Before spring arrived this year, I left the 9-5 life behind.
After living the corporate life for over a decade, suddenly I felt a loss of identity. When I made this BIG decision, I based it on my gut and a balloon – amongst other reasons of course.
Deep down inside, I have never liked the office job since day 1. It never felt quite right. However, everyone around me seemed to have no problem so I suppressed the “not right” feel and kept it to myself.
On the occasions when I couldn’t keep it under control, I changed my job – which happened rather often. Mostly when I feel that learning has reached a plateau or when I had to do repetitive tasks which made no sense to me. Making the decision to quit a job each time was tough – but the signs were always similar and pretty clear. An obvious signal is when I needed to start dragging myself out of bed every morning. It starts with one day in a week, then two days and when I start to dread the week ahead on a Sunday morning – it was always time to go.
Family and friends around me were concerned about my decision and shared their thoughts with me. I took them all into consideration but my gut seemed to have gained a life of its own – from silent protests in the past to out-loud arguments.
The urge to let go of the familiarity and embrace the unknown was simply too strong to resist. I went with the flow and jumped into the deep end.
It was very strange after I officially left the “only-life” I knew since I graduated – waking up in the morning with the alarm, getting dressed, going to an office doing stuff I was obliged to do and adapting to people that I sometimes don’t like. There was a gap between the familiar routine versus the new entrepreneur lifestyle. I didn’t know how to introduce myself at times and I underwent an identity crisis as I transited from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat. It felt as if I had just received my driver’s license and I had to start driving regularly through real-life traffic.
I had new name-cards too – however, each time I handed one out, it felt like I was handing out someone else’s card. Fake it till you make it – as I often hear and now I can vouch for it.
As I sat in a roomful of other women entrepreneurs yesterday, it suddenly felt right – after eight months. At that moment, I was at the right place this time round – it was exactly where I wanted to be – truly and surely.
Though it took me over a decade to figure it out, nonetheless I am now ready to take on this new challenge to navigate through uncharted waters.
I am most certainly taking on the wheel, to navigate my direction in life to shape a life I want.