I'm very slowly finding myself to be a podcast person. I started listening to a couple when they first started being cool and then my interest very slowly petered out. But as I discovered an interest in more audio books, I discovered a correlation between the audio books I was listening to and the kind of content I wanted in the rest of my life--a shorter, more easily accessible version. (Yes, I do use my local library's Overdrive for audio books as well as my well-worth-it Audible membership.) I wanted a podcast.
And so I fell back in love with podcasts, with one of my current favorites being When to Jump.
Based around the premise of a forthcoming book, When to Jump covers the career changes of prolific and inspiring people, including Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, and even Brenda Berkman, the first woman to join the elite firefighters of FDNY. (She's the guest on this week's episode and it's very quickly become my favorite.) The idea is getting through to knowing when it's time to take a risk and make a change, personally or professionally.
This is something that I have personally never been sure of. I was never sure when I was ready to make the jump into being honest with myself about who I loved and who I wanted to be, how open I wanted to be about my sexual orientation. (I made the right choice when I did finally decide to be honest and be open about it--and now my life is that much better because of it.) I was never sure about if the career path I'd chosen was the right one for me (it fits well) and now I am sure that it is time for me to begin my move out of where I am, to something new and different because I am no longer being served by the life I'm leading in this job I hold.
Over the last few months I find myself less and less happy, more and more anxious, and lost. I feel unfulfilled, I feel unappreciated, and unwanted at work. I feel enough of those things in my day to day life where the illness I have to battle each day with psychoactive medications takes over.
Now I find myself taking little hops, looking at where I could land and while it's absolutely terrifying to leave something I loved at one time in my life, when you find something that no longer serves you, it's time to make a change. It's the concept of the "life changing magic of tidying up"--but for your life. (Side note: Earlier this year, my therapist recommended and I completely devoured Sarah Knight's "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck"and I would like to pass on that it was very helpful and an enjoyable read.)
I always thought that there would be an easy time to know when to leave. I always thought there would be a better signal, a better indicator than the fact that my anxiety was sky high and I was feeling miserable enough to the point where I had to both get a new psychiatrist (and a new prescription) and increase sessions with my therapist to deal with it--that it was time. I promised myself when I first entered the workforce that if whatever I was doing stopped making me happy, then I would leave. And here we are. It's time to jump, as difficult as it seems.
I'll let you know where I land.
Editor's Note: This post originally appeared in Jessica's semi-regular newsletter.