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  • Writer's pictureTalbot Finch

5. The push and pull of following your heart.

I’ve made some pretty radical changes in my life over the past year. Namely, I quit my secure 9-to-5 job last summer and decided to shift my focus on writing. It was an intensely difficult decision to make, but I had a comfortable nest egg saved up and knew I could survive for a few months while I attempted to figure out my life.

My initial plan had been to stay unemployed for 3-4 months max, begin building an online presence with my writing in that time, and then start applying to new jobs to supplement my income as I continued to build my writing career. Of course, the 4-month anniversary of me leaving my job happened three months ago now. Needless to say, my plans have not gone as expected, but I’ve been able to make it work for now. There’s so much I’ve learned by taking the long route, and it’s only in hindsight that I see it was necessary for things to play out this way. (Three months ago, I was utterly panicking that my life wasn't unfolding according to my plan.)

When I initially quit my job, I was certain that the hardest part was over. Surely, once someone takes the big, scary leap of faith to chase after their dreams, everything else sort of falls into place, right? Apparently not. But it’s been a valuable lesson. Sometimes, clinging desperately to our rigid plans and timetables is incompatible with the journey we’ve set out on. Relinquishing control and facing the unknown is an exercise in trusting oneself. It’s also been a relief. The ever-mounting pressure from unrealistic deadlines I’d set for myself was a constant source of stress and anxiety. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to deviate from the plan that the road ahead started to become more clear and the journey more enjoyable.

I’m still figuring things out. It’s taken much more time than I anticipated, and frankly, that’s just fine.

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