7 Lessons I learned in 2015 After Quitting My Job and Saying “NO” to Adulthood
By Elena Perantoni
After almost 10 years of working in an office, I left my 9-5 job in June of 2015 to work for Available Light and as a trainer at Fit Club. It’s been a crazy 6 months of firsts, doubts, and reassurances. Here are a few things I’ve learned (and am still learning) since June
1. It’s not going to be amazing at first.
Or after 6 months, or maybe even after a year. A quotation by Picasso popped up when I was deciding whether or not to leave my job, and it’s stuck with me for most of this year: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Turns out I love people, and I want to give them the gift of fitness and theatre. And how amazing is it that I am in a position to do so?! It’s incredibly rewarding. Difficult at times, yes. But the good outweighs the difficult ALL THE TIME.
2. Learn to trust other peoples’ trust in you
This is perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned all year. If and when you are ever in a position to be given creative freedom by someone you respect and trust, TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT! They obviously trust you for a reason; accept it as a gift, work hard, and prove them right.
3. Never stop striving for a good life/work balance
When your day is delineated by a “clock in/clock out” time, it’s easy to distance yourself from work when the whistle blows (I’m picturing the opening credits to the Fintstones – “YABBA DABBA DOOOO!” No? Okay). But when you work randomly throughout the day, you must remember to take breaks and give the work a rest! If you know you’ll work in the morning and in the evening, make sure you take a few hours in the middle of the day to shut the computer off, stop checking your email, and RELAX. Work can wait. Your time is valuable (refer to #6)
4. Grocery shopping at 2pm on a Tuesday is amazing.
5. You are not done yet.
Changing your professional direction in life means always looking for and attaining new skillz. Every day is a lesson in “Okay, that didn’t work, let’s try something new.” You are a constant work in progress (and thank GOD that you are!).
6. Your time is REALLY F**KING VALUABLE
This one has been hard for me to rationalize. “Imposter syndrome,” the feeling that you’re perpetually getting away with something (i.e. feeling like a fraud) is real. I work hard, and I recognize that I work hard, but I can’t help but worry sometimes that I don’t deserve the opportunities I’ve been given. Self esteem is rough, especially when you’re trying something incredibly new at the age of 32. Learn to trust others when they say you’re doing a good job; take their praise and run with it, and remember you are a brilliant and exceptional snowflake.
7. Don’t Wait.
In typical AVLT fashion, this little nugget of advice has been my mantra for the last few months. This one’s pretty self explanatory. YOU know when it’s time to start a new phase; trust your gut and go with it. You’ll discover a lot about yourself.
To an incredible 2016!