again.
About 6 months before I quit my corporate life, I was asked to do a ‘360 view’ of my work life. This scared the crap out of me. But opening that door to reveal what I would find out about myself simply scared me senseless. I wasn’t ready. What I have realized in the last 5 months is what I probably would have discovered in that session. Better yet, I did it when I was ready, when I was open to it, and when I knew that corporate politics would not be the reason for doing it.
I have also found that I am open to learning. Not only the things about myself, but about things that interest me. In building a website (or two), I have learned a lot about SEOs, blogging, the technology around building those websites etc. I have also learned more details about photography. Simply stuff I just didn’t comprehend before.
I’ve also learned about people. I’ve learned more about my husband in the last five months that I have in my marriage of five years. I’ve learned more about my relationship with my daughter, and with my family. I’ve also learned where my true friendships lie. All of what I hold dear and having this knowledge, allows me to be a better friend, more honest in my involvements and open to those around me.
I regained the ability to see the big picture.
I was so stressed and so involved in the bubble around me, that I lost the larger vision. Life. I lost the viewpoint that the world should not evolve around work. That is, there is more to life than just working. I became the Corporate America Poster Child. Work until you collapse.
Being able to step back and look outside that bubble has allowed me to realize that others are struggling far worse than I and even if they are not, their own perception is their reality. I’ve realized that in stopping and listening, being open to what else is going on, allows me to see my own reality with more clarity. Life is challenging. It’s not all roses and romance and complying teenagers. It’s bumpy. But it’s how you navigate the bumps, is what allows you to keep control of that reality.
Communication is Key.
My husband tells me that I think I say things out loud, when I really do not. I found this irritating at first. Then I realized that I do have many conversations in my head. No, I’m not schizo, but I know that I do play out scenarios in my head. This too, was a coping mechanism I used in the corporate world, to get through challenging scenarios and prepare. But I have realized that I have subconsciously incorporated that into my real life for all scenarios.
Knowing my family can’t read my mind, as much as I would like them to be able to, has lead me to understand that I need to be clear in my requests, clear on the intent, not to just express the direct need.
2012 – Bring it on!
Now 2012 is here, I’m throwing myself all in with the tools I have in my back pocket. I know already that it’s going to be a challenging year but I’m looking forward to seeing what life throws our way. The brain is already spinning at the possibilities!