On 29 January 2016 I quit my job. What followed was a whirlwind year of Intentional Unemployment or – as one subscriber to my YouTube channel put it – “funemployment”. It wasn’t all fun and games though, a lot of time was spent soul searching and stress testing the theories and plans I had. As expected, I was ecstatic when I first resigned, all I wanted to do was talk about the decision I made – I started off enthusiastically sharing my journey on my YouTube channel and Instagram account but quickly started to retreat. Not because things were going badly, but I guess the novelty of funemployment started to wear off. As the sparks from leaping fresh into the frying pan started to simmer, I was faced with a stew of serious and big questions to digest: what was I going to do next; how will I go about it; heck what do I even want to do with my life. Looking back I can now see that it was a bit of a catch 22: I quit my job hoping that I would get the answers to those questions but it wasn’t until I left that I could actually and authentically ask the questions in the first place.
I stopped sharing my journey publicly and on my YouTube channel as I had done the first couple of months, when it all seemed new and dangerous. Instead, I took solace in the pages of my journal. I wrote almost daily about my life of intentional unemployment: my travels, emotions, thoughts, triumphs and fears. Being a photographer I also tried to keep a visual journal (to the extent that my iPhone storage would allow me). One year and 5 journals later, I feel it’s time to consolidate and share my experience and learnings over this period. This entry kicks off a series of posts inspired by my journal entries over the course of 2016. I call this series “My Horizontal Year” because at the end of 2016 as I lay in bed, it felt like I had fallen and landed flat on my back. “Horizontal”.
I laugh as I write this because I just remembered the post-it note I had stuck to my computer screen when I was practicing law, it read: “take a leap and build your wings on the way down!” It’s impossible to know how many times I read that note. How many times reading it made me smile, and gave me courage. I read it everyday. It became my life force and was my mantra until the day I finally leapt. Fast forward to December 2016, here I was after a year of freefall – flat on my back, my wings whimpering slightly at the impact– but laughing hysterically because the fall was so bloody exhilarating! So much fun despite the intermittent hysteria, panic and fear. Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it (winks). It was a huge leap and an even bigger freefall and I got more than I bargained –I thought it would last only a minute, but it lasted a wonderful year.
So when I say “fallen”, I’m talking more of a falling through the air to land in Savasana yoga pose kind of fallen. For those not versed in yoga speech, the final pose of any yoga class is called “Savasana” (shah-VAHS-uh-nuh)– the pose of deep restoration, it is also known as the Corpse Pose or Final Relaxation Pose. You lie on your back, arms placed by your sides and simply do nothing. You breathe.
A leap, a long fall and then… deep restoration (exhale)! My horizontal year was a year of cleansing of mind, body and spirit. I listened to my gut, tried many things, failed many things too. A year of breaking self-limiting beliefs and destructive habits. Shedding away of relationships that hinder or distract me and just generally doing what I wanted exactly when I wanted to. A leap, a long fall and then deep restoration!
“The pose might look like a nap at the end of your yoga practice. But it’s actually a fully conscious pose aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed” –Deepak Chopra
This is the start of a series of posts inspired by my journal entries over 2016 the year I quit my job – “My Horizontal Year”. Here’s how it’s going to work:
- The posts may or may not be in chronological order. Some entries may be from before I quit etc.
- I need your interaction so comment, share, and comment again- can you relate, do you disagree. Let me know
If this is your first time following my journey, welcome welcome. If you’re a regular, I want to say a big thanks for tuning in over the year, for your messages and comments, for stopping me in the street and asking me for updates– it honestly scared the crap out of me but the love was and is still much appreciated. I hope you didn’t feel like I left you hanging or I gave up, I was just trying to live authentically without taking away from the life process that I was undergoing. I hope that these posts will give you a glimpse of what I was up to and make up for time lost.
Love and Thanks x