Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a Ride!”
~Hunter S. Thompson
I finally walked out for the last time.
I feel light. Like I have dropped a weight I had been lugging around without realizing it was there. A weight keeping me securely tied down to a place of safety and comfort. Like a well anchored ship that will stay safe in the harbor, even in a storm.
Now it feels like I have cut off that anchor and drifted out into the ocean. Though the ocean is calm right now, I will be completely at its mercy when the storm hits.
This element of risk also makes it exciting.
I thought of writing about the lessons I learned through my journey of getting hired, enjoying my time in the job, getting bored and frustrated with life, and eventually seeking a way to escape the golden handcuffs of the corporate world.
But what lesson can I offer that isn’t already out there?
The path I have chosen is vague and risky. I have no job lined up, no college admission to rely upon, and I don’t even know where I’ll be (geographically) six months from now. All I have to offer is my experience.
It started back when I fell into my job
Honestly, that’s the best way to describe how I got the job.
I wasn’t a straight A student in school, but I did get a lot of them. The popular option for high performers was to study Sciences and either become a doctor or an engineer. I chose engineering simply because I would have to study only for 4 years before I got a job (as opposed to doctors who might have to study for 8–10 years).
That was the dream back then. Get a job, earn money, and spend it all on buying stuff that would make me happy.
I got a job, in the city I grew up in, with the one of most recognizable brands in my country. It was labelled as a “dream job”. I fell for all the hype. I felt like I had fulfilled my life’s purpose.
Today, I have left behind 4 years of engineering college, and 6 years of working as an automobile engineer. All I have is some money that I have saved up to last me a few months, and a one way ticket to Thailand.
Stepping off the proverbial cliff
My friends and colleagues have a comfortable job, earn good salaries, and are planning to get married (or already are). They seem to have accepted and settled into the rhythm of their daily life. They might not be ecstatic about it, but they are comfortable.
When I tell them that I’m quitting my job and pursuing my passions, to dive, travel, and write, I see a weird look in their eyes. A mix of incredulity and inspiration.
They seem excited by the adventure and glamour of this new life, but also disbelief that I would throw away ten years of my life and start from scratch again. I can understand why they would feel this way. As someone recently put it, it’s like being an iron pillar which has been set in concrete and has had a house built around it. They can’t take a step without sending tremors through the entire house.
I know I am privileged to be able to walk this unconventional path. I can’t tell you exactly why I made this decision, just that it’s deeply meaningful to me. These past ten years have been a lesson in what I don’t want the next ten years of my life to be like. That is why I have quit my job to pursue my passions.
This new life of unbridled freedom is like stepping into the unknown. A little scary, but also, strangely exhilarating. I feel a little like Indiana Jones, about to set out on a quest for the elusive Lost Ark. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am determined to make it one hell of a ride.
Post originally published on my blog, Quit Be Free. Click here to find out how you can quit your soul sucking job too.