Funemployed for a Year

One month after graduating from the university, I started working. Today marks the 1st anniversary of my last day with that company. This is the longest I have been without a job. So, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on being funemployed.

I was never poor.

I never realized how much money I actually made and WASTED, until I bought Spain-Portugal flights equivalent to an Uber ride. I felt more gratitude for the free rent at home, which afforded me the luxury of eating out every single day. But then again, not having this luxury introduced me to the joy of cooking and baking. Having just enough made me more resourceful, and allowed me to find happiness in the simplest of things. The feeling of harvesting my home-grown garlic for the first time – that was indescribable. The excitement of finding the cheapest vegetables in the grocery each week was a different kind of high. Every single day I realize just how privileged I was – and still am.

I was more attached than I thought.

I spent more than three years in my previous work. And in that time, I held different positions and worked with A LOT of people. Honestly though, I never considered myself attached to them. I had friends, but no one who I thought I would keep for the rest of my life. No one I would “die for” or pour my heart and soul to. But as the year passed, I saw photos of birthdays celebrated, company parties thrown, inside jokes made – all without me. It hit me that I spent more than 10% of my life with these people. It is also through this job that I got an inkling of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Inevitably, it became a big part of who I am.

I needed this.

When I was in the company, my preoccupation was of course, my job. How to do my work well, how to climb the corporate ladder. For sure I am not out of the rat race. In fact, I will be propelling myself back into it very soon. But having the time off gave me the space to experience what actual living is like. I loved what I did, and I do not regret any second I spent on it. But, I was so busy. For so long. And, I didn’t even realize it. Some sleepless nights (or years) were necessary for building my character. But I was exhausted, and I never dared to admit it to myself. The past year was like coming back up for air I so badly needed.

There are a ton more realizations. And I think that’s the beauty of it. NOT working actually made me see the corporate life and culture from an outsider’s perspective. Like an out-of-body experience. And I can say that I made the right choice. My reasons for leaving then are still valid now. The world that opened for me was exactly as I imagined, only infinite times bigger.

To letting go, and to growing up…cheers! Happy anniversary to me. ♦

 

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