Fingers crossed, here we go

So on Friday I quit my job.

I sort of laugh every time I tell someone.  Seriously, in this economy, I am voluntarily leaving a position that pays me money?  Ha, when I think of it that way, my stomach twists in a nice little knot.

There are lots of reasons that I’m leaving, but because I still work there for 6 more weeks, I should share the public one: I’m trying something different.

click for source

In the last year, as I’ve read about other people’s wedding planning journeys, I’ve actually been quite moved by a lot of them.  Many people thought they were doing one thing and then changed their plans because of their families – and then changed again to do something that felt more authentic.  People are saying “Screw tradition” left and right and still getting married in ways that feel true to them, and nearly always report that people complimented them on it.  You don’t need tradition to have an amazing wedding; you don’t need to buck tradition to have an amazing wedding.  You just need to do what’s right for you.

And hearing that mantra over and over – Do what’s right for you – and also reading about how well it turns out for people both made me feel a little stronger.  Yes, strangely enough, weddings and wedding planning are making me rethink the way I’m living my life. Weird.

I’ve been feeling for a couple of weeks like I’m on the edge of something big, like I’m in a place in my life where I can make a big change, take a risk, and maybe it’ll work out.  Maybe it’ll work out really well.  So fingers crossed!  Here goes nothing.

So, what am I going to be doing?  Well, all the things I ever wondered about! I am applying for volunteer positions with all the local wildlife organizations; hopefully I will hear soon about whether I’ll be working with squirrels, sea turtles, or wolves. Seriously.

And you know what else is awesome?  How supportive my wife is about all this.  She’s kind of the best.

Now we return to your regularly scheduled programming.  More wedding coming tomorrow? We shall see.

Has anyone else made a drastic leap of faith(/insanity) like this?  Please tell me it turned out well.

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64 responses to “Fingers crossed, here we go

  1. YES! I just did that in August – I quit my job and started culinary school. It is awesome, and I have never been happier. I’m so glad you joined the ranks of the faithful/insane 🙂

    Congratulations to you and good luck!

  2. dulcea

    ooh, ooh! i did, and it turned out very well. ❤

  3. Raffe

    I moved from VT to MN to live with a girl who I had only known for about 5 months at the time I moved. So far, its great! Good luck!

  4. Wow, congrats and good luck! How exciting! I moved to Minnesota with no job prospects when I only knew one person in the state and ended up getting a great job and staying for 5 years.

  5. Melissa

    Oooh, oooh! Work with wolves…in and around Yellowstone…the Wyoming part!!!!!!! 🙂 and bison and elk too, I suppose 😉

  6. Kristine

    This is fantastic and so courageous! I wish you the best. You definitely won’t regret taking the risk.

    “Do what’s right for you.” Very wise.

  7. Congratulations. Truly … you should be proud.

    I take a leap of faith every day I post to my blog, as the information I’m sharing is highly personal — but I feel so deeply about trying to help others who’ve been through similar situations. It’s scary, it’s humbling, it’s enlightening — I hope you find all the same emotions through your personal journey! 🙂

  8. Wow congratulations on taking such a big risk! I’m sure it feels wildly exciting and maybe scary. But you are an amazing woman with an ever supportive partner and you’re going to do great things.

  9. Teri

    Well, I got fired (e.g. “involuntarily quit) ten weeks ago and I’ve been having a blast (most days) 🙂 ever since. My partner has been supportive too. I’m really happy for you – can’t wait to read about the wedding.

    Congrats on being pressed!

    http://yourlifesentence.wordpress.com/

  10. Wow…sounds intense! Good luck!

  11. Your blog is inspiring. I wish you all the best.

  12. I did. Last year I left my boyfriend of 4.5 years and the house we own together, quit my job and went travelling exactly a year ago. Best thing I ever did.

    I’m just about to start a new job in journalism, which is really what I wanted to do all along, and this would never have happened if I didn’t take that big leap and walk away from everything last year. Congratulations! But stay focused as well, as I’m sure you will.

    Good luck!

  13. I spent 21 years fulfilling a corporation’s dreams. Finally, several months ago I began fulfilling my own instead. I can’t even begin to describe the sense of freedom, fulfillment, and purpose I wake up with every day now. Congratulations! You’re doing the right thing, and you’ll never look back.

