There is a scene (well, really, multiple scenes) in the season finale of How I Met Your Mother where one of the lead characters, Marshall, is standing on the rooftop of his New York City apartment, willing himself to jump a six foot gap in order to reach the lucious, hot tub laden rooftop of the building next door. For years, he’s been on and off that ledge, dying to revel in this rare, urban paradise but too timid to do the one and only thing he needs to do to get there – jump. He can see that life is clearly better on the other side of the gap but something inside him will not let go of the safe and sturdy ground. And then one day he takes the leap and he makes it(!) and it stops being about the hot tub and becomes a metaphor for something much bigger – taking a chance and doing whatever it takes to find happiness.
Three and a half years ago, I took a job I wasn’t sure I wanted for the sake of having a job that didn’t involve adolescent children. I had been substitute teaching for almost 6 months and I was desperate to do something, anything, relevant to my college degree. In the years that have followed, I’ve been on and off my own ledge, wanting to leave and persue other passions but always staying put for one reason or another. There always seemed to be a better reason to stay than to go – money, new projects, company loyalty, or plain, old fear.
And then one day, there was just one straw too many and I was done. A few weeks after that, I took my own leap of faith and submitted my letter of resignation. My last day is Friday and I could not be more excited.
For many people, my employers included, this move does not seem like the smart one. And you know what? They’re right. The economy is on shaky ground and leaving a perfectly secure job to do “nothing” means that my family may struggle. I have no solid plans and no job to jump into right away so money will be tight for a while. But, this move was never about the money. This choice was about letting my feet leave the ground and doing whatever it takes find happiness.
What about you? What have you done to follow (or find) your bliss?