I was driving down the sunny, winding country road from dropping my girls off at daycare, when I had a sudden realization… I had arrived.
You see, a month ago I left my full-time job. I decided to take a hard right turn away from a career path that provided a safe, stable and financially secure future for my growing family. Turns out, that particular future was not the one that I had imagined for us. I was drained emotionally and spiritually from working in a job and an environment that was not the right fit. The longer I stayed, the less I was showing up to life in the ways that were important to me. While on from the outside it might be considered “wrong”, walking away from this job was absolutely the right choice for me and my family.
And yet, for the past month my logical mind has been busy filling the vacuum left by the absence of a structured schedule and paycheck. How will I make money? Will I make enough money? Will my children have food, shelter, clothes? How do I ensure that I am doing the right things to be successful? What is success anyway? And of course the big one… did I make the wrong choice?
Then, as is often the case in life, gracious reminders began pointing me back to what I already know to be true.
On my way home this bright sunny morning, I caught a glimpse of that unmistakable white-on-black/brown contrast of a bald eagle flying overhead. My heart leapt. A sweet Buddha smile of contentment spread across my face and chest. This majestic creature, a reminder to pause in the forward motion of day-to-day tasking and take gentle observation of what is already in front of me. I felt my foot come off of the gas, allowing the car to slow bit, I appreciated the novelty of what simple miracle had just taken place: I had the privilege of joining my girls in the waking hours of their day, and transition with them into the warmth and loving space and hands of their day care. (I hope all of you readers who have children are blessed with the quality of caregivers that we have in our life. It is an extraordinary gift.)
The reason why this experience was so precious is that just a month before this would have been virtually impossible for me to do. As it is for many two parent working families, our home sits equidistant between my (now old) job and my husband’s job. And because our day care is part of my husband’s benefit package, it meant that to simply be involved in day care drop-off added an hour to my already 40-minute commute. In that moment of appreciation, tears filled my eyes. I felt a swell of pride that my husband and I had made this bold and terrifying choice to let go of life’s trapeze mid-swing, allowing me to experience my life as fully and as authentically as I had that morning. And it was only 8:30 am. So much of the day left for such miracles!
I left my job for many reasons that ultimately can be summed up with this: I was not living a life aligned with my values of being present with my family. I needed more space for self-care and creativity. My family needed more flexibility and presence. I needed to be home. That pause, in that sunny moment, I reflected on the fact that I was already doing it. In the anxious productivity of seeking security, my worries and ruminations clouded the reality of what had transpired.
I was living the life I have dreamed of.
I had arrived.