One day I woke up, and realized I would have rather died in my sleep than go to work that day. A dramatization of course, but a strong enough sentiment to let me know that it was time to quit. Before working in the role that I do now, I had a job that I hated. Its daily toll weighed heavily on my mental health, physical health, and overall quality of life. I had no backup plan, aside from running as far away from this energy drainer as I could. But I knew myself, and knew that making a big decision without a plan would spike my anxiety and possibly take me out of the frying pan and into the fire. So I decided to write myself a letter. Because no one can keep me calm better than myself. If you ever find yourself on the cusp of a major decision, but in need of some reassurance, a self addressed letter is the best way to hold yourself by the shoulders and say, “Girl, we gon get through this. Trust us.” Mine went something like this:
You dedicated a year to that job. You woke up everyday, put both feet on the ground, sat through rush hour traffic, and survived all 8 hours. But in your words, survival wasn’t enough. You chose live. You love poetry and art and writing. You love your own independence and voicing your own opinions. You love letting your pen be your mouth and your mouth be your sword. And you couldn’t do any of those things at the job that you were at. You dedicated 40 hours a week to something that you no longer believed to be a valuable use of your time. You came home exhausted, and stayed up well into the night writing, editing, and practicing. You were working two roles, one gifting you a paycheck and the other a reason to live. I think we both know which is more important.
If you’re reading this letter, it means that you’re freaking out. First, inhale for 8, hold for 5, exhale for 8. Second, remember that we did plan for this. We put half of your paycheck into our savings account every week in the event that we would have to leave. I know that you still need a way to finance our dreams until we find a new way to make money. In the mean time, do not waste your freedom on worrying. Applying to jobs is cute, but remember to read through the stacks of books sitting in your room. Remember to tackle the prompts listed in your notes app. Remember to take as many road trips as you can, solely because you have the time. Do not fear freedom, revel in it. This is exactly what we prayed for, and what we had the courage to get for ourselves. I am so proud of you. Thank you for being brave enough to save us from our own practicality. Thank you for being brave enough to run headfirst into what we want. I am still your biggest fan and can’t wait to see what we think up next.