On 2nd December 2016, I pressed send on my resignation email. I gave 6 months notice and I remember thinking at the time that it would be so long until the following December. I couldn't even imagine what my life and world would be like so far in advance. I felt excited and terrified, but also like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
12 months has gone in a flash. I still remember vividly the evening of 1st December 2016 - how on my way home from work I clipped a kerb and later veered across the white line of the dual carriageway, I was so tired. I remember the silly argument I had with my husband. I remember throwing something at him. it was a cushion, but it would have been whatever was next to my left hand, a cushion, a lamp, a knife...
I still remember storming out of the house, walking along the roads of my village tears streaming down my face. Cursing to myself that I hadn't grabbed my car keys.
I needed quiet and all around me was noise and lights. Everything seemed really loud and really bright. I found myself by a pond, the trees reflecting in it like a mirror. Still. Quiet.
I longed to step down into it, to find another world on the other side. Somewhere quiet. Somewhere still. I didn't want to kill myself. I just wanted everything to stop.
That night my husband told me to quit my job, I said I'd sleep on it.
The next day I was working from home, I received some emails and I could feel the stress building up inside me. My heart beating faster, the sick feeling in my stomach. There and then I knew this had to stop. I typed my resignation email and pressed send. When my husband came in bringing me a tea I calmly said, "I've resigned. I've given 6 months notice and finish 2nd June 2017."
I took the rest of the day off sick with stress. I just couldn't function anymore.
That evening I had already got tickets to a concert in Llandudno to see the Shires. We left early and I remember skipping down the promenade and swirling around in the sea breeze. My husband looked at me and hugging me said: "I've got my girl back".
Those words alone were powerful enough to remind me I'd made the right decision.
The 6 months notice period was awful. I went from joy to despair, to regret, to "Oh no, what have I done" every day.
I had the Managing Director in the UK and then the CEO of the whole company persuading me to stay, and I almost did. But when he left too and I saw others quitting I knew I had to carry on. Yet up until 2nd June, I still didn't really believe I was leaving, but I did.
The last 6 months I am sure has gone faster than any year in my life to date and what 6 months its been. I had won my first contract before I left my job. I threw myself into learning, personal development and training. How I'd missed this. How I'd missed learning.
I trained in facilitation, completed my Myers Briggs (MBTI) training, became a qualified NLP practitioner. I've learnt how to build websites, make videos, use design packages, how to write blogs. I've read and devoured every bit of learning I can. I was like a sponge that hadn't been exposed to water for years and I wanted and still want to learn, learn, learn.
Even when I sprained my ankle, I just saw it as a message to slow down.
My natural sunny disposition returned and I became a glass 'half full' person again.
I've made lots of new friends and connections via the face to face and the online courses. From everyone, I learn something new.
I've become an Ambassador for my favourite women's magazine Psychologies and I'm so excited about being part of this community. I've won the top award an individual in the UK Packaging Industry can get for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry 2017. Me, I won that.
I had lost so much confidence in my own abilities and had allowed other peoples negativity to drag me down. Only by stepping away could I see how I'd let this all seep in and change me.
it feels like I'm really understanding who I am and what I like.
I've been incredibly fortunate to - people have given me free legal advice, free PR, free design work.
And I've achieved things I would never have been able to before - I've put together my draft proposal for a self-help book and almost completed the 1st draft of my second children's book.
I feel healthier and happier. Everything is brighter. Every day I try to do something to live my dream. The self doubt fairy does bash me over the head every so often and I do still get a sick feeling in my stomach about where my next money is coming from. It isn't easy, but its good knowing all the energy I am putting in is for me.
Next year I've booked 1 week on holiday in Feb, 2 weeks in June and 1 week in Sept. Something I couldn't have done before.
And in January my learning continues as I take the next step in my NLP training to become an NLP coach.
My husband and my parents have given me so much support and to my surprise, my savings have lasted longer than I imagined. Everyone has an addiction of some kind which comes out when they are stressed and mine was shopping.
No, it hasn't been plain sailing as you've seen from some of my previous blogs, but if I could go back to me 12 months ago I wouldn't change a thing.
Sometimes we have to jump, we have to take a risk. I really don't regret taking this jump, in fact, I wish I'd done it sooner, however, I don't think I was in the right frame of mind.
I've dreamed for years of having December "off". But "off" has a different meaning now, I'll be pulling together my online training courses, and putting together my marketing strategy for 2018. When you do things for yourself you don't mind working, as it doesn't feel like work.
Would I advise anyone to do it the way I did? Probably not, most people it wouldn't suit to be as mad as me. But remember, you only have this life once, you spend most of your time in work. If it's making you miserable is it worth it? No one will remember you for sitting at a desk doing your job. it won't be written on my headstone or be mentioned on my deathbed that "she won Outstanding Contribution to the Packaging Industry in 2017" (even though it is nice)
Do something every day to live your dream. Do something every day to live your life. Have no regrets. Love life, Live life and just be.