The day the Music died

This is how I feel today. As if the music in my heart has died, or rather stopped, and I am not sure how to kick start it so it will start playing again. Or perhaps, more accurately to Don McLean’s tribute to the rockstars’ untimely deaths, that today marks the day that I have truly left my childhood notions of fantasy and innocence behind, and fully embraced what adulthood is; making scary-difficult choices because my fear of what is, has become greater than my fear of what is yet to come. And so, scary or not, today I must embrace what is to come. whatever melody they may be.

So here I am, having just announced to the world (ok, it felt that way, 743 facebook friends to be exact) that I am giving up on my career. I am quitting. I can’t hack it anymore. Oh, and I have no plan whatsoever for what’s next. And its in this very moment I feel like my heart’s song has paused, and as if holding my breath, I am desperately waiting for someone or something to come along and press play again- oh and hand me the new sheet music and teach me the new lyrics. Here I sit, watching and listening to every new notification ping come and congratulate me on my crazy bold decision.

I’m about as vulnerable as it gets. I have “facebook-officially” left my career do I change my status now, or?…and I have absolutely no plans, did I mention that? I feel so completely naked. Like someone stole my clothes and ran off with them at summer camp and I am left in the showers with a towel that is ridiculously too small. Bad analogy. How about the actual time I left my underpants in the changing room at summer camp and the counselor delicately dropped them on my head in front of the ENTIRE camp later than evening. Ya, that kind of vulnerable.

I knew I would feel emotionally exposed once I committed to hitting “post” on my big news, but I also knew it was the final piece, to kick start the beginning of my new journey of my life transformation. It wasn’t until I posted my big news that I realized my choice would make me feel so…. alive, and frozen in an exposed nakedness  all at the same time. I think because much like Brene Brown talks about on the topic of vulnerability, I am feeling something really foreign and really uncomfortable- and yet I know it is exactly what I should be feeling; that I need to be feeling right at this very moment in my life in order to gather the courage to move forward. Let me back up.

I should provide some background for you. I have been working in finance for the last decade. You know, the mortgage lending (wipe the scowls off your faces please.) It was a lucrative and exhilarating experience at first and I fell in love with the ability to help people accomplish their dreams. But soon after, and then coupled with the recession, my house of cards came crashing down one lonely, cement brick sized  paper card at a time. Inexplicably, even as the industry was crumbling only a year or two after I had began, I chose to stay the course. I chose to remain in my profession for several more years, as if by some self-imposed punishment. Or some stubborn real life game of chicken; a pressure test perhaps, waiting to see how long I could outlast…myself, in my own private game of endurance.

So I suppose today is the day you could say I tapped out. Waved the white flag. Decided to get off the island! And oddly, I am so relieved. It was an inevitable end to an era really. Many indicators in both my professional and personal life were pointing to my eventual exit, and yet now that the day has finally arrived, I am exhilarated.. and I feel like someone just came and dropped my underwear on my head in front of the entire camp. I know things will work out, I do. I feel it deep in my gut, because deep down I am a hopeless optimist, which is a topic for another post, but for now, today, I am just going to sit in this quandary of delight and fear. In the understanding and acceptance of being ok with the unknown, and as if frozen in time, wait for the music to start playing again.

I know the song will sound differently and the words will be foreign at first, but with the same determination I used to strong-arm myself to stay in a career that I had wanted to run screaming from for years, I am leaning into my fear and pulling out every ounce of faith I have in myself to trust. Trust that the song that starts up again will be beautiful and worth it. I took a big step today. I put myself out there on the biggest stage I could find- the intimidating, and all too often judgmental social media and I said, I am doing something really scary but really important and I need you all to know it. I need support. I need kindness, I need the haters to mock my perhaps ridiculous decision, because it will only challenge me to prove them wrong. I need all of it right now, so bring it on.

Sometimes we take a leap of faith without checking for a net. Have you ever leaped in this way? What was the outcome? If we don’t leap, how will we know what might be waiting for us when and where we land? I wrote the above piece four months ago. I am more sure and more confident now, than I was that day or any day before, that I am finally exactly where I am supposed to be. I am meant to write. I made the right decision to step out in faith, because I am learning that is the only way to step. I have continued down this new path diligently and daily every day since making my bold decision to chase my dreams.

I have started seeing affirmations in many areas of life, that I have chosen the right path. Not everything I write about has been or will be well-received, praised, or even acknowledged; but I will keep writing. I am finally doing something that I love, that fills my soul. I want to continue helping people. That is the number one fear I had about leaving my career. And surprisingly, through some of the most heartfelt, encouraging feedback a new writer could receive, I have had a flood of positive messages about how my writing is helping others. I know in my heart that I made the right move. I will keep walking down this new path with my words to carry me, because I know it is exactly where I am meant to travel.