I appreciate all the comments, concerns, and even the criticisms I’ve received from friends and family since the store closed but some of what’s meant to be helpful actually makes me feel more anxious. This is not to say I’m not extremely thankful for the many wonderful people in my life (friends, family, fellow bloggers) who support me or offer advice because I am (more than anyone knows) but I also have to learn to trust my own choices. I constantly worry about being judged for my choices but ultimately I’m the one who lives with any consequences and I have to accept that not everyone will understand my decisions.
I worked the same job for 12 years, before that I worked for another company for over 2 years, and before that over a year at a fast food restaurant, so basically 15 years of working. This isn’t a tremendously long work history but what’s been missing in all this time working is happiness, the feeling that when I wake up in the morning I don’t dread going to work. Some people have told me I’m being unrealistic or too picky in looking for a career that I love but I can’t believe that everyone working right now hates their job.
At my last job I had almost 4 weeks of vacation every year but would only use maybe 2 weeks per year, which was usually taking one week for an actual vacation then a few days here and there in an attempt to use up the hours. I made decent money but rarely had time to do anything and missed out on so much time with friends and family because of my obligations to work. I’ve already enjoyed extra time with my family and friends over the holidays, plus look forward to planning a visit to the coast once I start my job search.
My decision to delay my job search is not a conventional decision because from the time we’re old enough to work we’re taught that not working is bad. If you lose or quit your job you get another one right away. My primary concern is explaining to a potential employer the gap in my employment history, which is why I’m continuing to improve myself during this transitional time.
I’m signing up to volunteer with the Red Cross since the organization is everywhere so I can continue in just about any city. Writing this blog is also helping me on this journey because it gives me an opportunity to write out my emotions during this time. I know it helps because I started out my day anxious and just writing out my thoughts helps me relax. I’m working on my health and removing both the physical and emotional clutter from my life so I can make a truly fresh start.
In some ways I feel like I’m having a mid-30’s crisis but whether or not this time in my life needs a label, I’m grateful to be in a position where I can take this time to reinvent myself, shake off the emotional baggage of the past, and move on as stronger version of myself.