How’d I End Up Here?
One Monday in October I was sobbing. It was my day off after having a lovely weekend with friends visiting from America and I was on my couch in an apartment I loved and I was sobbing, like big gasps of air sort of sobbing. Sean, my boyfriend was trying to comfort me. In the next half-hour Sean and I had a very open and honest conversation.
It was time to quit.
Let me rewind and give you some background information. This wasn’t the first time Sean and I had had this conversation. They were becoming more and more frequent, I was unhappy, anxious, stressed and felt completely overworked for very little return. I was tired constantly no matter how many hours I slept and my energy was non-existent. I was a shell of the person I used to be and it was getting harder and harder for me to get out of bed and go to work. It was getting harder for me to go out with friends, to have the energy to experience all that London could offer. For Sean, he was bored at work and wasn’t being challenged. There was no office atmosphere and he was unhappy too. At first, we originally planned to wait until April 2017 before giving our notice in and to go traveling for 4-5 months in Asia and before eventually heading to the States to give living there a go.
We started researching and figuring out costs. It would be tight but we could do it if we focused on the end goal and then a sign happened. We got an email from our landlord saying that they were selling and because we took over someone’s lease just that April we could either renew until March or leave at the end of November. That meant, we could move in with Sean’s mom and save money quicker. At that point, I had one freelance client so between that, my agency income and Sean’s we would be able to leave by end of April and travel for a bit longer. It was what made getting up a little bit easier until one day it wasn’t.
For me, I couldn’t just quit and freelance in London or quit and move to another agency. I was there on a Tier 2 Work Visa. It was expensive and took months to get. It was a cost that my mother took on and helped me so I could stay in London working in a field I enjoyed and to be with the man I love. It weighed heavily on me. How could I let down so many people because I wanted to leave? Because I wanted to go travel and freelance. I felt that it was selfish. Then that Monday morning, Sean said “What are we waiting for? Quit. Just quit. It’s not worth it.”
And he was right. As soon as he said the words, I felt this weight being lifted off my shoulder and I felt free. I called my mom and she told me that if I was staying because of the cost of it, that was stupid. That if I wasn’t happy then there was no point. Sean talked to his parents, I talked to my dad who told me that if I could support myself and do this then why not? And it was true. Why not?
So on a Monday, it was decided and on Thursday, I found myself talking to my boss. I told him I was homesick and that Sean and I wanted to travel before heading Stateside. It was hard but I was ready to go. I offered to stay longer than my 1 months notice because despite how tired I felt, I was appreciative of my work. It taught me my limits and it allowed me to grow. They took a chance on me and I will forever be grateful to them.
It also taught me my worth and value. I am fiercely loyal. It is one of my greatest and worst qualities about me. It was out of loyalty (and okay my visa) that I found myself staying but the truth was, I was at a level that was far beneath my experience being paid a salary that made sense to have 3 years ago, but not with someone who had a Masters degree in Digital Culture and Society and plenty of work experience but, I stuck around because they believed in me enough to sponsor me. Not many would. But I left before I felt bitter and with the door open. I left before I lost myself completely and that was what mattered to me more than anything. I left because I needed to put myself first.
I know this is all jaklagjkaljga and blah blah but it’s the truth and I was lucky to be in position to save money up, have great personal network that has allowed me to freelance but also a mom who is letting me live rent free for two months in a beautiful house in Italy as Sean and I adjust to this life and budget the next few months and maybe even years.
So that is how I ended up here in Montefino, Italy. I am happy. I am free. I am hustling. I am eating. I am working out. I am my own boss and it feels incredible. I’m not sure how long this will last for. Maybe in a few months… Maybe longer. Some weeks finding the balance of working and traveling will be easier than others. But honestly, with Sean by my side and this new feeling of confidence that I get every day, I’m ready for anything.
So Let’s Go.