Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Starting Fresh



On May 15, 2014, I made a life changing decision. I decided to finally quit my job and start over. I have been working in finance for almost six years and though I found the job enjoyable to an extent, it was not what I was cut out to do. I went into finance because it seemed like the obvious choice while I was doing my degree. I went with the majority of the crowd, I wanted to have a powerful career and mint in lots of money. And a career in finance seemed like a pretty safe choice. 

As much as I enjoyed the jobs I have been in, I had always felt there was something missing in my life. True, nobody had forced me into it. But there was this nagging suspicion somewhere in a corner of my mind that I was doing something wrong. When I got my first corporate job, I was overjoyed. I had a hefty package in addition to a lot of perks that came with the job. This joy was however, short lived. I found myself putting in around 10-12 hours a day in the job alone. Add to it horrendous traffic and the commute, I barely had time to get home and sleep, let alone read or relax. 

Caught in between the nasty office politics and colleagues from hell, I decided that enough was enough. My health was beginning to suffer, I was constantly cranky, taking it out on people I loved and my self esteem was beginning to deteriorate. I quit that job and found another one in a short while. Though it was much better than the previous one, the fact that something was missing continued to nag me. I was working at a job that I really did not care about. 

Sure, I enjoyed the exhaustion that greeted me towards the end of each day, the wonderful people that I worked with but I felt I was stagnating there. Of course, I enjoyed the financial freedom that came with it. But was it all really worth it? With nothing chalked out in front of me, I took the challenge of just figuring out what I want to do once I quit the job. I caught up on those books that I have been meaning to for years, I finally gave a voice to the stories that were running in my head, I took care of my body like never before. 

When I was stuck in a desk job, I always took the easy way out and abused my body with all the junk food that I could lay my hands on. I took to eating whenever I got tensed or depressed. This had starting showing on my alarmingly increasing waistline. Now that I finally had enough time to take care of myself, I started working out and eating healthy, even in the little ways that I could. The changes were amazing. After months of slogging off, the extra pounds started to melt away, albeit slowly. My blog and followers grew, slowly but steadily. 

Today if you ask me if I miss my job, I would say yes. I miss it on some days. I miss wearing my formal pants and shirts and working continuously for hours. I miss the challenge and exhaustion that I experienced each day. But frankly, I miss getting paid most of all! Would I ever think of working again? Yes, provided I find a job that suits my requirements. I want to continue writing. In no way am I prepared to sacrifice that.  

I'm also thinking of a change of careers. Like in all cases, it is not an easy one to make. I would like a career where I enjoy doing what I do, preferably to do with writing. But of course, the first question that you are faced with while attending any interview is the experiences that you have under your belt. Apparently, writing on your blog doesn't count, at least not much!

There were a lot of people rolling their eyes at me when I decided to quit. Who in their right minds would do that? I couldn't care less of what others did think. Not then and definitely not today. It's my life and I love to live it on my terms. Undoubtedly, it was one of the most  important and life changing decisions that I had to make in my life. One that I'm glad that I did before it was too late and I had grown bitter and resentful in life. Today, I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I had both good and bad things in store for me the past year. I have learnt lessons, made mistakes but I'm willing to get up and move forward.  

However, it longer matters. I'm thinking of writing a book. A novel which I'm still outlining in my head and the characters are kind of getting impatient waiting inside my head. I think I should take the plunge and actually do it. What say? In the meanwhile, if I find a job to suit me, I may go for it. Who really knows? Today, I'm broke (I really am!) but happily so. 

This post has been written for #StartANewLife campaign hosted by https://housing.com/.

24 comments:

  1. You and I - we have a lot of similarities, Aathira. And it's not just because we both kind of gave up a cozy job ;)
    You have miles to go and I wish you all the best and hope you find your calling soon. Something tells me it'll be something to do with writing.
    Remember, first autographed copy come to moi ;) (After immediate family and friends, of course)

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    1. We do, Sid! Thanks so so much for your kind words. You have always been a great support and encouragement :)

      Of course, the first copy shall come to you. Provided you give me a kind and not-so-hurtful review ;)

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  2. That's quite a brave decision that you made Aathira. I would never ever think of quitting my job. That is what defines me the most and I need to be financially independent to feel good about myself.

    I applaud you for the courage! :)

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    1. Thank you, Soum! You should always do what makes you happy. That has worked out for me so far :)

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  3. I say take the plunge! Most of us around here want to be an author. But it is only the strong and daring who actually end up doing so.
    Wish you all the best!

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    1. Thanks so much, Nisha! I have still a long way to go but hope to get there sooner than later :)

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  4. I totally resonate with your thoughts Aathira. I opted for research but soon found it monotonous. I followed my heart and worked for a social cause which I immensely enjoyed though the pay was less. And now after finding new love in writing I have decided that I will choose only a job that will give me enough time to write. You must get started on your novel, and hope you find the job of your dreams :)

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    1. Indeed. So glad that you went after what your heart was after. I should get working on the novel soon. Thank you, Vidya!

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  5. Honestly, if it wasnt for the money, many would quit their jobs or atleast think about switching it. What you did was a bold move and a much required one. Proud of you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Red. Indeed, money is important. It was when I felt that was the only thing taking my job forward, I finally decided to call it quits.

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  6. follow your heart :) keep writing :) wishing you all the best for future endeavours :)

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  7. One of those posts that had me nodding all the way. For I have been in a similar situation and exactly around May 2014. Money excites but not at the cost of your choice. Isn't it? And you must bring out those characters before they gang up against you. :-)

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    1. Yes. I know you share a similar story. Thanks so much, Rekha! The characters are running havoc on my mind as I type :D

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  8. You are a star. Because you readily took the risk, took the pain of burning and one day you will shine out bright among all. All the best for your new path. :)

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    1. Thank you, Darling! Though I had not an inkling of what was in store for me, I'm enjoying the journey so far :)

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  9. It really takes courage to start over and I am glad you took the right path. Work at the cost of health and personal life would never be satisfactory or pleasing.

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    1. Thanks a ton, K! You always knew the right thing to say at exactly the right time :)

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  10. I could perhaps actually do that. hehe so I'm proud of you. I just feel it takes immense passion for that kind of thing. and till the time you dont feel it from the heart, you mustn't do it!

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    1. You are back! Seeing your name under the comments section has made me so happy! Thank you, Love :)

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  11. Always follow your heart - that's all I say!

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    1. Thank you! And welcome to my blog :)

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