When I decided to take my leave I was doing it for myself. And my family. And it wasn’t about being different or chasing a dream or trying to brand myself as some sort of example. But then some things happened.
First my employer, which has always been good to me, approved my leave for thirteen months, commencing at the end of the work day on March 31. That would mean I would be guaranteed a job upon my return but not necessarily MY job. The job I’ve been in since being hired and starting to work for them on May 7, 2007. Michigan is a big state. And this is about as close to home as I can get from here. So more discussion ensued. Late nights and car rides. Emails and texts. And we realized that if we were going to do this it wasn’t really fair to sit around for a year and decide what we were doing. As my mom would say, “Sh*t or get off the pot!”. And so we did. And I changed my leave to a resignation effective the same day: March 31.
When I made it FaceBook official I was overwhelmed with the response. There were the “good luck”s and the “thought it was a leave”s and some emoticons. But there were also phone calls and emails and messages. About how I’m so brave and such an inspiration. And that they all wished they could do what I was doing. There was also a huge amount of comments dripping of fear. And I get that. I mean, look at the facts: I’m going from a well-paid, well-benefitted job with a great employer to…
Well, to what, exactly? I’ll be my own employer, with no benefits and unstable pay. Sure I freelance now but it’s in the spaces between, it’s not full time. And we don’t rely on that income. As mentioned in my original post, I’ll also work on my novel. And I’m making great strides in that having also just registered for the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference July 31-August 2. And I’m doing PitchSlam. Talk about giving yourself a deadline. But I’m nothing if not motivated. And adventurous. And when I get an idea while I waiver and am great at talking myself out of things, once I commit, I commit.
I plan on writing about my journey here on my author’s website, and who knows, maybe my journey will inspire someone else. But let’s be clear, folks, I don’t intend to say that anything I’m doing is sane. Please don’t quit your job tomorrow to become a writer. Or a glass blower. Or a voiceover actor. Please do, though, share your thoughts and your own dreams. In return, I’ll share what I’m learning along the way, the things I beat myself up over because I should have seen them coming (I’ll learn from my mistakes and you will, too), and the transition.
For now, we’ve signed the contract to put our house on the market, we know my last day of work and I’m planning what April 1 will look like (it’s five weeks from today). I hope you’ll join me on this journey: the good, the bad and the ugly and that we can laugh and learn together.