By the time this goes live I will have left my job. That’s quite a scary thought to some. Scarier still is that I’m yet to have a job or even begin looking in earnest for my next gig. But I’m not so worried. I’ve made the decision to have a well needed break. A break which I intend to be restorative, full of adventure and creatively challenging.
Yaaaasss! As they say.
I’ve wrote about my intention to take a break before, so I won’t retrace that ground here.
The decision I’ve been thinking about lately is one that will be years in the future. I think people tend to experience life in various phases, and I’ve certainly felt that recently. Becoming consciously aware that one stage was coming to end and that I need to propel my life in the next stage in a direction I like.
If you’re into horoscopes you might think of it as an early Saturn returns; I’m not into them but I do find the ‘Saturn returns’ concept interesting. Or maybe I just think it sounds cool and dramatic. Oooohhhh! Saturn returns.
The decision I’ve made is that if I want to experience the life I want to live, I need to take more control over my time and my work and I need to become a freelance creative. So I’m going to go freelance...a difficult thing but I’m good enough, and importantly passionate enough and driven enough to get there. I didn’t always believe that, but now I’ve proven it to myself in recent years and recent roles.
I want to take back control of my own time.
I want (if only for a few years) to have a firmer grip on life’s handlebars!
I want to earn enough to live well, and not get caught up in an endless race of earning.
Do I have a timeline? Not yet. Probably a few years.
Do I have a detailed plan? Nah brah. My only plan is to allow time and focus to figure stuff out.
Am I excited? Heck yes!
Sometimes you need to make the bigger change, or to choose the bigger life. I feel that’s what I’ve decided to do, and I’m giving myself plenty of thinking time to let the decision sit. For me it’s important to allow big ideas or decisions to stew and pickle so you know they’re right. Choosing the bigger life is tough but I’m finding it a really valuable way to think (it's giving me the extra push to make memories and enjoy life more).
For me it was quite the realisation. I’ve never had an interest in doing work on the side before, or freelance work; but suddenly it became apparent that doing that is going to be a lot of fun, and it’s going to tick off many of the boxes in terms of what I want from life.
How did I come to the decision?
Working freelance is often a classic lure for designers. But to me it never appealed. I think that’s because at previous points in my life it just wasn’t going to offer me what I wanted. What I wanted and needed was to make connections and learn and grow with a team. I still want that to a degree, but that is slowly shifting and I feel that in a few years I won't need that.
I want more freedom.
I want room for spontaneity.
I want sunshine and midday adventures in winter months.
I want more outdoors.
I want more adventure and experience.
I want to work a little less, meeting just my needs and a little extra for saving.
I want more time for other creative activities (photography, writing).
I want more time with the dog!
In brief I’ve been giving myself more freedom and that has shifted how I think and what I want (I love you motorbike!). I’ve been using envy to see in others what I want for my own life. I’m grateful to the happier podcast for planting that idea in my head.
Right now I’m taking a break…
The Friday just past I finished my last day at my design job. I’m taking three months out to enjoy myself, explore, reconnect with myself, think, plan, hike and burn a couple thousand miles worth of guzoline! I don’t eat meat so that’s my way of balancing out the CO2.
I’m going to write a book. It may not be perfect, but I will get to the finish line of a novel. I've said it...so now it’s gotten happen #internetaccountability
I’ve felt so much guilt about taking time out. But I think I need to shrug that shit off. I’m not intending to bum about much (and what’s wrong with that if you enjoy it?). I’ll be completing the 36-days-of-type-challenge with India and Krupa over on LemonPickle, and after that who knows?
Signing off for now.
I don’t give advice. But I love a good challenge so if you’re reading this, what would you like to do that you don’t already? Can you commit to it for just a week, or two? Secondly; I’m so grateful that the Dan of 3 years ago decided to check his spending and what was adding value to his life. That gave present Dan (moi!) the resources when I finally figured out what I wanted, and he gave me the breathing room to be able to call a timeout. Don’t buy shit. And do something for your future self kids ;)
Have a blast!