This is scary and that is why I wanted to get these thoughts on paper....screen...out of my head and shared with the world.
I was terminated from my job on September 18th, I wasn't expecting it and at the same time, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.
I constantly asked myself. This shouldn't be something I'm happy about or feel excited about. I just drove from Southern California to South Carolina with the expectation of moving to North Carolina. For the first time in my life, I was making a plan for my future versus going on a whim and a feeling. I wanted to chase after something bigger than me and I was grateful to be working at the job that I had.
I went on a trip over the summer to Israel, Thailand, and surprisingly, my dream country, Japan. Out of the 3 weeks of traveling overseas, I worked remotely for 2 of those weeks. I had enough PTO to cover those weeks but I wanted to challenge myself, plus I enjoyed my job and didn't want to miss out on anything while I was away. While I was sitting at a rooftop bar, overlooking temples in Bangkok, I had a feeling that, one day I could see this on a regular basis. I quickly removed those thoughts since I had a great job and room for growth back in the States. It was an odd feeling but I acknowledged it and let it go. As I was preparing to head to Vietnam, I had troubles at the airport which prevented me from entering the country as I intended. I had the emotional control to prevent a breakdown and had the idea of just going to another country. Simple and easy, I looked at a list of places I could go and Japan was on that list.
Japan was a dream country so I ended up flying there that evening.
Still choosing to work, I worked 8 hours every weekday, I chose to work later in the day so I could catch my coworkers on their schedule just in case I needed to collaborate with them on anything. In addition, I thought this was a smarter decision since I didn't want my supervisors to think I was just lollygagging away in Asia. I chose to work weird hours, sometimes I even worked until 3:00a since I wanted to schedule meetings with individuals in New York. I didn't see it as a sacrifice on sleep or missing out on what was in front of me but I saw it as growth within myself. I'm in my dream country and I am working and living, it was a great feeling. I had issues when I was traveling though, back in California, my living situation was changing and I started to feel bad for my roommate. Daily, I woke up with anxiety over the thought of bouncing around Asia while my roommate had to pack up and move all my belongings to a new living situation. It wasn't ideal, it wasn't want I wanted and this caused me to start to question why I was even in Asia.
I started to question my dream because I felt bad for something that was out of my control.
I rushed back to the States and instantly started to feel sad, I felt as if I was missing something in my life. I chose not to talk to people about my trip because it would remind me of how much I enjoyed it. I chose to push those happy feelings down and accept the fact I'm here in the US with a job I'm grateful for, I am not living a fantasy. I went out one night with a friend, she asked me questions and wanted details about my trip, I realized that I loved it more than I thought I did. For weeks, the feelings of sadness had a reason behind it, I found out what was missing within me.
Being in Asia made sense to me and it felt like I should've never left.
With that realization, I chose to leave California and head to the East Coast to spend time with family prior to moving to North Carolina, where my job had a business license. I didn't want to interrupt my benefits, insurance, PTO, and title so I had no issue heading back to East. As I was driving, I had thoughts of my trip, I looked at photos and remembered the conversations I had, I reflected deeply and started to stir up some ideas.
"Can I move to Thailand and live there?"
Planning came up as I temporarily was living with my Grandma. I started to get back into my routine of making coffee, running, trail running, and cycling prior to realizing that I was going to be let go. After work hours, I researched Thailand, I wanted to learn how I could live there and work for the job that I had. I had no inclination that I was going to be let go but I did feel that I was limited. Limited in terms of "if I go live in another country, how will people at my job view me?" I put limiting beliefs upon myself because I was thinking of what was out of my control, I was thinking of what people "could" think about me. I started to let go of the idea of moving to a different country and I received the dreaded call of termination.
Since that call, I've struggled with days of self-judgement because I was fired, I was let go from a job I was so happy to have and I how will people view me. Once again thinking of what people thought, thinking of what is outside of my control. I normally catch these thoughts and release them but this was different, this was new, this was "big." Never in my life was I fired, since college, I've sustained a jobs, and a majority of the time, I've held more than one job. This was the "American Dream" I was living, "work and work some more." Build debt, believe in something that is unattainable or is outside of my reach, and just go with the flow. The exact reasons why I wanted to leave New York City.
Back in 2016, I had big dreams, I wanted to see the world, I wanted to travel and run in places that I couldn't even imagine. I didn't have ambitions of owning a business or property here in the States, I was always curious as to why I didn't think like those around me. In 2016, I thought I could go anywhere and do anything but I allowed the mindset of those older than me to set limits and create a path that I thought was "correct." Instead of working for a small business, I went to go work in the corporate fitness industry. It was "safe" I can "grow" and become something that has a straight line to achieving.
It was attainable if I stuck with it right?
With every job I had in the corporate world, I hit a mental limit and burnt out. In the corporate world, it was the same thing over and over again, I always ended up budding heads with my supervisors about ideas and creating something new and different that could solve problems. Eventually, I'd leave a job to make a lateral move and end up with the same issue happening again. What should I do to change?
"Change careers, get a desk job, and grow." Instead of fitness, I entered the tech world and going to grow in the tech world. I was blindsided by being let go. After a few days, I feel as if I failed but I can sit here and reflect on what I've done. I am realizing that I haven't failed but the corporate world of fitness and tech has led me to chase a feeling that I had in Asia, a feeling that I have not been able to replicate, a feeling that was unique to looking at a temple or sipping on an Irish Coffee made with Japanese Whisky, a feeling that I've never felt when traveling in Europe or living in America.
I haven't failed have I?
Someone closed a chapter in my life for me and I'm in transition... transition to what? I don't know as I sit here in South Carolina, unemployed, at a desk with two screens preparing to go for a run. I am using this to release the thoughts of anxiety and tell a story to someone who may need to read this...that someone may be you but that person is really me. I'm not happy about being unemployed but I am happy to be able to type this. I'm grateful to share it on a website that I developed and created, I'm grateful to share it and see how far I've come.
Childhood thoughts of people pleasing can linger and can be released in certain aspects of life but that is the fun part of life...I don't know what's next. I never had to release the thoughts I am currently working through. I learned how to release thoughts in certain situations, I've come across realizations of why I think the way I think and I have learned who I am in the process. The new journey is new...all of it is new and I'm good with that.
I am not defined by a title given to me by another individual, I'm not defined by my elders guiding me onto a path that they think is right. I'm not defined by my circumstances and especially of the feelings that can come in and out. I am defined by the words I speak to myself, I am defined by the beliefs engrained in me that I allow to reside in my mind rent-free. I am defined by myself and only myself.
And it's okay to feel anxious, it's okay to feel depressed, and it's okay to miss a run/workout. Lastly, it's okay to be imperfect perfect.