Time off - try it yourself
It's been over a year since I left a stable and well paying job, and focused more on myself. A year feels like a nice unit of time to summarize over but I didn't feel the need to say something. Until now. Maybe it’s worth sharing what I’ve been sharing with everyone who wanted to listen.
Over a year ago I left a stable and well paying job. I'm happy I did that. Job was Ok. It wasn't bad, it wasn't the best, it was Ok, and imagine that’s what most people have. I left it for many reasons and judging from time perspective some were really good and some were more a symptom of tiredness. But, if current me were to re-live that time, me do same.
Are you thinking about leaving your job? Even temporarily? Can you survive for a few months without income? Do you have skills/experience that it might take you a few months to find a job but you aren’t afraid of not finding? You’re at the edge looking down... so let me push you.
Why leave? So that you can experience focused living rather than working to live. There's plenty of wonders in the world and it's a pity that most conversations with people include work. And I’m far from suggesting going to India finding your inner spirit, or tracking/vanning continent, or whatever the adventerous hype is right now. I'm permanently settled for the 3rd time so I learned the lesson of missed opportunities. Majority of folks that talk with have never visited places that are within a few kilometers reach but they've been in overhyped distance places. Similar groups haven't done anything new in the last year.
Becoming a tourist
Become a tourist. Not a city-specific tourist but an Earth-specific tourist. Imagine you just landed a delayed and bumpy ride from a different planet. Time to leave the deck and see what the fuss is all about. Obviously this isn't automatically solved by being unemployed but weirdly, because of how our society is structured, it is more difficult with having a job. If places are operated by people they'll often be open around working hours since these people also need to have breaks. Majority of communication is most operational within working hours. Places are often less busy in the middle of working hours. Work often requires context and mind switch which can feel tiring after working hours. People are most energetic in the middle of the day and it just so happen that that energy goes on working. Sure, there are weekends, there are holidays, there are flexible hours. But do you have mentally-free with energy weekends, enough holidays and can actually enjoy time outside your work hours?
Common analogy for people working in society is gears in machinery. I've been using it and as you’ll see, I don’t entirely agree with it, I’ll still sometimes use it. It isn’t great because if a gear is broken or stuck then the whole machinery is stuck (or puts enough pressure to destroy the gear). We are more a system of connected fluids, e.g. water ecosystem on Earth. Changes in pressure affect many, some can dry out, some can be temporarily rerouted and importantly, if one stops working then the water will find its way. Especially, any pressure that you exert on others will eventually come back even as a torment rain or change in underground pressure. Just go with the flow. Llet that sink into you just a bit.
In my time off I enjoyed learning about new fields that weren't directly related to my work. In some there's been enough overlap that I started focusing on it more and eventually started my own company. There's a long way before it becomes profitable, if it survives long enough, but I'm happy I discovered this path. I recently joined another company because I needed working with humans and think that it’s in an interesting domain (computer networks and security).
Additionally, I visited remote places in my region, made acquintances with local baristas, tried scuba diving, pottery and some gardening. Then there's plenty of time wasted on playing computer games, especially Civizliation, but even then I didn't think "I wish I was in a meeting right now". Yes, I do feel good.