Three years ago I walked away from a job I had held for 6 years, afraid to leave, afraid to start something new. I was complacent in my misery. I had a job, an income, health insurance. I had friends I loved at work and a community that felt so secure and happy.
So what if I came home drained and burnt out? So what if I never had time to feed my passions and do the things that made me happy? Every morning was predictable, and there’s safety in routine, safety in drudgery.
And then the friends left and work went from bad to worse, and I finally realized that crying myself to sleep every night just wasn’t normal.
So I gave notice, found a freelance gig, and walked away.
Best thing I’ve ever done.
I’d spent six years shoving myself into an organization’s expectations of who I should be and how I should act. I repressed myself in the process. Not pretty and not ideal.
That year of freelancing wasn’t as much about earning money (which I didn’t, especially when the gig fell through) as much as it was about allowing myself to just remember how to be me. About giving myself permission to like myself the way I am.
That’s the year I wrote the first draft of my novel.
And then the money thing started to get to me. And maybe the eeps-if-I-finish-this-novel-then-I-have-to-shop-it-around-and-what-if-they-DON’T-LIKE-IT got to me even more.
So I got a job.
And while it was so. much. better. than the last place, I still found myself doing some of that putting aside my true self to fit the mold better thing.
I stifled my voice. I tuned into the “this is what you should be” voices.
And I put away my book. Because every time I opened it I heard those voices telling me that it wasn’t good enough, that it was silly, that no one would buy it, that I was wasting my time, that I had better things to do.
I poured my heart into my blog and my job, and for a long while it was enough.
It doesn’t feel like enough any more though.
Yesterday I pulled out my book and tackled the edits. Those voices are wrong. It is good. But really, I don’t care whether they’re right or wrong. It just feels good to let my voice sing again. It feels good to be creating something entirely mine again. It feels good to just let myself be me.
I’ve missed it. I’ve missed allowing myself to like me.