monkey bars

Reverb 10: Letting go, three months later.

On the last day of November, I signed up to participate in #reverb10, a month-long challenge to blog every day of December based on prompts provided here. Here’s hoping it keeps me honest. Today’s prompt: December 5 Let go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I let go of the monkey bars. (If you're new here, click that! It's a link! Today, it could also be seen as something of a cop-out!)

The Cliff's Notes: I quit my full-time job, gave up my health insurance and paid vacation, the regular paychecks and 401K, my two-and-a-half-hour daily commute, the frustration of working for people with no interest in caring for their employees, and the general self-loathing that went with doing a job my heart was no longer in. An opportunity to work for myself, be on my own, presented itself. And I jumped at it. It wasn't a popular decision with my family — a situation not altogether unfamiliar to me at this point — and I knew it wouldn't be easy in a lot of ways.

But I did it because 27 years old is too young not to take a chance that might end in failure. It's too young to choose security over freedom. I did it because 27 is too old to still be worried about what's expected of you. I did it because despite the tough sell to my family, there are many, many safety nets, security blankets and downy-soft support systems lined up to catch me if I do lose my grip. And I did it because, contrary to all the news stories written in the past year about foolish, spoiled, naïve Gen Yers, it's never foolish, spoiled nor naïve to expect — no, demand — that a job be challenging, fulfilling and rewarding.

Three months later? I've left the monkey bars and hit the playground running. The twisty slide and the tire swing and the merry-go-round are all at my disposal, and I'm just getting started.

It hasn't been easy, just as I expected. I'm getting by on a bit less money than before. I'm paying through the nose for my health insurance (that's a link, too). I'm beating back the occasional attacks of crippling loneliness.

But I'm also embracing my freedom. I've been running up a storm; I'm getting back in shape. I spend my work days at Starbucks. I go to therapy in the middle of the afternoon. I love the people I'm working with, even though I rarely see them in person and we're scattered all across the country. I'm finding out I'm a pretty decent salesgirl. I'm starting to blog more; I'm proud of more of it. I've signed up for an eight-week writing course.

Challenging. Fulfilling. Rewarding.

Here's to letting go of the monkey bars and reaching forward to what's next.