I'm two weeks out of my vacation, and I can't seem to shake vacation mode. I thought that a vacation would recharge my batteries, and bypass some major burnout. Instead, it has made crystal clear the fact that my current work situation is not working for me.
I want to be my own boss. I want to call the shots, and plan my daily work around what matters most -- and works best -- for me. Not for anyone else.
When I was a kid, I was the neighborhood entrepreneur. I bought candy from the ice cream man and pulled it around in my Radio Flyer wagon, selling it to the neighborhood kids at a huge mark-up (I made a killing on that venture, until someone found my stash of cash buried in the pachysandras in the front yard). My best friend at the time (and partner in crime) and I established our own book and video rental store in his garage, our very own Blockbuster before there was a Blockbuster. We put on plays and charged for tickets. We sold lemonade, which one neighbor claimed tasted like...well, she didn't like it and as a result set her son up with a lemonade stand of his own across the street, setting off the Great Lemonade War of 1982 and putting us both out of business before the day was over. We even sold raffle tickets for a quarter apiece (or five for a dollar), a chance to win lame prizes like a yarn doll or a deck of Uno cards (I broke a glass vase in one neighbor's foyer, and was forced to give her five tickets for free).
Back then, when it came to that kind of thing, I was fearless. Today, not so much. And that's why I'm adding it to my bucket list.
There are three big reasons for my fear:
1) I am seriously uncomfortable with the idea of not getting a regular paycheck. I like being able to predict when the money is coming in, and how much. Without that steady paycheck, life is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, and that's scary as hell. We have bills to pay, for crying out loud! Then again, there is a certain thrill that comes with riding that roller coaster...and there is a part of me that needs that thrill, as well. (Not to mention the fact that in all reality, my paychecks have not been all that regular or predictable these past few months.)
2) I have a hard time talking about myself, and what I am doing (see my last blog). I make my living in public relations and marketing, but I can't market myself. The bottom line is that I worry too much about what other people think of me, and about whether they care about what I have to say.
3) Finally, I fear failure. (This seems to be a recurring theme, doesn't it?) I am afraid that I will try and it won't work, or I will sink myself and my family further into debt, or that the decision I made was the wrong one and I should have stuck with the sure thing. There are a million quotes on failure out there, but they all say pretty much the same thing: the only true failure is in not trying.
I know that I can't just up and quit my job tomorrow; that would be irresponsible. But I have set in motion some serious plans to extricate myself from "the man" and start living the work life that I want to live. Stay tuned!
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