I Quit Work to Find My Path – But I Still Feel Lost

Today in the drop-off line, I noticed the dressed-up-for-work moms. And I realized something.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there is a part of me that misses having a job.

It’s been almost exactly one year since I resigned from corporate life. Surprisingly, I miss the work. I don’t miss the stressful part of work. I don’t miss the anxiety or the a-holes that I inevitably come across. But I miss the doing. I miss the responsibility and the satisfaction of accomplishment. I miss the camaraderie with co-workers, whether it’s celebrating a success our commiserating over a new change.

This morning, as I noticed those working moms, the moms who were obviously going somewhere other than the gym or to Target, I flash-backed to a time when I was dressed up and pulled together, heading out to tackle the day and feeling like an actual grown up.

I miss cute clothes. I miss adult conversation. I miss lunches out and working in a Starbucks. I miss making new friends and meeting new people.

BUT.

I love the freedom of unstructured. Wearing yoga pants and hoodies. Working out in the middle of the day. I have mastered the messy mom bun. I admit I am a bit giddy about grocery shopping during the hours that used to be tied to an office or a schedule.

I can volunteer at daughter’s school without asking permission or feeling guilty for asking off. My grandma is currently in a skilled nursing center and things aren’t looking up. She’s two hours away. I’m so grateful that I pick up and head that way without the stress of missing some important meeting or presentation. I love the time I have to write and create.

Still. I feel like I don’t have an identity anymore. I miss being part of something. But I don’t want to miss out on the moments I get to have now that I don’t work.

Why can’t I have both?

In all seriousness, I don’t have to buy groceries or go to the gym in the middle of the day. I don’t need to wear hoodies and active-wear on a daily basis. (Although, I admit, it’s nice.)

But I am serious about the other stuff. The life balance stuff.

What if we could do work in a way that serves both aspects? Fulfillment and Flexibility?

What if we could work in environments that championed balance? What if we could just get shit done and do our things? Meaning, do the work and still take care of ourselves.

Why does it feel like in many cases, it has to be one or the other? That’s how it feels for me.

All those years I was working and pissed off because I really wanted to step back and focus on family, I never realized that when I finally got what I wanted, it would be a trade-off I wasn’t expecting.

I never imagined I would still feel lost, just lost in a different part of my life.

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