I was just reflecting today on a few things. Well, one thing really. About what my natural self looks like in terms of motivation to work, creativity and general life activities. Yeah OK, that doesn’t really mean a lot, but I put it in those terms because if I was still in a normal job, it would go something like this… “What sort of worker I am – creative, hard worker, willing to stay in one career for my whole life, etc”. But since I don’t have a regular job, the things that fill the main hours within my day are the things that keep me going. What those things are is becoming clearer.
This freedom has given rise to the emergence of my passions. Things I really couldn’t identify with prior to giving up full time work. Further, I’m now starting to identify my natural behaviours in the big bad world now that I have the freedom to do whatever I want. And it’s very interesting and totally not what I expected. When I was working a proper job, I was happy to stay put for years and years on end. I was going to die in that job. I was comfortable. I was in a routine. So when I quit work, I feared I’d miss that routine (I did) and I feared that I would end up vegging for years on end, doing nothing. Quite honestly, that happened for about 9 months. Most of that 9 months was spent travelling.
Since that time, I’ve been flitting from one project to another (not always paid) and it has been a rollercoaster ride like no other! What is so interesting about it is that I realise my attention span on certain activities lasts about 3 months and then… no I don’t bored, I get inspiration for a new plan, a new trip, a new project. It’s crazy, because I’m loving learning Indonesian at the moment, but there are a bunch of other things on the horizon that are getting me very excited — even more than the learning Indonesian thing. I’m going to force myself to stick with the Indonesian thing whilst dabbling in the new projects, but it gives a very interesting insight to the type of person I am when the shackles have been thrown clear.
The other thing I think is interesting is that I find it much more difficult to be free in Australia. Basically because everything is geared towards people not being free despite the glossy brochures. I feel free in Indonesia like I have never done before. That’s not to say I don’t love Australia — I do. But it is such a refined, productive society that opportunities for great projects are difficult to come by and are usually extremely risky. Here in Indonesia, opportunities are everywhere and the risks are minimal. I’m loving it.
For some people, this will make perfect sense. I have a feeling, though, that this might not make sense to the vast majority. Make sense? Or absolute load of rubbish?
9 replies on “The Real Me”
I’ve been going through something similar. I left my job a little over two months ago, and I miss the routine also. It’s hard to feel like I’m “doing” anything when I don’t have a “real” job. I’ve been traveling constantly though, learning so much about myself and others, and have been writing, photographing, exploring new places and meeting new people – things I never had much time/opportunity for with a full-time job. I think the freedom is the best part for me – being able to pick up and go wherever I want, whenever I want – but it’s definitely going to take more time to get a work balance going.
@Allison – I get you. I’m still learning a lot of different stuff about myself 2 years on and it’s fantastic. Being OK with who you are is important too. If you’re a bit lazy, that’s OK. If you change your mind a lot, no problem. If you’re a planner by nature, embrace it. At the end of the day, we need to be thankful that we escaped! We now have choices.
“At the end of the day, we need to be thankful that we escaped! We now have choices.”
First off, love your use of the word “escape.” So true. Secondly, I’ve read some great quotes lately that focus on the “options” side that I’m really excited to write about. Thanks for the reply – food for thought.
Makes sense. I felt such a strong desire to move forward with all kinds of plans quickly when I got home…I’m more mellow now. Still brainstorming but with less pressure on myself. I’m glad greater clarity is on its way for you.
@Heather – I’m loving this journey. So good. I know you will be settling into a new world order now… hopefully it bears fruit soon!
I say go where the opportunities are (especially low risk!). Seriously. No reason to feel guilty about that.
@Erica – Cheers… That basically means ditching the West. Which I’m OK with!
I like how you put “… from one project to another (not always paid)” – as I put my mini projects to do too, mostly personal projects which I have wanted to do, but never got time to do it because of the 9-to-5 routines.
Many people asked if I miss the corporate life, and after 3 months off, I still haven’t missed it, and somewhat, I can’t believe it has been 3 months. I feel like I still have lots to do! But I love the flexibility to do things – albeit (potentially) only for a short time.
Good luck for your projects! Sounds very exciting time ahead for you.
@Miss Lai Lai – I think the main thing is that once you’ve taken the step to have a sabbatical or career break, not to take a step back once the career break part finishes. It is so easy to be tempted by the money aspect. But if you can get the money thing sorted out, I think it’s possible to go for gold! That is, make real strides to be free. It’s not easy, though! I am definitely tempted by money aspects from time to time and I have to remind myself that while money is important, it’s not the number one priority.