I’ve done more math on this problem than any other in my life. I’ve got spreadsheets, data and analysis until my eyes want to bleed saying that I can reasonably leave work this year, but I haven’t actually committed to that yet. I keep second guessing myself. I have a plan but I can’t bring myself to commit yet.
Is this the right thing? Should I work just a bit longer? One month more or maybe three. Or can I shorten things by another month, what happens then? I do stress tests on my assumptions and answer a mine field of ‘what if’ questions. I know exactly how I can fail at this but I’m still not sure I can do it, because in fact I haven’t make the choice yet.
Then the feeling of uncertainty slowly morphs into something darker over the months. I’m angry at my job. I don’t want to be there. I find myself staring out into space hating being where I am. I want to leave now, why I am doing this any longer? Why not just go NOW? My soul blackens and I can barely sit in my chair some days.
Then like a sunbeam from between the clouds it hits me: because I have chosen this. There are no guns to my head keeping me at my job, no chain on my leg attached to the desk or fence keeping me in my grey cubicle at work. I can walk tomorrow if I so choose, but I must accept the consequence of that choice. Besides I realize that despite the frustration of waiting to finish up my last part of savings that there are things I still want to do at work. I don’t hate my job, and I don’t want to screw anyone over. I want to leave with my head held high that I set my workplace up to succeed with out me. It won’t be perfect, but life never is.
And suddenly the tension is gone as I realize that I accept that I will work a bit longer. I will leave full time work this year. I have chosen to try my hand at a different life and yes that is a bit terrifying but also very exciting as well. I have in fact gone from thinking about leaving work to deciding to leave work. And it is as if the world remakes itself in my head I let go of the anger and frustration and I’m left with a feeling of calm. I actually smile for the first time in days.
Than a quote comes to mind from the movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’:
He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place.
It’s going to be alright. I have made my decision.