I’m leaving it. Selling, donating, and giving away almost everything I own to follow a path that will lead to an unknown outcome. I never saw myself being someone who would even consider stepping out of the workforce for a mid-career break, and yet, here I am, considering that very thing. That scares me to such a degree I have a difficult time articulating the scope of fear I feel. To follow a voice inside of me that has been muffled for far, far, too long, for the sake of making a radical change to my life as I know it.
On one hand, I’m scared that leaving the work force at a pivotal point in development and advancement opportunity may be damaging for my career and my long term earning potential. On the other hand, I feel such an internal dissonance, I cannot continue to remain in such state of being.
So that being, I am taking the risk. I have been saving a substantial portion of my gross income for quite some time, and while financial insecurity is a big fear of mine (note the trend of fear), I’m making a calculated gamble and feeling thankful I have a financial cushion to support my step out. Quite a few more steps have to be made and I won’t receive confirmation of the current plan (this would be Plan D-2 of my life, D being my PhD).
There is a very strong likelihood (not 100% confirmed but all, current, indicators are my new reality will be) I will be living in another country this time next year. Not working, traditionally. Living in a much reduced standard of living than I am accustomed to, so far out from my comfort zone I don’t even have a word to describe how much my world will be rocked.
My mother is already having some of her own anxieties about me moving so far, but to her credit, she is supporting my choice. She is my biggest cheerleader and advocate, and is behind this move of mine to step out for a mid-career break and leaving the country. Supporting me in spite of the sacrifice that means to her for me to be so far away and with reduced access to communicate with me.
I’m <so> scared. But it’s time for me to get really uncomfortable. Because, I surpassed the magic American salary that is supposed to bring happiness and contentment, and although I am a generally happy woman, I’m not content. I can do more than this.