1 year without a ‘job’…
I have to let something out of the bag..
It is almost one whole year since I left my secure, part time job as a secondary school teacher.
One whole year. (It still blows my mind.)
And while I’m whooping for joy and happiness at how everything has panned out up to now; hand on heart, it’s been f*cking tough.
And now I’m at a point where it’s about to get tougher.
I did something insane. I quit my job. No plan. No savings. No back up. No nothing. And I’m not sure wether I make it up in my head or not – I feel a sense of burden. I feel a sense of responsibility.
Like I’m being watched from the sidelines – “You go first, go on… let’s see what happens to you first, and then we will decide if it’s safe for us…”
And the burden of ‘this’ being a success is really heavy.
I am striving for freedom, fulfilment and happiness in a job I love, whilst maintaining financial security, which I know so many others are too.
And really I want to paint an honest picture, because the reality is; up till now, I’ve only posted about the good bits.
If I don’t let go of this burden, weighing me down, the tough bit I’m about to face is going to get a whole lot tougher.
And I have to get through this next bit. It’s the most important part. I can’t just stay here….
I feel a bit hilarious saying this; but I almost feel like I HAVE to report back. I HAVE to share the lessons of the past year with you (*who ever you is*). I’m feeling a bit intergalactical…I’ve been into the future and now I’m reporting back!
So my loves, here is an intergalactic report, of the no so good, bad and ugly bits!
#1 Not everything is as it seems
Nothing ever is as it seems. You need to know this and I need to know this.
Why don’t people share their vulnerabilities on social media? Well duh?! That would make them look, errr, venerable?
While to the outside world everything may have appeared rosey and beautiful and like – wow, Kathy is really rocking it – but actually I wasn’t. Not every day anyway.
Over the last 12 months I’ve been up and down. Then up and down again. Then really down. The really, really down. Then up again.
Doing *this* almost cost me my relationship and my family.
There I said it.
It really, nearly did. As I hit the 6 month mark, things started to get real. Questions were being asked of me that I just couldn’t answer – I hung my head in shame, despair and utter disgrace for my actions. “How could I have been so selfish?”
My inner voice spat out her coffee….
“Errrr you what? Dear, how could you not?”
I had this internal/external battle going on.
On the one hand, I was being told that I was selfish and irresponsible for whimsically giving up my job, with no thought for planning or how this could impact my family. Then on the other hand I had this clear voice inside me saying: “No, it’s time to be ‘selfish’, its time to take charge of your destiny, you did the right thing!”
It was very hard trying to balance my authority for my self and to show empathy and remorse to those closest to me. I had to show and feel genuine remorse, whilst standing up for myself. Standing in my power, with love.
There is no doubt about this – making big changes and following your dreams CHANGES EVERYTHING. Including relationships.
But you know what – as f*cking scary as it was, it was all worth it. Alchemy, sweet, sweet alchemy.
Doing *this* broke down and got rid of everything we no longer needed in our relationship and family life, so we could rebuild and reset, again 🙂
Nothing is ever as it appears it is. You too will face hardship and despair and change. But that change could be the best type of change there is.
If you watch from the sidelines as others do the illogical, and follow their heart, know that those who don’t show their vulnerabilities and failures are still having them.
#2 Don’t try and do everything at once
So I was the Blogger, the aspiring Author, the Teen Yoga Teacher, the EFT practitioner, the mentee, the friend, the Mother, the Daughter, the Fiancé, the cook, cleaner, washing lady, the gardener (well I didn’t have a real ‘job’ so I had bags of time for all the household duties, right?) for a short time even the Vlogger. Oh and don’t forget the food shopper or the busy freelancer, or simply the ‘woman’.
(Women, girls, females; you feel me on how much time it takes to be such a being? To be a woman?)
All of this I was trying to fit into a 15 hour child free week.
ALL OF IT.
Obviously it didn’t work. It didnt take me long to figure this out, but can you believe I even tried?!
This is why stuff has been shelved. I don’t post on social media as often as I’d like. I don’t blog even half as much as I want to. I haven’t done a video in like a year. My house isn’t the show home it once was. I just haven’t got it in me to do everything RIGHT NOW.
Teaching and freelancing has taken centre stage – my writing has had to take a back seat. I’ve learned that even when you embark on following your dreams, that there are still compromises. Your time will somehow still be stretched.
I’ve learned that you have to crystal clear on how you spend your time, structures have to be put in place and you most certainly need to have down time.
Building a business, or what ever you choose to do, takes time and patience. And you can only do as much as you can do. Be really kind and gentle to yourself and let things unfold as they’re designed to.
Flow don’t push, let things go. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you.
#3 Grieve the change
Things will change. People will change. You will change.