  14. Life is all about leaping into the “gap.” We can’t move forward without leaving something behind. Bravo to you!

  15. Ten years ago I packed my life into checked baggage and moved halfway across the world to Canada, where I’d never been and where I knew not a single soul. I did it just because.
    Now I’m a Canadian citizen, have two gorgeous children who were born here, and will be getting married in a few months. It all worked out for the best.
    Good luck in your new ventures! Sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith!

  16. i am very happy for you! i have done a lot of things in my life just because my life wasn’t where i wanted it to be, very bored with myself, very structured and very routine which i really did not like. so i traveled and moved around. i did not regret it one bit. i believe life is too short and there is so much out there to do. and i commend you on doing this! awesome.

    http://enjoibeing.wordpress.com/

  17. Sounds exciting…and inspiring. I lost my job over a year ago. I have been doing some freelance work and have been teaching myself photography (some of which I showcase in my blog), and finally started some of the things I have been wanting to do for a long time. I try not to worry, and take each day as it comes. So far, my faith has carried me through. Good luck to you!

  18. Kathryn McCullough

    Been there, done that–so much so that my partner and I lived last year in Vietnam and are now settled in Haiti for the next three. Sara directs a major international NGO’s response to the earthquake here in Port-au-Prince. Not a radical revision for her; she’s done disaster response for going on two decades. But I quit my job teaching college English in the US to live with her here in Haiti. And, good god, it stretchs me well beyond my comfort zone most days. (I tell this story in my blog http://www.reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com .) I’m an artist/writer, so living on the edge of all things familiar has boosted creativity and given me a story to tell– but sometimes, even often, in a pain-in-the-ass-where- the-hell’s-the electricity kind of way.
    Kathy

  19. I am not a big leaper. I have made them and things are good for a while. But now, I want/need to take a leap and cannot find the best direction. Perhaps watching you make that leap (with a wonderfully supportive partner) will be encourgement enough. Good luck!

  20. Kudos to your leap of faith! My mantra is, “Well, I’m only in this life once… so I should LIVE !” My whole life has been a leap of faith and most recently, I gave up my apartment while having no job being a self supporting college student (I do get the gi bill) in favor of sleeping in my car/couch surfing. I label myself a rolling stone who is on tour… why did I choose this? I desire to live a life of freedom, I desire to see things and experience things each day rather than being tied up in finding rent money/cleaning house etc I desire to be an artist and I want to explore in order to fuel my desire. I mostly desire to spread positivity and sunshine everywhere I go, to come and go often and much and most of all I desire to create a global family. 🙂
    Is it easy? Yes! and No! It’s just as easy as having a wheeless home but sometimes it sucks because life happens… but then everyone experiences life everywhere no matter what….
    So, what I am saying to you is I think you’ll do great. My experience of many leaps of faith is that it isn’t the destination at all…. it’s the journey… it’s the dance…. Sometimes when I think I get to the end destination of my leap…. I find I just uncovered the beginning.

    Good luck! Have Fun! and way to go!!!!!

    My experience has always shown me to listen to the song in my heart… it unfolds my soul’s blueprint…. 🙂

  21. I left my steady, well-paying full-time job at the end of July in favour of a self-employed portfolio career. It’s a theme I’ve discussed on my own blog several times, and I think requires a certain mind-set to make the change successful. So far, so good! 🙂

    Nothing beats being in control of your own life and deciding what YOU do rather than someone else dictating the protocols, guidelines, agenda and bureaucratic system around you.

    Good luck!

  22. Kim

    I’m currently in the space you were last week. I feel like I am on the edge of something great but I currently can’t take the leap. I am going to wait how my husband’s semester turns out and then maybe I will make some big decisions for me as well! Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. immodeling

    I was heading towards becoming a professional Pastry chef (had goals of heading to France to hone the craft and live out there), but I was laid off from my baking job one day suddenly without a back-up plan.

    I had gone to culinary school on a whim, but my passion (ever since I was little) had been towards being in front of a camera (be it acting or modeling), so I packed my bags without telling anyone and moved north to Portland where there would be more opportunity for me.

    I’m currently working as a freelance actress/model and supporting myself from the money I make from doing so (rent is VERY cheap ;)). I’ve been signed to an agency as of 5 days ago and I’ve got enough time to do whatever I want on the side. I keep pretty busy, though.

