9 January 2019

It’s the new year!

I can’t believe so much time has passed since my last post. And so many things have happened I don’t know where to begin.

To help you catch up on recent important events, I suggest you go here and give it a three-minute read (yes… I have multiple blogs which serve slightly different purposes – don’t ask me why!).

So… I’ve continued to ask the question of where my future lies. And I think I’ve found the answer.

Yesterday was kind of the watershed moment. I had what my boyfriend aptly calls a “young life crisis” (I think I have to be closer to 40 to qualify for a mid-life crisis). For some reason (I’m not sure what), yesterday I felt like I’d reached the end of the straw, so I had two open-heart conversations after work with my former boss in whom I confide a lot and my boyfriend, in which I laid out my thoughts, questions, and fears. First the tears came in trickles, and by mid-conversation with my boyfriend I was in hysterics.

Those two conversations helped me organise my thoughts and verbalise the tangle of mess I currently find myself in, and finally today I came to a decision. And you’re the first to hear about it. My boss will be the second – I’ve asked to have dinner with her after work today.

I’m going to leave my job.

It’s not an easy decision, but I’ve made it. I will leave at the end of the year when my housing contract expires, and today over dinner I want to share with my boss the reason why and work out with her an exit plan to minimise disruption to the projects I’m handling.

My boyfriend also had a great idea last night for me to go part-time in my remaining months at the company – something I hadn’t thought of previously but, if it works, would… well… work for me very well! (Apologies for my clunky English) So I also need to talk to my boss about that.

Why am I leaving? There are a number of reasons. But I think the better question is, “Why do I want to leave?”

And the answer to that is clear: this is not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. I’ve pondered this for a long time (since July of last year to be precise), and I have come to the conclusion that this is not for me.

What I want to do is subtitles. And – just like I said in my last post in October – I’m not doing enough of it. In fact, I’m doing even less now than I was then. In the past week I already turned down two projects… two! Just because I don’t have enough time.

Each time I turn down a subtitles project, I get the feeling that this is not right. Why am I turning down something I love and dedicating 80% (rough estimate) of my waking hours to doing what I don’t want to be doing. It doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t.

I don’t like to admit that I’m frustrated. I like to be calm and in control. But in recent weeks, if not months, frustrated is what I’ve been, and increasingly so. I’m not happy. And as I realised yesterday, I don’t know if I can do another eleven months of this.

Okay, I realise that if I leave in December, eleven months is exactly what I’ll be doing. But at least after I speak with my boss it will be official – there will be a finality to it that will hopefully sooth me. Plus there’s the part-time option which I’m hoping she will agree to. That will enable me to dedicate more time to subtitling, and also explore other options of what I am good at and might be happy doing.

In fact, since yesterday I’ve been helping a close friend organise logistics for her bridesmaids (of which I’m one, yey!). And I was thinking, “I can do this! I can be an organiser” – a thought with which my friend today concurred when she wrote me, “You could be a wedding organiser,” before adding, “And a great one”. Yes, I think I agree. I think I can be a great wedding organiser.

And the thing is, I’ll never know until I try. And if I don’t make the time to try, I’ll never know.

My former boss was asking me yesterday if me wanting to leave my job is me wanting to jump ship, avoid the challenges, and get back into my comfort zone? And I told him it’s the opposite. My job is my comfort zone. I’m good at it and most of the time I know what I’m doing.

What’s scary for me is out there. It’s jumping off the security of the big corporate ship into turbulent waters. It’s going freelancer full-time. I know it will be difficult. I’ve kind of done it before – and the instability that comes with it is oftentimes crippling. But I think it will be worth it. In fact I’m almost certain it will.

So, as of today, I will start the countdown clock to my moment of truth, when I will finally step off the ledge into the unknown. Subtitles freelancer, part-time writer, maybe part-time teacher, grabbing whatever opportunities I find.

Yes, it’s scary. Do I feel ready? No. But will I ever? Probably not.

So here goes nothing.

Love,

Val

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