12.20.2010

expiration date.


You never know how much a desk means to you until you’re tearfully grasping for words, attempting to say goodbye.

I’ve had the same job for five years, working for an underfunded non-profit as an event coordinator. A job with benefits, business cards, priceless coworkers, a nice salary and a grown-up title. But for the last year I’ve just struggled. Struggled with fully grasping my adulthood, aware that while paychecks are paramount for existence, so is fulfillment…at least for me. I ached to throw myself into something creative. Wrangling spreadsheets and tracking grant reports had burnt out a part of my brain. My hands needed to be closer to change, to creation, to fulfillment. I felt it in every bone, but my brain told me it was nonsensical. To leave an excellent job with several semesters of college left was foolish. My co-workers had been woven into my heart...I was blessed with more than just a job, but a little family. To leave would be flaky and illogical.

But, no matter how I rationalized, my heart was unsettled. Unconvinced by logic, it softly whispered to my mind that it must think longer. After a few weeks of prayer and pondering, I felt at peace. I gave my bosses two months notice, started making to-do lists and set my last day for December 29th. At the time it was weeks in the future, but now it is just days away from today.

You might ask: What are you going to do now? And here’s where I get real honest…I don’t know. Until summer comes I will be only a student—life and savings have provided for that. For six months, I’ll be passionately throwing myself into both coursework and personal creativity, and although I’m teary eyed at the thought of leaving my job…I’m heart-thumpingly excited about what it means for my silly artistic soul.

Life feels open-ended, and I’m embracing this new uncharted path: life beyond the expiration dateWith anything that isn’t your passion, there’s an expiration date. No matter what your paycheck, or how compatible your co-workers, there comes a day when you have to move forward into something more fitting. Even if you don’t know what that will be. You have to take a blind step and with many prayers trust that you will be stepping where God intended…to a place that speaks to your heart.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. It might mean crying in front of eighteen people at a Christmas party while trying to say goodbye. Or buying a replacement stapler, because you just can’t part with the one you’ve used for five years.  Yet if the last two years of life have taught me anything, it is this: The best decisions aren’t always the ones most easily explained on paper…they’re often only felt in your heart,  completely inexplicable to those surrounding you.

And so, I hope that this is one of them. If you could feel my heart, I know you’d understand.

11 comments:

  1. This is lovely. Its hard to make these changes but I'm sure you will be on the right path.

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  2. I have been in this situation before. Leaving my well paying job, full of lovely co-workers was so hard especially when I couldnt explain to them exactly why I was leaving. It was definitely a challenge but has paid off in the end.

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  3. Following your heart is a brave thing to do, but I've always found that it is a blessing to be different and hard to explain.

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  4. I'm always get so excited when I hear about people stepping away from the comfortable and the familiar and moving towards dreams and the unknown.

    I can't wait to read about what happpens, this is when amazing things begin.

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  5. I'm in awe of your courage! I hope you enjoy every minute of the adventure.

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  6. Once again you prove just how brave a woman you are Bethany, I hope everything turns out as your heart hopes and wishes.

    What an exciting time ahead...
    xx

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  7. I just realized that what you just explained is what I just did 4 months ago. There's been highs (obviously) and lows but I haven't regretted the decision to stop working after 12 years and become a full time mom. I'm sure you'll go through the same things...highs of being able to stay up late to finish a project without worrying about getting to work on time the next morning. And lows of wondering if you made the right decision. But it sounds like a great decision and one that you've put a lot of thought into. As usual, I'm pulling for you!

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  8. oh beth, i'm so so delighted for you and so excited to see your bright future unfold. you will do so well, i just know it. it's so hard to step out in faith--but if you never leave your comfort zone, you'll never achieve your dreams.

    cheers to the creative unknown!

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  9. BRAVE! Enjoy these upcoming 6 months! It's rare. So eat it up!

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  10. Cheers to you! I have confidence in you, because it sounds like you have confidence in yourself. You seem determined to make a change in your life, and that's what's important.

    I have felt like this too recently: not getting anything out of my job anymore, feeling like my spirit is not in my work anymore, and wanting to be in a more field oriented job. Pray for me--that I'll have as much courage as you! :)

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Every time you comment, a unicorn gets his wings. Also, my phone beeps and your words bring me joy. :)

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