This past spring I escaped the doldrums of office and city life and took off on a two-month long adventure in South East Asia. It was not a spur of the moment decision, but the culmination of years of penny-pinching, dreaming, and planning. I am not one to skirt responsibility, and have worked since junior high. But after paying off my high-interest student loan debt, it was time to take the trip I might not be able to take once I am older and have a family and mortgage. Leaving the job I had had for almost six years with the future entirely unclear was frightening and exhilarating.
There were amazing sights, culinary delights, and cultural experiences I could not have anticipated. The perspective I gained was based equally on both these new experiences and also being separated from what was “normal” to me. Now that I was enjoying each moment of the day (as opposed to counting down the minutes) I realized how short life truly is. How cheesy does that sound?
The thing is – for months and months before we took off, looking forward to the trip was the only thing keeping me sane. This was how I functioned – always looking forward to the next vacation, long weekend, or weekend. When our trip was drawing to a close I started to get so depressed – what was there to look forward to? This gnawed at me for weeks, sticking in my mind through our return. I had to change the way my mind worked and enjoy each day, and stop trying to race through life. If you fill each day with things you enjoy doing (or fill your spare time outside of work), you will feel energized.
And speaking of work, now more than ever I want everyone in my life to be doing something they enjoy, if not something they are passionate about. Wasting your days toiling away at a job you despise is just unacceptable! You come home completely drained from hating your life all day, and you are too burnt out to look for something else. Years go by. If you have a dream to start your own business or go back to school – do it now! No one is coming along to save you and you are not going to win the lottery. Take steps towards freeing yourself and living the life you dream about. Why not? Even if you fail horrible you will be happier than if you never tried. And you are not getting any younger.
This is all so trite and I do apologize for that. But its true!
The Anti 9-to-5 Guide
by Michelle Goodman
Inspired by the feature “my favorite things” on the fabulous photoblog jakandjil.com
sparkly colorful costume jewelry collection – especially my Chelsea Taylor tiger ring, metallics, animal prints, colorful clothing year round. Miss Veronica McWhiskers. Paintings by Jay Gaskill. Art covering every wall. My good friends. The beach more than one day at a time. Vietnamese coffee.
Check out all the “My favorite things” posts on jak&jil here.