Exactly an year ago, this day was my last working day. I had quit a 7 figure, salaried job to focus on my passions for fitness, food and travel. I had quit the security of having a solid financial backup to constantly wondering about the income coming in. I had quit multiple vacations every year to just making lists and looking at holidays, that are probably years away. I had also quit a very unhappy, unappreciated and noxious life to the one where I am happy, proud and feel fulfilled.
I had given myself exactly an year to start making the same amount of money I brought home from this job. I hit that mark at the 10th month. So, I went ahead and gave myself a harder goal. It isn’t about the numbers. About the money. It never was.
Yes, the working hours are even more longer.
Yes, even if I make the same amount of money, it’s staggered. There isn’t yet the security one would want.
Yes, I still drive that much.
Yes, I could only focus on my passion for fitness; food and travel are on the backburners. It isn’t really smart to splurge on food and holidays when you are trying to start something from scratch. 🙂
But also yes, I get to spend way more time with my son, who couldn’t understand why I was being “nice” to him the first few days. He knew his mom to be the one who came back from work almost at bedtime, checked his homework, heard the complaints from the rest of the family and scolded him for his handwriting, mistakes and for fussing during meals. He didn’t know how to react to this mother who wanted to cuddle, hear his school stories and came to pick him every day.
I have absolutely loved what I have been doing the last whole year and I have so many plans in my head that I feel they it will explode, if I don’t start working on them. Even if I can’t immediately, I put them down to revisit one day.
If you have known me for a while, you know me to be the person who changes her career or interests every few years. In the last 13 years (since my postgrad) I have changed my job or my career path exactly 10 times. Some of them have had some similarities, some are at a total different tangent. I have been an employee, entrepreneur, sold businesses, lost businesses. But, what I haven’t lost is my zeal to keep trying.
In 2009 when I was working for a project at my father in law’s company, I met these two boys, one of them would eventually turn into one of my dearest friends. I was 28 while they were around 21, 22 I think. I had just quit my 4th job and knew what I was doing was temporary. I marveled at how both of them knew what they wanted to do. They were interning with us till they got into their post grad program. Clear ideas of what they desired and where they wanted to end up one day. I’ll be honest, that used to make me feel really insecure about myself. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t I know what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do? They both went abroad for their masters and one of them has successfully stayed at the path he had envisioned for himself. Of course, he would like things to be better, but who doesn’t?
He knew what he wanted at 21, and 10 years later, at 36, I think finally, I know what I want too. I hope. 🙂 Why am I still not sure? Because one thing I know well, is me. I know I need to be constantly working and building on something. I used to call it my short attention span. But now I have learnt, it isn’t that.
Most people tell me that they admire me for this attitude. For constantly working on something new. For having the fearlessness to start from the bottom every few years. I have friends and family coming and telling me that. A friend’s spouse who I hadn’t interacted much till recently, told me last time that we met, about how he has heard these incredible things about me and for my passion for new challenges. At the same time, I know of people who laugh at me for my lack of stability.
These family and friends with their praise and support and the people at home who have never shot down my ideas and plans are the ones that have made it possible for me to keep experimenting. I have always had the confidence that things will go well, if they don’t, it isn’t the end of the world. I will find something else and make it work! This kind of confidence is not just about me, but also my parents and family who made me believe I could do it, friends who give all the encouragement that they can.
I have finally realized that it’s not the lack of focus, clarity or stability in me that pushes me to jump the cliff every few years. It’s that desire and need to prove myself. Not to others. But to self. The pride and rush that comes with building something. All my projects have been bootstrapped and I love that challenge. I love the brainstorming, the research and the determination such situations in life require. I enjoy the learning process and even the mistakes. I can feel the blood rushing to my face when I make a blunder, but I have also learnt to take it in my stride. Each win has boosted my confidence and each loss has taught me a valuable lesson.
Nothing is ever guaranteed. Nothing at all. No matter the knowledge, experience, hard work or planning at hand, we are always taking a chance. So, why not take a chance on self? Why not believe and work for yourself. Build the life and dream you want. I know I will.
I know I will always take a chance on me.