    Just work thorough and work hard with what you want. I’ve found the best results come when you keep your dreams/goals in focus and trust that the world will work itself out.

    Congratulations–I’m very excited for you 🙂

  24. immodeling

    Also, you may enjoy these two ladies who are removing EVERYTHING from their lives. It’s rather inspiring!

    http://geniusinthemorning.com/notesonpassion/

  25. TURTLES!!!

    I think you absolutely hit the nail on the head for why so many women/wedding bloggers change the way they live their lives after their weddings – starting businesses, etc. After being told to do what we want, we want to apply that to everything. Go for it!

  26. Osbie

    Kudos, it is the brave that see exceptional changes in their lives.

    I gave up my job, my comforts, my country, and left home with just a backpack on my shoulders, arrived in the UK. 3months in, I was engaged, 3 months later, married – 10 years on I have my dream job, husband, 2 little children, and a new nationality – no regrets, best decision of my life.

    Best regards in this next chapter of your life.

  27. i just got my graduate degree in something that isnt writing…then i told my parents who supported me that i want to be a writer. thanks for helping me keep my fire.
    http://dearexgirlfriend.com/

  28. Mean Wives Club

    Best of luck to you and we hope everything works out for the best! Those squirrels/wolves/turtles will be very lucky!

  29. Just on twenty years ago I arrived in this city (Perth) knowing nobody, and five minutes behind Australia’s worst recession in decades. The first few months were scary but gradually my new life took shape.
    All the best to you, and remember, “I wish I’d been brave” looks lousy on a headstone.

  30. Congratulations! When I was in grad school, I quit one relatively well-paying (by grad student employee standards) job because it was just so mind numbing and soul sucking that I couldn’t stand one more minute of it. And the job that I got instead paid significantly less, which meant I ended up with more student loans, but it was without a doubt, 100% worth it. You can’t put a dollar figure on your sanity, or your happiness. I’m excited to read about whatever comes next for you!

  31. Stephanie di Bona

    First off, congrats on having such an awesome wife. Secondly, WOO FOR LIFE CHANGES! I found myself at a crossroads where I could decide to slog on with what I was doing, or take a break and make my life the way I wanted it to be. So, I did (and even made a blog about it!). So far? It’s one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made, even though it’s been in many ways more difficult than anything I’ve ever done.
    So enjoy yourself, and well-effing-done!

  32. lyn

    You know, one of the nicest things about having the wedding over and done with was the realization that I could get back to LIFE. Living it, thinking about it, plotting my next step.

    I’m so happy that your next step is becoming a reality.

    PS, yes, I took a leap of faith once — quitting my job to move cross-country with no job and no friends. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. So I have very, very high hopes for you.

  33. I’m in the midst of a big change as well. I also just quit my job but my reason is to move in w/the guy I’ve been in a long-distance relationship with for…well too long. I know exactly how you feel. The change is necessary; if you don’t do something now you may regret it forever. It’s scary and exciting. So, why not take the risk? Something amazing is over the horizon, I can feel it too. I hope everything works out for both you and I. Good-luck!!

  34. I packed 4 cats, a dog and what else I could fit in two cars and drove from Chicago to Oregon to pursue veterinary medicine. I didn’t choose the easiest educational path, but I know I am now working towards doing the only thing I can imagine myself doing! Leaps are scary, mine was lonely, but regret is only something you will feel if you don’t find the lesson in the leap!

  35. Good for you! It takes moxie to do it, but just as much to trust yourself. Yes – have taken a similar leap; me & the hubbs left 2 very cushy careers and traded UP for a life worth living – BEST. DECISION. EVER! There will be moments, whispers-in-the-night insecurities, so expect them, talk outloud the fears and plunge forward. Congrats on being fresh pressed & a wedding to boot! 🙂
    come visit me at http://emjayandthem.wordpress.com

  36. A dear friend of my son, a resident of Seattle is making a nice living as a writer based on this book she did on weddings http://offbeatbride.com/

    My son and daughter in law are in the book and my DIL makes a nice living as a freelance writer. They each sold their houses and one of their cars and drove off to Seattle 5 years ago. Neither had jobs at the time but they are doing very well. Follow your heart. We only regret the things we don’t do.

