Do you wake up in the morning and feel like the possibilities for the day are endless? This is how I have been feeling every day since quitting my job last year. It is liberating for my spirit. I remember this time last year I was teaching at a middle school. As hard as I tried to "love" my job I couldn't deny the voices and whispers in my heart that kept telling me:
"This isn't you" "This isn't the right path for you." "You can't force this job on yourself." "You are suffocating"
It is funny how the rational part of yourself tries to squash these voices:
"But sometimes you like this job." "You are making money now!" " It will get easier with time"......
It was like a game of tug of war in my head! It is so hard because society teaches us to go to school, get a degree, get good grades, get a steady paying job, and live happily ever after. We are told when we grow up that we can be whatever we want to be, but usually this concept is squashed in high school when you are trying to choose a college major and it feels like there are so many limitations in the world. Expectations determine the path we take. We are asked "What do you want to major in?" when we should be asked "What makes your spirit come alive?!"
Since I have always been the kind of person to follow my heart rather than my head. I finally squashed the rational side of my mind and wrote down my decision on the white board in my office:
I WILL NOT GO BACK NEXT YEAR
This was a pivotal moment. My creative side cheered! "YES. This is the first step. Don't doubt yourself." At this point I had to trust that what I was doing was the right thing, but the flood gate of fear came pouring over me. What was I going to do next then? What will people think of me quitting a perfectly good job? How will I make money? Am I crazy?
I knew that I wanted to live a creative life. I wanted to honor the gifts that God has given me. I wanted to make artwork, to learn, to explore, and to share this path with others. I created space in my life for this dream. It is slowly coming along and I get excited about all my small victories, whether I sell a print in my shop, finish a new painting, or get compliments on my art.
Luckily I have a very supportive husband. He knew I wasn't happy with my job. I have been so blessed to have found a person who cares about me and my happiness more than an extra paycheck every month. In turn, I will always support what his heart tells him and encourage him to do what he loves as well.
Please know that I don't think everyone should quit their jobs and be an artist. I know many people who love and enjoy their jobs. I have one friend who is an extraordinary teacher and I can't imagine her doing anything else. What I do believe is we should do what makes our spirit dance. As far as I know we only get to live once. We need to make brave decisions and live passionately.