Last week was pretty big for me:
1) I left my job.
2) I won The Next Challenge Adventure Grant
Let’s talk about number one first. My last day in the office proved emotional, which I didn’t quite anticipate. I’d been counting down the days for weeks, not because I necessarily wanted to leave but because I knew that leaving was a concrete sign of exciting things coming. I had brushed aside thoughts of how much I might miss it, overshadowing them with aaserhrjrirorkrlr-I’m-going-on-an-adventure-aaaarrghhh thoughts.
It wasn’t until my last week came that it dawned on me quite how much I loved the company and my colleagues and wondered if I wasn’t making a bloody big mistake. I spent all week trying to soak up the last moments of desk life, savouring the quiet of early morning walks through Soho and trying to eat all of my favourite London lunches one last time.
One morning before work, on my penultimate day in the office, I met up with Laura from Lazy Girl Running to have a chat for her podcast. She asked why I was going running and I told her some things I had barely realised were true until I said them out loud. I told her how I was going running because I liked my job, not despite that. When you actively hate your job/life/situation, there’s a very real, fiery and present motivation to leave. When you enjoy something, it’s too easy to stay, regardless of if it’s right or wrong for you and I guess complacency is my biggest fear. (If you want to hear me talking about this more, you can listen to Laura’s podcast here.)
So it was with a heavy heart that I closed my laptop for the last time (for now, at least). By 9am I had already cried but this sadness was quickly lifted by a leaving cake (strawberry, lemon and elderflower – insanely delicious) and two leaving parties, one featuring a lot of tapas and both featuring a lot of wine. It isn’t all bad.
In fact, it certainly isn’t all bad, because on Friday afternoon, I returned from my last team meeting to find an email from Tim Moss sitting in my inbox telling me I was the big winner of the very first The Next Challenge Adventure Grant. Over 1300 people applied and I couldn’t – and still can’t – quite believe that I won. The financial help has definitely lifted a weight off my mind but, beyond that, the knowledge that somebody else believes in my idea enough to back it is incredibly comforting and means a lot.
It turns out upheaving your whole life is pretty emotionally exhausting and I’m still swinging somewhere between excited and terrified. I’m slowly creeping towards the excited end of the scale though, so I guess that’s progress in the right direction. As John Martin sings, “Why’s it so hard trying to change when it’s easy to stay the same?”
(A song you should 100% listen to, by the way, for the lyrics if not the tune – https://open.spotify.com/track/3kE5E0H7CqNVJFdJhJsLrX)