  37. I am right there with you come May. I verbally gave notice last month and the stress that had totally engulfed my life from my current position lifted and I smiled once again. So in May, I quit, I pack my belongings and fly to Norway to visit my mother for three months, return to the States and who knows? Am I worried? Not at all, I am re-creating myself, dreaming bigger and feeling fantastic. Good Luck to you and Congratulations with your new journey. Here’s to You and Yours, Cheers!

  38. I totally did something just like this in the past year. I had the attitude: “What’s the worst that can happen?” because in reality, the worst that can happen is really not horrible. Puts it all in perspective. And although my leap did not turn out the way I hoped for or expected, I wouldn’t take it back — I learned TONS about myself and all sorts of other things. Good luck to you in your new venture!

  39. Well… Yesterday I went to an ‘interview’ for a job that I never thought I’d get (because I don’t have my Masters yet and most people who get accepted to volunteer have that qualification already) but… I got the job!
    Although I’m scared out of my mind to actually be doing this job, I know that the opportunity doesn’t come everyday. To think I almost skipped the interview because I was too scared! Sometimes it really pays to take that leap of faith 🙂
    Good luck on finding something new and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  40. You can’t ever go wrong when you follow your heart.

    Blessings,

    Ava
    xox

  41. Not only did I marry a man everybody said not to, (7 fantastic years and counting!) at 33 I went back to college to get a degree in… studio art. Leap of faith, here we go!

  42. I pulled my children out of the public school system 2 weeks after they came back from spring break! With nothing to replace it. I spent 2 weeks checking to see if any other school close by had space and there was none. I was so scared that I was shaking but on the third week I started to scout out home learning programs and found one. I figured at the time it will only be until school ends, then they will be back at another public school. Well I still home school because it turned out awesome! Sometimes a hard decision ie leap of faith is the best thing anyone can ever choose. Good for you!

  43. Sue B

    Yup, quit my job, moved to the country and wrote a book. Go figure! Happier now than ever!

  44. I quit my job years ago and started my own business, it was tough and many times I wanted to give up, but it paid off eventually.

    I think the saying ” it’s the things we don’t do in life that we regret”

    Or even ” Just Do It ! ”
    wythenshawe man and van

  45. Hi! Congratulations on taking the “leap”. I think that no matter what happens, it will be an adventure and something that allows you to challenge yourself, experience new things, and grow your horizons!

    To answer your question, I moved from Boston, Massachusetts to Bologna, Italy for a one-year life “experience”. I had no job set up, knew absolutely nobody, didn’t have a place to live, and didn’t speak Italian hardly at all.

    Here I am 5 years later, still in Italy. I’ve solidified my dual American-Italian citizenship, come out of the closet, met the man of my life, learned Italian, have a job that sucks less than alot of other jobs I’ve done, and feel almost sort of at home here.

    So, these types of adventures can really lead to amazing things.

    Have fun!

  46. Following your instinct is often the best way to be happy and do the right thing, even if your choice might seem crazy in other people’s eyes.

    My last blog is sort of related to this…I wrote some reflections on making choices in life. Amongst other things, I wrote that “When we go one way, automatically we give up on all other options. That is not bad at all and life would never go on if we didn’t come to make choices or take decisions.”

    http://littleexplorer.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/what-if/

  47. Did it (in stages) in the UK, gradually going more and more part-time as more freelance work came in over a period of about three years. Went fully freelance three years ago and never regretted it. It would be cool if work was a constant flow instead of nothing for a while and three things at once. It would be cool if I made twice the income but I’m making what I need anyway. I have more time for the creative stuff I do on the side – writing fiction, which I always wanted to do – and it’s become income generating in its own way as well.

  48. I think you are very brave ,,,i am currently deliberating a similar event and i think i am going to bottle it!

  49. Congrats on taking that step to do the things that you want to do!

  50. blackshepherd

    I’m in a crouching position bunching up my bike muscles and I feel like a cat. If the object of my affection were to appear in my field of golden eyed vision I’d make that leap like a leopard escaping a fog horn…

    (had to fix a typo…but I did not leave the crouch position…)

  51. Good for you! Gratz on acting on the feeling of authenticity from inside you. I can tell you it’s working for me: I chucked over corporate life six years ago and went back to school to get the package of degrees I’ve always wanted. I’m doing it to learn about human life, first and foremost, and loving every step. I truly believe if you trust yourself and your instincts, life will feel connected and real and deep for you. Belated congratz on the wedding too! I went there this year myself.

