In late 2013 I was living in Seattle, working full time for a hot, up and coming tech-company. This was post my awakening in 2012, but I’d not yet launched my practice and was still in my “spiritual bootcamp” phase.
My life at this point felt akin to that of a double agent or superhero. During the day, I was a mild mannered office worker. At night and on the weekends, I was hanging out with Archangel Michael, getting personal tours of The Void and partying in the Multi Verse with The Lighted Ones.
Working there was probably the best case scenario given what was going on in my life at that time. The culture of the company was really flexible and progressive. In the tech world of 2013, it was basically a contest as to which company could create the coolest culture. The drink (booze!) cart came around the office on Friday afternoons. We enjoyed expensive lunches, as we met with potential clients. Our weekly team meetings always concluded with a spirited round of “Cards Against Humanity”. It was about as relaxed as it could be while still being a very highly functioning and successful company.
Up until this point, I had been on FIRE at this job! Having grown up as a child of two teachers, my inner-overachiever LOVED gold stars and blue ribbons. My overachiever also loved a challenge, so it was no surprise to me that [early on] my performance was blowing everyone’s mind.
About a year in, however the cracks were beginning to show. It was becoming clear to me that this was a temporary stop. Not only in the growing dissatisfaction that came from working for someone else. I was also starting to get increasingly clear nudges from The Lighted Ones (TLO) that it was soon going to be time to pull up stakes and make good on my commitment to building my own practice.
One of my favorite things about working for this company was my boss. She was (and still is) one of the most empathetic people I had ever met. Her level of being tuned in to what we [her team] needed was pretty astounding. Though I doubt she’d claim the title, she was a Supreme Empath!
Each Monday, she would check in with us individually. It was an opportunity for us to share with her whatever was going on in our lives. Often this was a safe space where we could speak openly and confidentially. I had been feeling a bit uneasy with my job for a couple of months, and it was this topic she approached in our conversation that morning.
“I want you to know that you can be completely honest with me here” She said kindly.
Her open face, and warm eyes told me she was being truthful. However given my tenure in corporate/retail America, I had learned a few things.
Most notably that anytime anyone expressed they were not 100% satisfied in their job, their 2 week notice usually came not long after.
Even so, I was getting the sense that this was an opportunity being freely offered me on a silver platter.
“I don’t know, Jess” I sighed. “Lately this all just seems so draining”. I was actively avoiding her gaze.
Suddenly I was feeling really sheepish. This whole “genuinely being honest and open” thing was still really new to me. Especially when sharing with my boss how, beyond getting a paycheck, I didn’t really care about this job anymore.
“I know that my performance has been slipping, but honestly I feel kind of stuck” I offered lamely. I could feel a hot knot growing in my gut. I knew that what I was sharing was totally honest and true, but my ego was in full blown panic mode.
“What are you DOING?!?! Keep your cards close to your vest! Don’t tell her you’re unHAPPY!! ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!”
I was doing my best to keep a smile pasted on my face while not throwing up in the trashcan next to me.
Graciously, she let me off the hook.
“Andrew. I have been doing this a long time, and I think that at this point, I have a pretty good read on people.” Her smile brimmed with compassion.
“I get the sense that you’re someone who really needs to answer to themselves.”
I began shifting uncomfortably in my chair.
“I can see that for you, emotional connection to what you’re doing is crucial. Some people are capable of shutting down their emotional center in order to power through and just get the job done. I get the sense for you however, that is a fate worse than death.”
She looked at me with so much genuine concern that any defense I still had standing crumbled to dust.
The floodgates opened.
She swore herself to secrecy, and I let it rip.
By the end of the conversation we had found a really perfect solution.
Our team had shifted some of our clients over to another group as we narrowed our focus. This meant that we needed to let someone from our team go. One of my teammates was currently out on maternity leave and would be returning in 6 months. So why didn’t we just swap me out for her when she came back?
She asked if things were OK enough that I could continue here for another 6 months.
She asked if I could commit to putting on a happy face for the next 6 months.
Just like that it was decided. 5 months from now, we would announce that I was leaving and that would be my official 1 month notice. Nobody would be any the wiser, and all of it would be tied up in a pretty bow!
I walked out of our meeting feeling buoyant and free!
Then, that afternoon, as I began my walk up the hill towards home, it all started to sink in.
I had effectively just given my 6 months notice.
What did I think I was going to do then?
How was I going to make money?
What exactly was my plan?
Sure, the idea of having a “practice” was exciting in theory, but HOW WAS I GOING TO ACTUALLY HELP PEOPLE?!
The litany of terrifying questions continued until half way home, when I had to stop in Cal Anderson Park and sit down to ward off an impending panic attack.
I really had no idea what I was going to do.
What had I gotten myself into?
“Ok team” I implored under my breath.
“I need a S I G N! I mean: a 24 point font, BOLD, ALL CAPS, unmistakable sign that I have not just completely fucked myself!”
I sat on the bench for a few more minutes until the waves of anxiety passed. Then I hiked my bag over my shoulder and started up the hill again.
As I rounded the corner, I was still a roiling mess of emotions. I started to climb the stairs to my building, when something caught my eye.
There, on the ground, right in front of me was a long rectangular slip of paper.
It was lying there, face up, staring RIGHT at me.
24 point font
“QUIT YOUR JOB. GET A LIFE”
Which, 6 months later, is exactly what I did.
I still carry that piece of paper with me to this day.
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