“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
― John Green, Paper Towns
I have just quit my second job this year. Actually, if we’re going to be picky, it’s the second job in 10 months to which I have said au revoir.
This makes me sound like a really changeable person. I’m not. Honest. I’m quite a loyal employee (I was at my previous company for 5 years, even transferring to the London office) and, to be honest, I feel guilty and bored when I don’t have a job. The two months I spent unemployed at the beginning of 2014 were horrible, and I was a complete mess because I felt like I should have been doing something else other than writing or getting my head together.
And because of this, I just accepted the first job that was offered to me.
Luckily, this worked to my advantage. I was able to work with some lovely people who will be missed, got paid reasonably well for the area I live in, gained more experience and managed to save some money for my travels. It also gave me the time and security to figure out what it was that I wanted to do next.
Some may see my decision to travel as flighty. Or reckless. I am, after all, giving up a stable income to spend my savings on a 12 month jolly. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl and have been known to not fully think things through before taking the plunge (in most aspects of my life).
However, I can honestly say that I have never researched, agonised, and reasoned over something more in my life. I am so excited to head off on an adventure and I’m hoping it gives me the space and courage to make better decisions.
“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life… if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”
― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald
And it seems that I am not alone.
This week I read an article in Stylist Magazine about women who have given up their successful and/or stable careers, to do something they’ve always wanted to (you can read the article here) While they are talking about setting up their own businesses, and not travelling, the sentiment and motivation behind the change is the same.
“I work longer hours and take home less money but I have much more control over my life”
“Sometimes you need to jump in and say a little prayer… you never know where you might end up!”
“Fortune favours the brave – you won’t regret having a go, but you will regret not trying!”
Stylist states, that “all from very different backgrounds, [the women] are united by the fact that they traded their reliable, well-paid day jobs to pursue a passion.”
And it got me thinking about that word: Passion.
By definition, passion is a “strong and barely controllable emotion,” or “a state or outburst of strong emotion.”
Now I don’t know about you lot, but I’ve always been under the impression that some of these words come with a side order of negative connotations.
“Barely controllable” suggests instability and rebelliousness, and “outburst” suggests a break or an explosion of some kind.
But why is it that we feel so ashamed and afraid to admit to having a passion? Or to feeling passionate? In life, in our careers, and even in relationships we remain subdued. I mean come on, are you really telling me you don’t “play it cool” when you’re into someone?
Why is it that we are so afraid of taking the plunge or giving into something that has the potential to make us happy?
Surely it has to be better than lying awake at night wondering if there’s more to life than the rat race.
What do you think? Is it important to follow our passions? Do we allocate enough time to thinking about what it is that makes us happy? Have you got a job that you are both passionate about and provides financial security? Are you on the brink of making a huge change?