And this is what she says gets her through it, "If I don't let myself be happy now, then when? If not now, when?"
— Jimmy Eat World, For Me This Is Heaven
A little over a year ago I jumped out of a plane flying at 11,000 feet in the air. This feels considerably less risky than what I’m about to do next. Less risky because it feels like I don't have much of a parachute to catch me this time. If things go wrong, I'm the one who has to catch me.
My jump: I have decided to leave my job and pursue a career in butchery. More specifically, next month I’ll be jobless, incomeless, and on my way to the South of France to attend butchery school*. I'm going on this trip with the hope that I can return to Portland and find some sort of position that will let me chop up meat.
I’m putting almost everything I have on the line, all my eggs in one basket, (insert other cliche), in order to pursue something that I’ve been passionate about for quite awhile. I'm walking away from safety, security, and something that I know I'm good at in order to be a baby in the world of butchery—to start from scratch, to learn something completely new.
I think about going on this new adventure and it clearly scares me. But, it also helps me realize that I've done this before—I've tried new things and succeeded at them. I can handle starting from scratch. I can handle the challenges ahead of me.
When I first started working at my job (in the field of insurance), I encountered a coworker who told me "insurance is where dreams go to die." (I swear he wasn't joking). Ever since, I've tried to heed that warning and not let myself get stuck in the insurance industry forever. And, after eight years, I've finally escaped. And, my dreams haven't died; they're just about to begin.
*I want to acknowledge that, while I have some financial struggles ahead, I am very much privileged to be able to pursue this opportunity at all, and I do not take that for granted.