Part of ‘change’ is the ending of something that has been. An ending. And every ending (especially if you’re an empath or highly sensitive) needs to be acknowledged and mourned.
Give yourself the time and freedom to morn the loss of friends, or colleges, of how things used to be.
Cry. Cry and cry. Let it all go. Trust the process.
#4 Be prepared to feel really selfish
As I’ve mentioned, the last year has consisted of me, trying to build a business, with only 15 hours of childcare per week.
This has meant my daughters days off nursery were mostly spent in doors, with me sitting at my computer or dragging said 4 year old around a supermarket.
It has most certainly affected our relationship. I’m always in work mode – I’m very distracted. I have little time or patience to just play – like we used to.
The guilt has been something I struggle with on a daily basis.
But something I once read from Author Elizabeth Gilbert, (author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big magic) made me feel a whole sense of relief.
It was a story of how her parents taught her to follow her dreams and fostered her creativity – and they simply did this by following and fostering theirs.
She notes how her childhood was highly unconventional because her parents decided that their dreams were important, and having children wasn’t going to stop them from fulfilling that important part of their life.
I knew the second my child was born, she was meant for greatness, (as are all children!)
I felt a gold shower of light illuminate the room when she was placed in my arms. At that moment, a knowing that to teach her how to be great, I had to be great first, came over me.
I had to be the leader.
And with this bigger picture in mind, I’ve been slowly letting go of the guilt. It’s never easy but I’m determined to be great, so I can empower my daughter to fulfill her greatness. (And I’m not for one second suggesting every parent who doesn’t do what I do isn’t being a great parent – this is just me and my journey, everyone has a different agenda in this life. Mine is this.)
Always have the bigger picture in mind – whatever you are trying to achieve. Don’t get hung up on the guilt or feeling selfish. If you are called to do something to benefit ‘people’ or even one person, do it. What you are being called to do is important and you have to follow through.
Be prepared to feel guilty but don’t let that stop you.
#5 Feel the fear and do it anyway
I’ll let you into a secret. This, is the secret. The best line (and book!) ever written (Thanks Susan Jeffers).
I’ve been scared a lot. A LOT.
I’m the type of person, who would have usually finished a training course and then immediately signed up for the next one, just because you know, I’m not qualified enough. I’m not good enough. Everyone knows I’m not and if I don’t do this next course, someone will find me out and make me into a laughing stock, embarrass me, you know – totally humiliate me.
This year, I’ve had to face my deepest, darkest fears of being ‘found out and embarrassed’ head on, and push straight past them.
Not just once, but NUMEROUS times.
I couldn’t sit back and let fear stop me from doing anything. Including setting up a yoga class the second I was qualified. Putting my self out there and just doing it!
And you know what – I SURVIVED.
#6 Forge your own path – don’t follow
If I had listened to every piece of advice I’d been given about what I *should* be doing, well …
I can only imagine what I mess I’d be in.
Everyone’s path is different and everyone has different motivations.
The amount of times I’ve read “Don’t just go and quit your job, that would be foolish and stupid … ” Errrrrrrm.
“Instead, reduce your hours at work and steadily build up your business and savings…move into a transition point where it is safe and secure for you to peruse your dream job…”
While this is sensible and very good advice, it simply wouldn’t have worked for me.
I was already part time and had VERY little time or energy to dedicate to my business. There was no motivation to succeed because I was comfortable. I had an excuse to not push myself out of the box.
Staying where I was was not going to make me do anything. I’m simply not motivated enough unless I’m scared! And if I’d followed any advice other than my own inner voice – I wouldn’t have succeeded.
Which leads nicely into my last point:
#7 Trust your intuition (& expect nothing to be as you want it to be!)
Your gut feeling.
Your inner voice.
The gentle voice which won’t go away.
No matter how tough it got, no matter how skint I was, no matter how alone and stupid I felt, no matter how isolated and down I seemed, if I took the time to come back to my inner voice, through meditation, I knew I was on the right path. I knew deep down that it would all be ok. But thats only because I went still and quiet, and listened.
I took the time to meditate, even though at first, it was boring, scary and dull. I took the time to change my behaviours and patterns. I risked being made fun of and people thinking I’m weird. I risked A LOT.
And little by little, it all started to evolve. Nothing has happened as I expected it to. I didn’t set out to be doing the exact work I’m doing, but my intention of “helping local teenagers with stress and anxiety” has magically evolved into amazing segmented work here and there.
There is no job role I fit into. When people ask what do I do, I always start to laugh, because it ends up being a lengthy explanation of around 4 or 5 different things!
And this suits me absolutely fine! I have gathered the skills and knowledge and experience from my past roles and nurtured my natural gifts and qualities to be a new shaped peg for a new shaped hole.
I am no longer the round peg being forced into the square shaped hole.
None of this has been easy – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!