A few weeks ago, my friend was reading my tarot cards and I drew the grasshopper card. The grasshopper card "asks us to take a leap of faith and in a new direction. It is an affirmation to move forward and to do it boldly. You can move forward in confidence knowing that you are going in the right direction. The Grasshopper says to pay attention to your inner voice as it will not lead you astray. If it feels good in your heart and your gut then you know that you can safely proceed. Now is the time to trust your inner being, trust your instincts as it will lead you to great successes."
Whether or not you believe in that kind of thing, I believe that small little detail in my day was a sign from the universe telling me to trust myself. Earlier that same day, I asked my boss to have a conversation about something very serious and personal. I wanted to be up front with my employer so that they weren't only aware, but so we could attempt to find a compromise. In that conversation, I told him how I had been feeling for the past six months. I was depressed. I took all of the tests and all signs pointed towards it. I was feeling worthless, as if my life had no meaning, trapped, sad, and exhausted. This was unusual for me, because up until that point I was someone who was usually so optimistic. I never went to the doctor because I knew what the problem was and made a personal decision to not take medicine for it, but I knew how I was feeling. I knew I wasn't myself. I knew I needed to do something about it.
Drawing the Grasshopper card at the end of that day motivated me to think more about what I was doing with my life and how I needed to make some changes to honor my happiness. Tylar was getting worried, and so was I.
I called my mom three weeks into the job telling her the same thing I told my boss last week. I was bored, I felt no meaning, and that I was just... sad. We agreed that maybe it was an adjustment period and to give it time. I was going through a lot of change between moving across the country, leaving my friends and family, and starting a new, big girl job. The feelings continued, but winter came and I decided to blame it on the season. When winter was over and my feelings only intensified, I knew it wasn't the season anymore... it was my lifestyle. It wasn't winter that was making me cry on my lunch breaks, it wasn't change that was making me feel as if I had no purpose, it wasn't the adjustment period making it hard for me to get out of bed every morning, it was me trying to avoid the fact that it was my job making me unhappy. It wasn't the job or the company that was the problem, it was the fact that being locked in an office for forty hours a week is a situation I can't handle. I loved all of my coworkers and didn't want to leave them, but it was taking everything out of me.
Awhile back, my dad called me and asked what was wrong. When I told him how upset I was, he told me that was 'just life' and something I should deal with. The way my dad was raised made him believe that was right. In the last generation, it was completely normal to graduate high school (or college, if you were lucky) and work a job you didn't like for years just to put food on the table. They had families young and they had to provide. I completely understand what made him feel that way, but I had to pull myself out of that "it's just life" hole and think about what was best for me. It's 2019 and the world is shifting. I don't plan on having kids. I'm looking out for me. I had money saved up from collaborations and freelance accounts, and I needed to make a move before it got worse. I needed to take a leap of faith.
With a profession in social media, I realized that I can truly do that from anywhere. There are remote opportunities and there are freelance opportunities, I just have to go after them... but I was afraid. I was scared my family would be ashamed of me for quitting my job only six months in because of something so 'millenial'. I was afraid of not being able to find another source of income. I was afraid of future employers judging me for leaving. I was afraid leaving would make my employer think poorly of me and give me a bad reference if I needed one in the future. So many things were building up that I couldn't handle it anymore. The Monday after my conversation with my boss, I was required to have a talk at work with someone who only wanted to help. Though it came from a good place, talking about how I felt and hearing her possible solutions/advice only made me realize how unhappy I really was there. It made me realize that even if there was a compromise or a change, I still couldn't find meaning in what I was doing. That conversation was in the middle of the work day, in an office with clear walls, where everyone could see that for the hour and fifteen minutes I was in there, something was wrong
Long story short, I ended up sobbing in my office and leaving work early, humiliated to have brought my personal issues into the workplace. When I got home, I immediately called my mom and told her everything I'd been avoiding telling her for months. After pouring my heart out, she said the most supportive thing to me. "Jordan, what are you doing? Life is too short to be miserable in something you can so easily change. You are talented and you will find a way. You need to do what's best for you."
I don't know why that was the last thing I expected her to say. My family has always been really supportive of me. I built up so much fear in my head solely out of the high expectations I had of myself. It was such a relief to hear from someone I respected so much that it was okay to feel this way.
The next day, I left my job. I planned their social for a month and said my goodbyes to a team that was really supportive of my decision to leave. I will always appreciate the opportunity they gave me, the experience I gained there, and the professional growth I had during those six months. They were very kind to me about my decision to leave, and I'm so appreciative of that. It's been a week since I left and I've already gotten another freelance account. I'm working on growing my client list or finding a full/part-time remote social media position, whichever happens first. In the mean time, I'm going to pursue content creating and probably do odd jobs on the side like driving Postmates, babysitting, or whatever I need to do to support myself until I find stability in working for myself.
If you get anything out of this, I hope it's that it's okay to take a leap of faith in order to do what's best for yourself. If you have to flip burgers, deliver Postmates, or drive Lyft in the mean time to make money for awhile, do it. If your mental health is suffering because of something you have the power to change, you need to honor how you're feeling and freaking jump before it takes over.
It's so common nowadays to feel anxious, depressed, and unworthy. Our generation is full of comparisons, perfectionists, and high expectations forcing us into these pockets of our mind that convince us we're less than we are. Luckily, we live in a time when remote work is becoming normalized, mental health is acknowledged, and changes are being made. Whether it's in your career, your relationship, or your life path—take the leap. If you work hard, it will work out in the end.
To anyone and everyone: know that your emotions are valid—every last one of them. If you feel this way, you are not alone. If you ever need someone to talk to, whether you know me or not, I am here to listen.
Thank you for listening.