So you guys have probably been wondering where the hell I’ve been…it’s actually funny because I thought I’d have more time to do stuff since quitting my job but I find that somehow the opposite happened to me…also mostly because I’ve been planning a lengthy holiday away, a very lengthy holiday, so I just packed my bags and left…all the way to San Francisco.
Where did this idea to go away far that long and that far come from? I guess I just needed a time and nothing works better at self discovery than a solo trip to get a fresh perspective on life.
Where I come from we’ve been taught not to waste time when it comes to education and experience and so I didn’t. Straight after high school graduation, I started varsity, graduated and immediately started working in my industry. Almost 5 years down the line and I hit a brick wall called “life” and find myself wondering WTF am I doing in it. I’d been so sure of my life and the direction I wanted it to go in that suddenly having reservations about myself, who I was, what I’m doing, am I happy? This was confusing and a bit scary. I didn’t know what was happening but all I know is that I needed to make a change in some way or the other to take away this anxiety I was feeling. I remember all the things that used to make me happy growing up, interests I didn’t have time to pursue anymore because I was always busy, personality traits I lost because I was too busy trying to be a hard ass in a competitive industry, so many things about myself that I’ve forgotten because I was living a fast life that kept on moving very quickly, no matter how bad you wished for it to slow down.
So I took a step back, thought about some things, re-evaluated where I was currently in life. Thought some more, did some research, read some stuff and finally came to the conclusion that a “time out” was definitely what I needed. Some time to rediscover who I was before I became obsessed with everything else, except what was important to me. So I quit my job and have decided to use this time for travel and self discovery. Attempt to get back what I’d lost, recover and recuperate and embrace life in all its infinite glory without the constraints of being part of the “rat race” I never thought I’d need a sabbatical or “off time” for any reason but I do realise why it’s important that we think about what we want for our futures after high school and take the time to make these very important decisions, because they will affect us in the long run. I wish I’d done it when I got the chance earlier in life. But I’m doing it now, 9 years later.
Having just turned 27 and not knowing what life has in store for me is extremely hard but so exciting at the same time. All I know is that I finally have the opportunity to do whatever the hell I want to. Do whatever I need to clear my head and come out of it finally realising who and what I want to do going forward, and what’s better is that I have the love and support of everyone in my life, including the agency I used to work for. I’m not saying that taking time off gives you license to just sit around and not have a purpose for it, I definitely think that you need to know why you want to do it and how you want to emerge from it. I have my reasons. Some might not agree, especially considering how old I am, but it’s better to be happy and sure of yourself…and know what your purpose in life, then to just coast through it day by day, like a robot on a schedule. That’s not want I’m about and hopefully it never has to be that way again for me.
So in conclusion, I vote yes for that gap year, sabbatical, time out…whatever you want to call it. As long as you’re doing it for all the right reasons and you’ll come out a happier, healthier person. Life’s too short to be cavalier with your happiness because everything you do should always come back to that one important goal.
I hope I’ve managed to shine some perspective on a complicated topic from a realistic point of view. You don’t think about these things until you’re having a complete melt down and going through the motions of it all. Adulting is real and we all have to do it but make sure you do it in a way that works for you and that gives you complete satisfaction each and every day, in which ever way makes you happy.
Thank you for reading and look out for posts on my San Francisco adventures! 🙂