The day has finally come. The day that I go freelance (you’re not actually allowed to spend more than five years in London without at least once trying this). Or as one friend has put it: to escape grey.
Said friend and quasi-former colleague Gill (we never actually worked in the same place at the same time) said some very inspiring things when she decided to jack in her safe charity sector job to work on what actually mattered to her almost two years ago. Her sage words have constantly resonated with me since.
At the time I was feeling very uninspired in a job that was fun but that was doing absolutely nothing for me challenge or drive wise. I had some ideas of passion projects or life goals but the usual excuses of the time isn’t right, I don’t have the money, I’m stuck in a tenancy agreement blah blah blah kept rearing their ugly head.
A couple of months later I did a TEFL course and starting learning Spanish with romantic ideas of running off into the South American sunset. I’ve had itchy feet since my delayed-onset adulthood which only really started aged 27 after my father passed away and I had the ability to choose what I did, when and how. That plan never quite materialised as other holidays and life events (and excuses) got in the way. Then, just as I was genuinely contemplating how to jack it all in, I got a promotion at work that saw me spending half my time in Wales for the best part of the past twelve months. The role challenged and drove me but also working away strangely gave me more time to focus on me. It’s amazing what not having a social life for half the week can do. I actually got to think, to plan, to write, to dream.
So when a restructure and mass redundancies were announced a few months ago I almost instantly knew what my decision was. Sure, I could’ve had another good job in a great organisation but the past year of foraging away on the side building up various food and writing projects and becoming more impassioned about one of my most core beliefs: veganism (what else?!) made me realise that now more than ever was the right time to ‘go for it’. Whatever that actually means.
Tomorrow is when ‘it’ begins.
Well, once I shake off the headache from tonight’s leaving drinks. First stop will be vegan gal pal Charlie-May’s to practice cook for our first events together (as the Ant and Dec of veganism – you heard it hear first): Leicester Vegan Market in June followed by a screening of Carnage the next day. Then next week I go on holiday to Poland for a week, followed by a few days of street food work at SpiceBox before dashing to Scotland for a wedding and TEDxGlasgow. After that I might get some time to plan my future. I already have a mind map of life goals scrawled out in nice colours. What more do I need?
I’ve made a list of all the things that I plan to do with my new found freedom which includes:
- Go to a live music at lunch performace at St Martin’s in the Crypt
- Make vegan black pudding
- Do more of the Green Chain Walk
- Try to live a bit like the dudes from Deserter
- Read more books
- Learn to drive (this one should probably be further up the list)
I’m sure that the actually reality of having to make money will get in the way of these and many more ideas but I will hopefully have more flexibility to work in a way that provides a more balanced life.
As Gill wrote on her Escape Grey blog in January 2016 “the worst that can happen is that you end up where you are now.”