I have never left a job before that was 1. By choice and 2. I didn’t already have something “traditional” lined up for to start on next. I’ve been let go and unemployed for a while. I’ve quit jobs for new and better opportunities. But I’ve never left a job with nothing for me to do next. I suppose that’s my real issue, it’s a perception, a frame of mind. I do actually have something to do. I do have a new endeavor to devote myself to. I didn’t quit a high paying job to just sit around and stare at the clouds rolling by.
I left my advertising job to follow my passion. I left working in the gaming industry behind to be an author. I was always a writer, I just didn’t always allow myself to be what I already was. I put other labels first, Advertising Strategist, Jr. Manager of Innovation, Project Manager, Console and Gaming Expert. Rarely did I tell anyone that I was, and am, a writer. I wasn’t ashamed of it. But I didn’t enjoy the surprise I was met with when I told people that. It made me think that it was something to be embarrassed by when it should have been the opposite.
So now that I am diving into this with everything I am, I feel weird. Like none of this is real. Like I am not actually starting a new career when I am, I absolutely am.
But it’s hard to see it that way sometimes. Especially when I left my job when I was really good at it. That’s not me bragging either, I was honestly and genuinely very good at it. An expert of sorts when it came to anything related to advertising on a game console, games, or gamers. People actively came to me to ask for my advice and recommendation and there is a great sense of pride and accomplishment in that. But I willingly gave that up when this passion of mind turned into something I could do “full time”.
Truth is, I could have left at any time and devoted myself to writing. But I didn’t because of money. It’s always easy to say “follow your dreams, money doesn’t buy happiness.” It does and it doesn’t. It paid my bills and allowed me to travel. Money allowed me to adopt and provide for my two cats and dog. Money let me take care of my husband when he was unemployed. I needed, and liked, getting a steady paycheck. And now I won’t be getting that anymore and it’s risky and that makes it scary. But since I don’t have kids, I’m told now is the perfect time for me to take those risks.
Really, there is no set perfect time. It’s just whatever time is finally right. This was the right time for me. But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have happened later when I did have kids.
It’s hard to understand why I have these conflicting emotions now, especially when I wanted this. Not only did I want this, but I’m damn lucky to have gotten this chance and I know it. There was also a lot about my past job I didn’t like. My clients were constant sources of stress, my commute sucked, and I often didn’t feel appreciated which caused me to feel lonely more often then I’d like to admit.
But my job was gratifying too and I genuinely liked the people I worked with, even if they will forget me in a few months. Such is the nature of the advertising business. Heck such is the nature of moving away from your friends in general. Now that I’m not there and people can’t see me whenever they want to, it takes more effort to keep in touch. That’s when you find out who your true friends are.
But that’s a topic for a later time.
I guess, at the end of this, my last day as a traditionally employed member of the advertising world, I wish it was easier. I wish it were easier for me to flip the bird on those people I worked with, and for, and leave them all behind.
But it isn’t easy.
So even though I am blessed to be able to do something I have great passion for, this is a bittersweet moment for me. I just have to remind myself that it’s alright for me to feel this way and it won’t change my accomplishments or diminish this exciting new chapter in my life. And, if it all goes to hell, I didn’t fail out of my job so I can always go back one day. Which, oddly enough, is not the most comforting of thoughts. No one likes admitting failure after all.
So here goes nothing, wish me luck!