How are you gonna make money?
You didn’t get another job before you quit?
What about health benefits?
I. Don’t. Know.
And I realize how human nature this is, we all assume working is a mandatory. At all times, we need to have a career, we need to have it all figured out, we need to have a stream of income, we need to be chasing the next thing.
Or we don’t.
At first, I felt the pressure to know and have a defined path ready to articulate. My worried parents would feel better if I had something good to tell them. Aren’t I supposed to have a plan?
And then I remembered. This isn’t about what anyone else thinks or what others think I should do…This is about what feels right for me.
I have no idea what’s next, what I want to do, or how it’s all going to go down. And I’ve chosen this path by design.
I’m instead allowing myself to sit in the uncertainty of it all and learning to embrace it. What am I doing tomorrow? Who knows. But in my overly-planned, highly-detailed, self-scrutinized life, it’s this amazing deep breath I get to take right now to buck all the “you should’s” and instead say, “I feel like…”
I don’t have all the answers.
I might not even have one answer right now.
So tomorrow I might meet a friend for lunch, or snuggle with my dog, or decide to run a half marathon, or be inspired to create a company with a social good mission.
In fact, the damn promise of it all makes me giddy. I have no premonition of who I’ll meet, what unexpected experience will shift me, and what epiphany will come flooding in.
For now, I roll around in all the possibility ahead and slowly let today melt in my mouth.
I get to sleep in. Yes, I can meet you for lunch. Sure, I can do a Skype call. You bet, I will stay up all night watching Breaking Bad (even if it gives me weird dreams).
I can be inspired, lazy, or change my mind a hundred times. And I probably won’t curl my hair.
Time is really all we have and spending every moment figuring out how I’m going to launch my next career isn’t the only thing. I believe it will unveil itself in due time. When I’m ready.
Instead, I can check in with myself, learn something new, marinate ideas, and indulge in longer kisses. I sit on the edge of potential and splash my feet in it.
So no, I’m not aggressively job-hunting right now. We have our entire life to work. What we never spend enough time is in play. In reflection. In stillness.
Didn’t you love recess as a kid? When you could throw out every care and put your chest to the sky?
I spent my entire life chasing and climbing. I followed a prescribed path. I did what I was supposed to do. Now I get to do me.
We wait for vacation, for Saturday, for next year, for someday… But we’re living today. We say we will, and then we don’t. We fantasize about what it will be like “when”, and then we change our minds before it ends. By then we’re so far committed, we feel obligated to follow through.
Have you ever considered that this “thing” you’re working for won’t be something you want by the time you get it?
I thought I wanted to retire by the time I was 30, I wanted 2.5 kids, I wanted to be President. None of those are even slightly true now. So sacrificing myself to buy that 3-story mansion or turning myself inside out for one more rung on the ladder…They sound nice today, but will they when I get to that point in my life? I could end up wanting a condo in the city or to instead write books by the ocean like in Something’s Gotta Give.
And what happens if “someday” never gets to come?
If you are in pursuit every moment, how will you ever enjoy the view?
My ten-year planning doesn’t honor me now. It doesn’t allow me to immersively experience what living day to day has to offer, and the buffet of choices I may want to suddenly explore.
Right now is about listening. Being. Exploring. Quieting the noise so I can hear my heart. Because only then can I make the right choices for me.
When the intersection of my skills and passions find a venue to best express them, I’ll take off my pajamas again. And I’ll be ecstatic when that next adventure begins.
But for now… I’m savoring every second of the present.