As I celebrated my last official day of employment with a homemade meal of sautéed vegetables, a warm and cozy bowl of chicken and garbanzo bean soup, and a glass or two or three of sangria in Leon, Spain, a wonderful thought crossed my mind…. This life of mine, is in fact MINE to live. I can choose to create the life I have always wanted. I have previously written about my desire to leave the 9-5 lifestyle behind me. It doesn’t suit me. It never has. Instead of repeatedly jamming the square peg into the round hole, I chose to follow my heart and to leave the structure and security of having a salaried job where I can expect a paycheck every two weeks for something more invigorating, something less certain.
Each time I have moved on from a job, it has been because it has become mundane, too routine. Ironically, I have worked with a variety of populations which others would call “challenging” and in environments where people would assume (and I did too before I worked in them) “could never be boring.” Still, I found each day presented similar occurrences, and my purpose became unclear.
That being said, I left my position because I had a knowing, a feeling, that it no longer served me. It didn’t fit me. I work much better in an environment where I can be creative, where I can see daylight, where I can be my authentic self. As silly as it may sound to some, one of the things I looked forward to most was getting rid of my professional attire and dress flats. I prefer flowing and comfortable, colorful clothing and each day as I prepared myself for work, I donned the black dress slacks and black suit jacket, I assumed an identity that wasn’t mine. I am full of color, but felt a need to restrict my liveliness so as to be taken seriously as a professional by clients, coworkers, and executive staff. All the while, I was suffocating my soul.
Now walking the Camino de Santiago, I have only 3 outfits, of which I wash by hand in a sink (or sometimes the shower) and hang outside on the line to dry. And honestly, I feel free. Excess material possessions aren’t weighing me down. Neither is the burden of a “regular job.” I am grateful for things I have learned along the way, but no longer desire to “build my resume.” I would rather build my life.