Well, I resigned from a 17 year-long rewarding career recently. People around me blamed it on excessive burnout, mid-life crisis, family pressure etc. But, when I labelled my exit to be an early retirement (from Corporate life, ofcourse!), folks presumed it was just-another-phase. But, I knew with a 110% certainty that this wasnt just a career break. I had taken 2 career breaks already and very well knew what that felt like. It was hard to explain that I had had this rare moment of absolute-distilled-clarity on what I didnot want do for the rest of my life. A job. My heart was aching to breakout from the life I’d cocooned myself in for too long. Blindsided by the promise of a rewarding career, I had lost sight of everything else I had held dear in my life – creative pursuit and mindful living, most importantly!
That said, I had more than a decent share of accomplishments and AHA moments through this journey. Had I stayed for another year, I had all the ammunition to make it to the next level too (most importantly, bosses -mentors-sponsors that didn’t want to see me go!). But, when I sat down to introspect on what really mattered to me and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life – career & job – featured on #5. Wondering what the #Top 4 might be .. well! That’s a topic for another post. Wasting no time in further deliberation, I tiptoed out a career of almost two decades, with great sense of ease and fulfilment.
Someone asked me a few days back – What if you realise your decision was wrong? The BIG ‘WHAT IF’ HAD RETURNED! I smiled. My shoulders moved gently with a refined shrug responding to her non-verbally. I DONT NEED TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS TODAY. I peeked inside my mind to check if her remark had started a ripple. Well, I found nothing but absolute-distilled-clarity on what not to lose sleep over! Nothing else matters much, does it? 🙂
Yet, people can be persisent. So, WHAT NEXT? – This one seemed to be the most common topic of interest amongst my friends and acquanitances. So, here’s the answer to everyone’s inquisitiveness – I AM SPENDING MY VALUABLE TIME FINDING MY SWEET SPOT – MY IKIGAI.
To me, the only pursuit that would really matter hereafter is the pursuit of happiness. And surprisingly, that leaves me with endless possibilities! 🧡