Exactly six months ago, I embarked into one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. I dropped the Eurocrat badge and decided to radically change the way I live. From a European public servant, I became a jobless individual, looking for something meaningful. It turns out the actual step is not too difficult to take, you just need some courage. The difficult part is what comes next :).
I honestly feel like a six-months-old baby caught up in the body of a 30-something woman. Still learning to make the first steps into the real world, learning how to breathe, how to live with no schedule, no boss and no… pay slips. 🙂 Living without the safety net gives you a specific understanding towards life, one that I didn’t really know about when taking the decision to make a switch.
Sometimes is tough, sometimes uplifting. Sometimes is gets really really lonely out there, sometimes too crowded… I worked my whole life as an employee and all of a sudden I had to deal with the world of “free-lancing“, full of big dreams, low pays, rejection & forgetfulness.
But still… Why did I give up the comfort of a well-paid job, the social status and pride that comes with that?! (and, funny enough, I loved my job and the tasks, but hated my life).
Here are few small personal reasons for the big change:
Because I just know deep inside there is more to life that working in an office for the next 35 years.
Because a decade in the corporate environment slowly killed my creative outbursts.
Because my dream is to travel the world and I am too young to give that up.
Because I didn’t recognize myself anymore in the environment I was working and living. So I had to change.
Because I wanted to challenge my survival instincts.
Because I was going downhill: smoked excessively, drank excessively, didn’t exercise and was constantly depressed.
Because I realised career is not everything (better later than never, right?!).
Because I simply feel I needed more time for myself and week-ends were not enough any longer.
Because I was finally able to shut down the logical part of myself and leave for once the heart to speak up.
Because one day, I just felt another “calling“…
Did I change everything?
Hell, no! I am not that courageous :). Mind me, I didn’t really become one of those amazing people with a backpack and a one-way-ticket (although many times when I travelled I didn’t know when I will get back home). I love the have a place to call “home”, I love to spend “me time” in the intimacy of my place.
I still live in Brussels and I love this city more and more. It is well connected, with great life-style and a certain familiarity that I cannot part myself from.
But everything comes with a price.
Between the glory of a new life, the decisions I have to make daily, the sleepless nights and totally new situations, sometimes I get the feeling I am going down the Rabbit Hole and feel further and further away from the world, as I knew it in the past 30 years.
But then here come all the good things
The travels and all the amazing people, places and experiences I get to have every day.
The late mornings, when you smell the coffee in the quietness of your apartment and feel grateful for being in your PJs at 10:00 am.
The last minute tickets and plans and destinations.
The moments when you can just go and help a sick friend during a workday.
The days you just walk around the city.
And so many other things for which I feel blessed and grateful!
I got no idea where the wind of life will take me in another six months. And, to be honest, it doesn’t matter. I lived way too much in the past, looking back.
Then I wasted too much time wondering what the future will be like.
At the end of the day…. the present is the only one that matters.
If you enjoyed this, then here is an article on the decision-making process I was going through few months ago.