Leaving the Comfort Zone

October 31, 2005

When I was young, I had big dreams. I dreamt of being able to eat candy whenever I wanted. I dreamt of great sports moments. I dreamt of being famous. In general, more than any specific vision, I had a feeling of a general greatness that I wanted to achieve. So I listened to my parents. I studied hard, I practiced harder, and tried to follow the right path. Out of High School, I ended up with great opportunities, and went on to a great school, and continued on my journey there. I graduated two years ago, and today, I have a stable, and high paying job in a large corporation. It was a dream job for a broke college student, and has provided me with many opportunities… But I am very far from being satisfied. For the first time, I find myself in an endless situation. There really isn’t a finish line when you start working… It’s not a four-year stint like High School and College, where you know a change is coming. I could stay here quite easily, coming to work during the week, enjoying my free time on the weekends and that would be that. But I swear, this isn’t what I dreamed of. My job is interesting, but I don’t love it. It’s a strange feeling to realize that after following an almost set path for so many years, you’re not exactly where you expected to end up. On the other hand, this job provides me with stability… I have an income, health insurance and a lifestyle that is very comfortable. And besides, like 90% of people my age, I “don’t know what I want to do.” The easy option would be to stay until I figure that out. So I’ve decided to leave. I’ve recently come to the realization that nothing is quite as poisonous to your dreams as being content with your current situation. So I’m taking my discontent, and adding a bit of financial pressure. I figure, I’m a resourceful, hard working, smart person… So I’ll bet on that. I also think that if I continue to hedge my bets and assume little risk… I’ll never see what I can really do. I don’t know what I really want,… only that my current situation is not it. I have ideas of qualities I want in my career: Autonomy, Financial stability, Influence. Today, my job only provides the financial aspect. Since deciding to leave, I’ve found that the romantic idea of leaving it all behind and traveling (my first line of business) quickly dissipates with the realities of life. I need health insurance, and the ability to pay for rent, food, and what ever else life throws at me. I’ve saved a decent amount, but the idea that my bank account will be slowly diminishing without a sure way to push it in the other direction, is unsettling. I never thought the golden handcuffs would get me, but I’ve totally fallen prey. It’s really tough to step out of a comfortable situation, yet I know in my heart that the only way to distinguish myself is to step up, take the risk, and mitigate it by working hard and being smart.