If you’ve ever spent time in the geeky world of computer programming, you know that “Hello, world” is the first example you’ll find in any textbook. “Hello, world” is the first step to becoming a successful web-page builder, Apple game creator or Excel macro superuser. So, why is “Hello, world” the title of my first blog entry?
I am about to embark on a new adventure in my life. I’ve read stories of people who have done what I’ve done, but never thought I’d do it myself. I don’t think many of us have followed a path like the one I’m about to follow.
I am leaving my steady, secure nine-to-five job, its guaranteed pay cheques and pension plan, to go travel and get to know me.
Quitting my job?
Yes, I’m sort of surprised by this decision too. Well, except that I don’t feel like I made this decision myself — a greater force outside of me, but still compelling from within me, has set this all up for me.
Let me explain…
For my whole adult working life, I have found jobs when I was ready. “Okay, I’m ready,” I’d say, and almost magically, I’d get a new job — a friend saw an ad in the paper, a family member directed me to a ‘help wanted’ sign, or some other circumstances brought the job to me. By 2011, I’d interviewed and successfully obtained 6 out of 7 of the jobs I’d applied for. My job-finding success rate was pretty good!
Around this time, I started to become inspired by the writings of Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, and Rhonda Byrne, who speak of an inspirational way to see and live your life. I started to want more from my job, needing something that aligned more with my new perspective.
“Okay, I’m ready,” I said. … …
No new opportunities were coming my way, contrary to my previous experiences. Over the next number of years, I successfully obtained zero out of the four jobs I applied for. What happened to my awesome job-finding odds? The reasons that my would-be bosses gave me for my unsuccessful applications seemed ridiculous. Something was amiss.
Meanwhile, I was becoming more and more disinterested in the job I still had. I bluffed my way through the years while trying to figure out why my job-finding streak had run out. I didn’t want my leaders to catch on that I was unhappy, in case they decided to fire me or re-assign me to something more boring.
- (I apologize to any of my former colleagues and leaders who may be reading this. I never completely lied during these years, but I didn’t tell the truth either. My answer to questions like “Isn’t this project cool and exciting?” was usually “it’s interesting to see that the…” So many people were so caught-up in their own point of view that they didn’t notice I hadn’t answered their question. But that’s a topic for another day.)
An idea popped into my head at one point during this time — it would be great to travel instead of continuing with my nine-to-five lifestyle. I could travel for a bit while I figured things out.
I had a pretty honest relationship with my boss at the time — except maybe for the “it’s interesting” white lie — so I told her of my growing desire to see the world. “Oh, but I don’t know if I could,” I added. “It’s kind of scary, and…” She finished my dangling thought: “Yeah, and then responsibility and reality set in, and you realize you can’t do it.”
Her response actually irked me. “Responsibility?”, I asked myself. “What responsibility? Who do I answer to in this life?” My boss’s answer bothered me because it grated against my emerging perspective on life: My ultimate responsibility in life is me. The boss of my life, with whom I check-in on a daily basis, is me. She didn’t know it, but her answer was the little nudge that helped guide me to my upcoming lifestyle change.
So, I’m going to travel?
The urge inside me to explore the world and be “irresponsible” grew stronger. I randomly grabbed a book at the library — which I do sometimes — which encouraged readers to see and experience the world, and the compelling force continued urging me to get on a plane and go.
So, I finally followed my heart: I’ve given my resignation to my employer, I’ve booked my flight and my accommodations, and I’m off in a few days.
This adventure will surely be an opportunity for my spiritual growth. I am using this time to “be” with myself, and to “fall in love with myself” as one of my mentors put it. This will be a topic for another day.
So, just as “Hello, world” lets you take the first steps on a journey to become a great computer programmer, I say “Hello, world” as I embark on my journey to become a better me!