Every weekday for the last two years, I have taken the journey up the 24 step staircase that leads to my office. What may seem like an insignificant conduit between the building’s front door on the ground floor, and my second floor office holds so much meaning to me. My life has come full circle, walking up and down these steps – it is where my journey at this company began, and now, where my journey has come to an end.
I remember the nerves and anxiety I felt my very first time stepping foot on them for my job interview. Hopefulness and ambition climbing the staircase on my first day on the job. Gloom and melancholy on mornings when I would have much rather stayed in bed. Excitement every Friday at 5PM as I would be practically running to start my weekend. And today, a mixture of sadness, joy and relief as I make my journey down these 24 white-tiled steps for the very last time.
As you may already know from my previous posts, “Is a Gap Travel Year Realistic?” and “It’s official – we booked our tickets“, my husband Robert and I have decided to resign from our office jobs to travel, and explore entrepreneurship through a location-independent lifestyle. I am thrilled to finally be at this point after many months of saving and countdowns.
Oohh the countdowns.
I seriously had at least two different types of countdowns going on at all times. One on my phone through a countdown app, and one in my little notebook where I would shade in a checkbox in a daily grid I drew.
On paper it looked simple and easy – each day would bring me closer to my goal. And when I reached the very last box, I would shade it in, pack my things up, and leave for the final time. But I completely underestimated the sadness I would feel being detached from people I have seen and interacted with just about every day for the last two years. I also didn’t account for the wave of worthlessness I would feel no longer being attached to a job title.
Growing up, the concept of being a good employee and excelling in a career had been ingrained in me. In retrospect, I was crazy to think that a philosophy that has been built up over such a long period of time would dissipate within a few months, especially when so many people around me are still deeply consumed by this belief.
So, I’ll be honest, fighting these thoughts has been an ongoing internal struggle. I am constantly reminding myself that my worth is not tied to a job title every time a negative thought creeps up. I am reminding myself that it doesn’t matter what I do, or what career path I follow as long as it makes me happy. Rob and I are also blessed that, through our professions, we have so many options to make an income beyond the traditional 9 to 5 office job.
While I know it’s a bit of a challenge now, I have found joy in the fact that I know each day will bring me a little closer to being separated from this mindset. I am thrilled that tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and the week after that (I think you get the point here), I will be living my life on my own terms.