It took me by surprise...but not really. I guess I had expected it for a few years, and at times I may have even prayed for it. Still, nothing could have fully prepared me for what was ahead, some of the most difficult days of my life.
I’m talking about the day I was let go from my job of thirteen years. That’s a long time to be in any kind of relationship. So seeing it come to an end had a sting that has been difficult to overcome.
I can’t lie, though. My heart has been somewhere else for several years. I’ve devoted countless hours of free time to working on my writing and fostering community online. As changes in the workplace continued to reveal an ever-increasing gap in values and ideals, I began to find much more purpose and satisfaction in my personal projects and opportunities. If there was anything discouraging about it, it was the (perceived) reality that these new passions would never be more than a hobby, or only something I did in my spare time.
You can’t blame a guy for dreaming, despite expectations that my growing passions would always be relegated to my spare time. I longed for the day I could pursue these passions full-time. I even started making some money (part-time) on the side doing a little bit of the work I loved. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to feed the dream. I wondered if I’d be able to translate that part-time income into a full-time one if I were able to devote my best full-time hours to the work.
Still, the dream seemed unattainable.
So I continued to drive hard in the job that provided for my family. It was a decent, steady paycheck. The benefits were good, especially the insurance. And insurance is important for a family with a child who has special medical needs.
Maybe that was part of my frustration. I felt a little trapped because of my reliance on what the job provided for me and my family. I never thought that security would be such a major form of resistance in my life. It stopped me from pursuing something that really mattered to me. It froze me in my tracks every time I tried to get serious about doing something with my dreams.
In fact, if I’m completely honest with myself, I don’t know that I ever would have made the jump on my own to pursue my passions.
When the call came that my former job was ending, it felt like my whole world just crashed down on me. But in that moment, I had a choice to make. I could begin the long, arduous process of trying to replace that job with another one like it. Or I could take the opportunity to pursue the things I’d become so passionate about. And if I were to be honest with myself, I knew I would never have forgiven myself if I didn’t even give the latter a shot.
It’s been almost six months since that fateful day. And while each day still presents a lot of unknowns, I can’t imagine not waking up and chasing after the things that I love to do. From where I am now, that day turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me.
It was the day something had to end...in order for something better to begin.
Image by Moyan_Brenn_be_back_on_Jan_20th. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr. Post by High Calling Social Media Editor, Dan King, author of The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew Warmer to Poverty Fighter.
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