I quit my job at the end of March of 2018. It’s been almost a year now. And it’s been an amazing year. I’m still really proud of taking the step I did, and I know it’s been so good for me.
And yet, I still have moments where the panic takes over. The anxiety gets worse if I feel like I’m not being productive every day. Every time someone asks me about plans for the future, I feel guilty for not having all the answers. When I think about looking for work again, I wonder if people will judge me for taking a break.
I’m not a different person because I’m not working right now. I didn’t lose my ethics or values. I’m not lazy or broken or stupid. I just wanted a break.
And that’s what’s so insidious about living in a culture that equates work with goodness. I may know in my heart that I don’t truly believe it, but it still impacts me.
Despite not having a formal job, I am working on multiple projects, including this blog. And this week I had a realization, when I found myself staying at the desk in my home office well past the time I would have stayed at my previous job. There’s still a part of me that doesn’t believe that this is real work. Because it’s not for a paycheck, because I get personal satisfaction from it, somehow it’s not supposed to be “work”.
It’s a good reminder that we have to interrupt those internal messages. The ones that come from the outside. The ones that make us doubt ourselves.
After a few snowy and rainy weeks, the sun is shining brightly today. So let’s enjoy the sun. Let’s focus on the positive internal messages. The ones that tell us we’re amazing. That we are doing our best in a world that doesn’t make it easy. That we are doing great work, in whatever form that may take.