Friday, September 2, 2011

How I Sold Myself Out For a 401k

Underneath my sassy bad ass exterior is a sensitive soul that has a tender spot for true and heartfelt feelings. It isn't often that I let others so close to my heart that they get to see this side of me, especially if those people are my professional associates. When I woke up this morning I didn't think that today would be the day that they got to me...but it was.

Putting things in rewind mode a bit...

today was my last day at the first job I secured after college. For 5 the past years of my post collegiate career I have been slaving away as a hospitality professional working for the most reputable hotel brand in the world. I took the job for the promise of financial security and the hope that the road ahead would be paved with golden opportunities. This was the place where I learned some of the greatest and most important skills for successes in all life's endeavors, but was also the place where I learned that my dreams of being a world traveler and food enthusiast were not going to pay the bills. So I settled and essentially sold myself out for a guaranteed 40 hour a week job with a 401k and benefits.

In the past 5 years there have been many extreme highs and lows for me in both my professional and personal life. I have done a lot of learning and gained quite a bit of perspective where I have realized that corporate America is not the place for me. Never has been and never will be, like a fat man in a little coast, it just doesn't work. Along the road there were more moments then I would care to admit where I felt trapped and uninspired sitting in fluorescent lit rooms that seemed to hush all creativity. But I chugged along with it for longer then I should have for various reasons, some well warranted but most not. Hype about down economic times and being satisfied with any job, giving up on something too soon, too much stress and confusion about making a decision for change, thinking that this was as good as it could get for me, all excuses that I fed myself until one day I finally realized that life is too short to continue pursuing a career that makes you miserable. TOO DANG SHORT!

What put me at the edge of knowing that I needed to make a change was a quote that came through some runners world spam into my email inbox at a very delicate timing in my life reading:

you will never grow as a person until you step outside of your comfort zone

mmmm, how profound.

While the email may have come from RW, I think it was commissioned by God and in the very moment I read this I told myself to get a grip, stop making excuses, and get my life in order. So I put my big girl pants on and decided that I needed to leave me job ASAP. Okay, honestly it took me nearly a year to get all of my ducks in a row to feel prepared enough for a change. BUT I am finally making the necessary adjustments my life needs.

Today I closed one chapter of my life in hopes that the next will be full of adventure and more time with the ones I love. Sure as heck I'm a little terrified of where the road may lead, but I'm sure as hell ready to LEARN and experience things that make me feel out of my comfort zone.

Let the fear of failure be my fuel.

When I woke up today I felt eager and raring to go for the day. Got in a solid slow run in the humidity, had a nutritious breakfast and lunch, hung with my pups at the dog park, the usual pre work routine. Got on the EL and put my headphones on a rocked out to my favorite new old song Twilight Serenade by Jason Myles Goss about 20x.

Then I was suddenly hit by a sentimental moment at the least unexpected time. Maybe it was the music or the way the light was hitting the John Hancock at that steamy hour of the afternoon, or quite possibly even the few coworkers of my that were rallying on the street corner anxiously awaiting my passing to say a proper adieu...whatever it was it all hit me at one moment that this was going to be the last time I lived out my 5 year long routine. Being showered all evening with 5-star-rock-star treatment by the people that I have worked both hostilely and friendly with for years has been a nice ending to my story. Funny how you never really know how people feel about you until you either die or leave your job, strangely for me these people actually really liked me...more then I ever thought possible.

Moral to the longest story ever here is simple...

it is NEVER too late to make a change in your life.

Floating through time letting life pass you by without LIVING, EXPERIENCING, and having time to LOVE all the amazing things and people in your life is a waste. We never know which day will be our last so don't put off to tomorrow what you can change today.


  1. Britt, this was amazing! What you're doing is so scary and so amazing at the same time. I am SO happy you are following your dreams and doing what is right for you! I love your attitude and I know you are going to be successful at whatever it is you choose to do! I can't wait to hear about all of your little adventures and experiences along the way!

  2. what a great post... i am so excited for you to chase your dreams! i am in complete agreement that you should peruse the life that will leave you with peace and calm happiness at the end of the day. i definitely don't think i'm there yet.. but i hope one day i will be! there are some ways you can change your circumstance by changing your attitude, which has definitely made a huge difference in the way i feel about my job, but in the end there is the point where you just have to go a different direction with nervous, excited level of fear. i envy when others do that b/c i'm not there yet, hahahaha.. good luck!!!! can't wait to hear about how things fall into place.

  3. I look forward to hearing about the new path you are on. We humans can be too future orientated, a 401k being a good example. My dog taught me to live in the moment and better balance preparing for the future with living in the present. The only guarantee in life is that there are no guarantees. Your story is inspiring and I wish you much success.

  4. It can be so hard to make a drastic life change...but it sounds like you are doing the right thing! When hubby and I decided to move to America is was hands down the scariest thing ever. Quitting our jobs, selling our house, moving to a new country--but I've never been happier.
    And as a bonus, you get to see just how much the people you work with care about you!

  5. Good for you!!! Way to go with what you believe and pave your own way! Change is always difficult for me, but I have realized it really does help me grow tremendously. Sounds like you made a great impact on your co-workers over your 5 years there. Cheers to your new adventure!

  6. Good for you for making this change! My husband hated his corp job but stuck with it until he got laid off two years ago. Now he works for himself at home and couldn't be happier. You are brave to make the leap on your own! You are brave in your running and brave in your work life! You are a strong woman, Britt!

  7. I feel ya sister! I left corporate america behind when I moved to San Diego and I don't regret it for a second! It was the best decision I could have made. Good luck to you on this will be amazing in whatever you decide to do. I can't wait to read all about your next adventure!