So, I decided to quit my job and take a sabbatical.
This was, by no means, a small decision. I am unusually pragmatic regarding work/life decisions (evidence: 2.5 years as a flight attendant, 2.5 years in a job that gave me acid reflux) so deciding to embark on an empty, planless journey was slightly unsettling. The morning after, when my body automatically woke at 7:30am, I lay in bed and thought, “what the fuck have I done?”.
No plans for income. No ideas for what to do. No savings (no shit).
So, I decided to re-organise my closet. Sounds like a simple enough plan to distract me enough. Except, I decided to complicate it. (Really? Me?).
First, I ascertained the problem. Partial shoe collection crammed in together with bags of cl0thes all in one very tight space.
I then drew a blueprint. Yes. That’s what I did.
I then cleared out everything, trashed about 5 bags of clothes (all donated) and shoes and finally, re-arranged everything back (according to plan).
These were the shoes that were hiding in my closet (turned out to be barely half my full collection).
So, that was one day down.
The recuperation from doing this in one day, however, took another 3 days – so that’s about a week gone.
I then decided to try and be an athlete and incorporate swimming into my lifestyle.
It took me about 5 minutes to try and fit a swimming cap on for the first time and about one lap to realise I lack the aerobic and lung capacity to be a swimmer.
After two weeks of doing absolutely nothing, I panicked and took the first job that was offered to me (that’s a whole other story in itself). This left me with a total of 5 weeks of a “sabbatical”.
I let myself relax. I stopped myself from walking faster than anyone else. I napped a lot. At the end of the 5 weeks, I was completely miserable at the prospect of starting a new job and realised that 5 weeks was a faux-batical. It was nowhere near enough for me to explore what I really wanted to do as a career in life – do I still want to design? Do I still enjoy doing layout the way I did when I first started? Did I still want to lead a studio or maybe just work on my own? Did I even want to consider starting my own agency? Did I want to just say “to hell with everything” and work as a receptionist?
Once I opened the window for the questions, they flew in like a flock of crazy Hitchcock birds. They snapped at my conscience, my innermost desires and every decision I’d ever made.
And after a month of working with a new agency, I have decided to leave (once you start quitting jobs, you can’t stop). I have no idea what I am going to do, or what’s even scarier, is that I have no idea about what I want to do. It’s hard to admit to myself or anyone that at the alleged age of 30, I don’t know what I want to do with my life. But I do know that this time round, I’m going to actually use this break to my advantage.
Or at least, I intend to.