Tuesday, January 3, 2012


January 3, 2012. Today, after taking great pride in 15 years of continuous employment -- a sure sign that my 1996 career change was a good choice -- and in the middle of one of the worst job markets in a very long time, I voluntarily left a job with a six-figure salary and full benefits. I left a company that grew and was profitable all during the 2008-2009 crash, a company that gave me a promotion and a raise just last August. This is the craziest thing I've ever done -- or the sanest.

I gave up an hour-and-fifteen-minute (each way, on a good day) daily commute to a cubicle farm where I would sit in my little box and look at a computer screen all day. I gave up a government client who routinely created crises for others (including me). I gave up stretches of boredom alternating with bursts of frantic activity. I also gave up the casual chats in the office kitchen, impromptu lunches with co-workers, and the inter-cubicle gabfests with my co-workers. I will see many of them on FaceBook, and I hope that we will make the opportunities to get together in the real world, because I genuinely like these folks.

Over the next several months, I'm going to be living off my savings and figuring out where the heck I go from here. I'm going to be clearing the junk out of my physical space as well as my mental space. I'm going to listen to more to myself and less to the thousand voices of people giving me advice and telling me what I ought to do. I'm going to go out into this big city where I live and actually see what it has to offer. I'm going to write up all the great ideas on the slips of paper cluttering my desk, and I'm going to see if anyone will publish them -- and perhaps pay me.

Like an eagle learning to fly, I'm going to learn how to find the updrafts and let them carry me where I need to go. I have put a lot of thought and preparation into this. I've been testing my wings from the safety of the nest. Now it's time I learned to fly.


  1. As someone who has been self-employed and wholly self supporting for 28 years, I applaud your moxie. I often thought with sympathy of those who must commute in traffic each day, twice a day. I think I would have sold pencils and lived on the street in front of my sales area had I needed to make a living like that.

    Congratulations, and if you ever think I can be of any help or support, call. Funny thing about being self-employed-I can talk to friends lots of different times of the day, not just when I'm beat at the end of one.

  2. Lots of us pulling for you. I really hope you can prove that there's such a thing as a fulfilling career that pays you comfortably but doesn't cost you your soul or sanity. (I quit one of those gigs 4 months after starting it... would have been nice to get financially set but I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it. Know what, better broke than humiliated and discouraged all the time!)

  3. Woo-Hoo, Nancy!

    Congratulations, I will look forward to accompanying you on your journey of self-rediscovery.

    I would not trade the experience of owning my time again - having rewritten my owner's manual in the language of my most passionate dream - Equality for Women. With cheers and warmest wishes as you begin your sojourn.

    a few words of inspiration to carry with you...

    "Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes." -- Charles A. Lindbergh, 'Autobiography of Values.'

  4. I think the important thing in this time of transition is to keep moving--up and down, from side to side, doing productive things or wandering through museums of intellectual truffles. Work hard but reward yourself often. And keep us posted on what it feels like. Congrats...

  5. Woo Hoo!! Love this...and love that you're sharing the journey.

  6. Wow, Nancy! I admire the clarity and courage that allowed you to make this choice. Congrats and best wishes on the journey. Whatever comes your way, you can't go wrong being true to yourself.

    I'm not going to "join" the blog (in part because I have no need for a "blogger dashboard," whatever that is), but will add it to the list of sites I check regularly.

    Bon voyage!


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