  52. Not really quitting my job, but I started something I would not even dream about in my wildest dreams! I am working to setup a non profit to help bring kids and adults together on projects, conferences and anything else where kids should be heard and involved to make a contribution to decisions that may impact their future. I call the idea World4Children: http://mybin.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/helping-kids-live-their-dream-and-wearing-their-passion/

    The thing is that the idea started in a very silly way 😉 http://mybin.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/the-participation-train-arrived-mind-the-gap-when-boarding/ but it made me think real hard about what can I do to make impact that matters. I hope to follow my favorite mantra: Leave your dream, and wear your passion! I am lucky that my job satisfies one of my passions, but I guess I needed more 😉

    Good luck with the volunteering and your adventures! I somehow feel you’re following the same mantra too 😉

  53. Congratulations! I’ve never had a “real job” as I went out on my own as soon as I left college. But I watched my husband dealing with the boss and the stress of being under someone else’s control, and encouraged him to join me in the world of self-employment. It’s been nearly 5 years, and he is so much happier!

  54. There are no guarantees. But self discovery does have it’s benefits.

  55. jkjaer

    Hi Little Miss Rough-it,

    I accidently stumpled upon your blog, when using quotes from Monty Python you are bound to capture my attention:-)

    I can tell you first hand that what you are doing will not fail, it can’t, even though this next step might not be the right, you are definitely on your right path!

    My girlfriend and I love this theme so much we’ve made a blog (soon re-launching homepage, you can find me in front of my computer:-)) interviewing people who are living a passionate life.

    Please follow this link: http://www.juliossol.wordpress.com
    Soon to come (end of November ’10): http://www.juliossol.com

    We’d love to interview you and since you just “broke” free it’s all fresh in memory. I am sure others can benefit from your experience.

    If you are interested please shoot me a mail and I can send you some questionnare templates.

    Congratulations and well done!!!

    All best,
    JKjaer

  56. Congrats! You’ll nver be truly happy until you’re doing something you’re completely in LOVE with!

  57. I’m pretty young so I can’t say I’ve done anything too outrageous. But this is awesome. It’s exciting to hear that you are inspired to live out your dreams! I feel like a lot of people feel stuck in their lives and the career paths they’ve chosen for themselves and I’m happy you don’t feel this way. Good luck 🙂

  58. I know I have said this before, but it is like you are writing my LIFE. IT WEIRDS ME OUT. I am all of a sudden not applying to grad school, even though I have spent the past 5/6 years making my every move to get there.

    Instead I am seriously considering going into photography?! Absolutely a wedding inspired move. Everyone I talk to tells me to do what feels right. Who talks a person out of a Ph.D. and into photography?

    I have been borderline panic attack about this for about 2 weeks, and I think I have made my decision to at least no apply. Who knows what is next?

    Good luck! Enjoy it! Sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind, right? That is what I am trying to tell myself.

    • blackshepherd

      I can picture you doing quite well….it could develop really well as long as you’re not overexposed to academics…just stay focused and maybe zoom in on your inner self…

  59. blackshepherd

    question: is there a relationship between Rocky, Bullwinkle and Shawn Colvin?

  60. blackshepherd

    follow-up question: I’m asking you this because you seem like a very “intuitive” person so I don’t want you to answer this with your rational mind…use pure intuition…I’ve been in love with Shawn Colvin for over 20 years…will she marry me in this lifetime…or should I just move on and get a jump on my next incarnation?

  61. Well I haven’t lived those many years to take a leap yet. But, if I really feel that I could something that I wanted to do; I would go ahead. Just got one life to do it all. Why wait longer ?! All the best, go ahead and take that leap…

  62. Sara D :)

    Yo yo yo… I actually had to sift through your old posts to find the reason for quitting your job…was deathly curious! I’ve been known to quit my job and go do something totally more awesome… 😛 so YAY for adventure and following your dreams. Drop me a line sometime, as I am fully unable to following blogs due to time constraints. See ya! ~sara

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