Before the Great Resignation
Nearly three years ago now, before the craziness of COVID or the tragedy of George Floyd or the chaos of the 2020 election or the sickening war in Ukraine, I stood in a vast open plaza in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and had what I guess you’d call an epiphany.
There, surrounded by the energy of the group of humans gathered at the end of the Camino de Santiago and feeling the historical weight of all the humans who had walked that path and ended in this plaza before us, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
I was less than a year out of a relationship from which I was still reeling, and I was spending a good amount of my time retracing my steps, so to speak, to figure out how the heck I’d ended up there in the first place. And while I was certain I’d done the right thing in leaving it; I had just upended my life at 41 and wasn’t at all certain of where to go next.
So, a feeling of certainty that somehow all that was upended would right itself again was (understandably I’m sure) welcome – and nothing short of life-changing. When I returned from Spain, I started this blog, then I registered an LLC with the state of Colorado and set to work.
I had determined, you see, that I was going to build myself a way to move to Spain.
Now, anyone who knows me well knows that this is a common thing: when I visit a place I love (which is most places) I vow that I will move there. I’ve done it with London and Dublin and New York and San Francisco and many other places in between. I scout out neighborhoods and real estate and make grand plans in my head that, when I get home, fade away.
But this, my friends, was something different.
I’d had an epiphany after all.
Over the next year and a half, I shared a bit of my journey through these posts. They – and by reading them you – helped me to gain for the first time in my life a sense of self. Self-confidence. A voice. And all the while I continued to work my day job and began to create a side gig from the seed of an idea actually planted several years before.
I got my mental health in order and my financial health in order. I learned about narcissism and its effects and that I needed to file quarterly taxes. I worked on understanding myself and on building a list of publications that bear my name.
Then, as for so, so many others, COVID caught up with me.
Or, more accurately, the uncertainty, the loneliness, and the lack of things to look forward to that COVID wrought led me to a place at the end of 2020 where I was once again in rough shape. I managed to keep on working during this time, but the blog – at least for the moment – had to go. It was too much and too personal. It was no longer replenishing but depleting.
Through 2021 though, with lots of rest and effort, and the right treatment, I pulled myself back up again. It certainly wasn’t smooth, and it continually tested my patience, but as I’m still here, I deem it a success.
Now it’s nearly time to realize my dream.
Oh, the plans have evolved over time – in fact, I’m not moving anywhere permanently and I’m not just going to Spain – but what started in that plaza will finally come to fruition. This week I resign from my day job, and I take the leap to full-time freelance writer; a jump that comes with no steady paycheck or paid time off but with the freedom to live and work from anywhere.
I will be joining the Great Resignation.
And while the catalyst may have been different, the lesson is the same: there is more to life and it’s up to each of us to be courageous enough to find it.
I am also beyond excited to be back here once again to reboot Whatever I Want to Say as Whatever I Want to Say, abroad and to share with you my great adventure during the next year of traveling and writing beginning across the pond in jolly ol’ England!
I’m sincerely honored you’ll accompany me.