To all my fellow offbeat creatives. . . I get it. . . I’ve been there.
In December of 2017 I was “laid off” (PC language meaning I got fired for asking questions about equality and management practices. . . lesson learned, I don’t belong in the corrupt corporate world) RIGHT BEFORE OUR ANNUAL TWO WEEKS’ PAID HOLIDAY VACATION. I was with that company for FIVE years.
I had become the admin in charge of that branch’s HR department and as my boss (who’s management practices I questioned) fired me I told him as he turned away that he really should be watching me log off of the company computer and pack up my things. . . he just kept walking out of my office, leaving me to do whatever I could have wanted to. Fortunately for the company (an employee-owned one), I’m not a malicious person, but it just goes to show that even when an employee is caring, more than the management that boots them out the door, they leave with their dignity intact while the management grips tightly to their poor business practices until the end.
That boss is still there today, after losing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars under his watch he only got a demotion (which fortunately for him, didn’t come with a pay cut and gives him more time to work on his writing career with the time it’s freed up for him). The corporate world is the furthest thing from fair. I used to think it was just me but I’ve seen time and time again with friends in all fields at all levels from all backgrounds that it’s a system and it’s rigged against the people who CARE. Well, I am just not cut out for that.
A Place to Fit In!. . . NOT!
Then in February of 2018 I found a job after two painful months of unemployment. Sure, I kicked ass at opening my Etsy store and signing up for local markets to peddle my art, but the burden of worrying where my mortgage payments would magically appear from was TERRIFYING. Unfortunately, the shiny new-ness of being able to wear whatever I wanted, bring my new doggie to the office, and work for a woman entrepreneur quickly faded as I realized that the husband-half of the business team was, well, a total prick.
Mistakes were unacceptable from everyone. Even worse, so were questions. I don’t know how any leader can think that questions are not to be tolerated then expect their employees not to make mistakes. . . it’s just not logical. But there I was, trapped in a situation I could never win. And I hated it. So I cordially put in my two weeks’ notice in October, with enough time before their holiday rush so they could find a replacement and I would happily train them.
Unemployed and Terrified
I naively thought that quitting that job would be this immense freedom for me. I’d be free to pursue my passion and become everything I thought I could be. I had some picture of what I wanted. . . create art, inspire others. . . maybe YouTube, blog more, social media stuff. . . Ya know, do more things – do ALL the things. I had saved up two months’ worth of a “runway” and thought I was pretty much set. Trying = it HAD to work.
Hahahahahahaa. . . boy was I wrong. I did my best to stick to a schedule every day. I did my best to wake up early and work all day on my stuff. I did my best to define “my stuff”. But it was all so. . . wishy washy. My confidence was rapidly slipping away. I was isolating myself from everything outside of my home. I was gripping desperately to my partner, putting undue stress on us/him. I was beating myself up. It was a miserable four months. MISERABLE. I thought quitting my job was the only way to survive the shitty environment of that circumstance but I only found myself in another shitty environment – this one of MY OWN making.
And sure, I did set up some things while I was at that job for myself and what I wanted to do. I had my Jessie Britely website set up. I joined Fizzle. I started learning all the things I could while I could keep the cushy job that was slowly starting to crush my soul. But it definitely wasn’t enough.
The Existential Crisis
I started feeling like I fit in NOWHERE. Not gonna lie, the world right now is kinda shit. And likely, generations before this have thought that too. Polarized people, militarized weapons, communications lost in technology, and humanity seeming to disappear before my eyes. Y’all, it got deep. It still is, I’m just finally working on what I can as my own form of a solution. This new existential pondering launched me into a bit of an existential crisis that no vacation by a pond could fix. I couldn’t hack it on my own (or so I thought from the very minimal evidence I had collected – I’m very much a sprinter not a marathon-er). I couldn’t hack it in the corporate world. I couldn’t hack it as an employee in a small indie business. So then. . . where the fuck DID I belong???? NOWHERE???? Obviously that’s the only logical conclusion. (that’s sarcasm NOW, but at the time, my brain legitimately believed it – it’s scary what our brains are capable of convincing us of)
Something snapped. I dug up something I had made a while ago; it was still a rough draft of a worksheet at the time. I found the Japanese concept of Ikigai at some point on my very long and winding journey of self discovery sometime in the last 9 years. I had wanted to create a little self-guided workbook on it and I did – I started it. . . Fast-forward to a few months ago when I found this halfheartedly started worksheet so deeply buried in one of my desktop folders and it was a SIGN. This lil half-finished Publisher file was whispering my name – telling me to come find it and in turn, find myself again.
Finding my purpose (and serenity. . . and well, sanity) in Ikigai
So I dusted that Publisher file off and did some DIG DEEP SOUL WORK while completing it. Y’all. . . I FINALLY know what I’m doing with my life. I don’t know HOW it’ll all unfold but I know WHAT I want to do and that’s the ONE BIG THING.
And now I want to share it with YOU!!!
In this week’s Transformational Tuesday video I show you how it can help you too. And if you watch the YouTube video I even give you a code to get my sweet downloadable workbook for FREE! So if you just got fired or quit your job and you’re sitting in your local coffee shop trying not to say “WTF” out loud a bajillion times, I got you. I’ve been there. It gets better.