Leaving a Career to Pursue My Passion
It’s easy to get caught in the grind of a 9 to 5. And far too easy to let time and your life pass you by when you’re comfortable in your routine, reliant on the consistent paycheck and way of life that goes along with it.
I was working a 9-5 job (sometimes it was more like 5-9) and I started to feel as if my life was passing me by. Even though there were some aspects of my job that I enjoyed, I was consistently finding myself wasting time doing things I didn’t truly love.
A lot of that time was behind the windshield, where I would have the same conversation with myself about how I couldn’t continue this kind of work, that I wasn’t happy in my day-to-day, and how I needed something to change.
Then, one day - behind that same windshield - I was driving from St. Louis back home to Nashville, and it started to rain. Nothing crazy, I dealt with rainstorms all the time. But this time, my vehicle ended up hydroplaning and careening down an embankment off the side of the interstate. It was one of those instances where a couple seconds feels like an eternity. I was terrified, completely out of control, and screaming at the top of my lungs as my truck took me on a ride I wanted no part of.
Thankfully, I was okay… I was able to get towed out of the muddy ditch, and miracuously was able to drive the truck the remaining 4 hours home. It was during that white-knuckled drive (still through the pouring rain) that I realized that my life could truly change in an instant and the decision was made that I was going to start the process of changing my life.
Even then, it was still an extremely difficult decision to leave that kind of life - I felt a huge sense of responsibility to my job, my family, and a way of life that kept me in a position that I knew wasn’t right for me. But, deeper than that difficulty, I felt a stronger responsibility to start dedicating myself to something that truly filled me up, gave me bliss, and that I was passionate about.
Another aspect I struggled with was feeling in the least bit prepared to leave my reliable job to follow my passion. I had been building my skills as a photographer for quite some time before finally making the leap, but felt unsure of my abilities, and very apprehensive that things were going to work out in the way I desired. But I have learned that as important it is to put in the work and long hours necessary to be self-sufficient in a craft and passion, it is equally important to trust that when you’re living a life of passion and following a life of bliss, things will work out.
When you’re living your Dharma, the opportunities that are meant for you and the people you’re meant to meet will make their way easily into your life. I found that out immediately. When I’m in tune and am walking the path that brings me fulfillment, I allow the opportunities to guide me and continue to have faith that the path I’m walking will lead me in the right direction. And so far that mindset hasn’t failed me.
I am in no way emploring you to leave your job. It’s entirely possible (and also commendable) for people that are working a 9 to 5 and living a life of passion and fulfillment. For me, I knew that the daily work I was doing wasn’t giving me the kind of satisfaction I’m seeking out of life. The decision I made to commit to a different way of life was based out of love and I also took the steps necessary to leave my job in a way that didn’t give me regret and left me feeling confident and prepared for the big leap to something new.
Taking that leap can bring up a lot of fear and apprehension. It certainly did for me. But I am here to tell you that the freedom and the relief that comes from following your dharma far outweighs those negative feelings. Remember that decisions are either made out of love or fear. And when you stay in tune with love as your guide, you’ll find that your life opens up in a way that will leave you fulfilled and with a positive outlook that you’ll never turn away from.