I am re-posting this for those who have goals of leaving their full time jobs going into the New Year. I did it…
Just like in the movie, “Donnie Brasco”, Al Pacino’s character knew what “get sent for” meant. He had dinner with his wife, put his jewelry and money in a box and told her not to wait up for him tonight. I knew my last day of employment was coming. I could feel it. I could sense the detached nature from the next level of management. The comments of “I’ll call you right back” turned into “I’ll contact you in a few days.”
It had happened. Just like the laws of nature said it would! “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” Six months earlier I had lunch with two of my colleagues and showed them copies of my poetry and short story book. They were floored! I went on to tell them that prior to me moving to Atlanta to take on my sisters children, I lived my life as an artist. I felt relief as I confessed to them that I am a writer of many facets. Now caring for a family, a ‘sure bet’ check is what I needed to settle into my new role as a parent. During our lunch together I shared with them that I would be leaving our employer before the hectic holiday season arrived to once again pursue my life as an artist. I showed them a countdown widget I downloaded on my cellphone that festively displayed how many more days I had left. They were shocked but very happy for me. I now had support from two women whom I admired and trusted.
I owed this same conversation with one of my managers who I’ve worked with since my first day with the company. A brilliant talent and inspiring leader, she worked her way through several positions in the company and excelled at them all. I brought her copies of my book and shared with her that was the “real me”. She was not surprised! She told me she could tell I had something else to me because of my colorful emails I would send out to the team about contests, etc. Since she had been with me from day one I wanted to let her know of my plans of leaving so she wouldn’t be blind sighted. To my surprise, she had plans of leaving too! As a matter of fact, I had to almost beg her not to leave before me and ask if we could agree to leave the same month. Wheesh! She agreed.
I began to pray and plan. And plan and execute and budget and save. I checked the countdown widget on my phone daily! I even calculated my two days off during the week and vacation days off so the time remaining would look more appealing. My energy had vehement focus on my art and away from the “to do’s” of my job. My passion became defeating the fear of leaving my job and truly believing in my God given talents. I meditated and thought about my life as a writer/performer every waking second. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” This saying rang incredibly true to my writings coming to life as my performance at my paying job lacked.
No passion and no interest equals barely meeting the established goals. And it didn’t matter to me anymore. This job belonged to someone who was dedicated and driven. Someone that was committed to delivering the pristine results I was once known for. This was no longer my capacity as I no longer fit. The meetings had come and gone for me to improve. I was not phased. The only time I lost sleep was during panics worrying if my financial plan was sound enough. And it was an incredible plan that my family was aware of and anxious to support. I felt closer to my dreams and personal goals than ever before. I was moving further away from outside expectations and business plans.
I wanted it to go smooth and as effortless as possible. I cleaned out my office space weeks ahead of time and I when I felt the day had come for my termination I packed for work like Pacino in “Donnie Brasco”. I put my drivers license in my cellphone carrying case, packed a lunch, slid my work and car keys and lip gloss in my pants pockets and left for work. No wallet, no purse and no work brief case. Three hours later, I left the building for the last time with one less set of keys and the disencumbered feeling of no longer having to live my dual lifestyle of artist/retail manager.
“People that don’t chase their dreams end up working for people that did.” Yes, that quote says it all! And I’m sticking to it!