It has been 3.5 years since I quit my job. So how is this possible, how it does not remain in our dreams? I think I have answered this question thousands of times. Having conversations about this, sharing one on one or mentions on social media … But have I ever written about it? Till today, no. And that day has come. Now that I have acquired a new profession (s) and a new lifestyle, it is time to share my story since I am pretty close to my ideal life. Here is the story of my salvation; how to quit your job?
Me Before Everything Has Changed
I’m Gonca Gengönül. I am graduated from Yıldız Technical University, Department of Statistics. I had worked in various corporate companies in the banking and telecommunications sectors for 8 years. I had a promising career that was not too bad. When I first questioned whether this is the life I want, I thought it might be the solution to add some color into it. After all, I was gonna work like this until I retire, until I die.
As everyone else did, I also took my interest in sports a little more seriously and started intense exercising. I took my love of cinema seriously and became one of the volunteers of Fil’m Hafizasi (which is a cinema organization). A more comfortable life with working out, cinema, social surroundings, parties, books, trips to Europe … It carried me to some extent. While all this was happening, I was becoming advanced in my career confidently and making considerable amount of money.
Then, Dünya Kaç Bucak Arised
And then, Dünya Kaç Bucak has arised! We wanted to take our passion for travel and art to another dimension with my dear friend Duygu, whom I met at Fil’m Hafizasi. Dünya Kaç Bucak was a great motivation for me at that time. I was spending my spare time by writing, researching, and looking for the best flights to new destinations.
When this platform idea was first come up, the desire to travel the world inside me had started to seem more realistic, and shaped in flesh and bones. It was no longer a dream, it had a meaning, it had a name. Dünya Kaç Bucak? (meaning that; how big is the world?)
And now the places that I could go through short-distance flights were not enough for me. How could I fly across the ocean with 1-2 weeks off per year? How could I travel to South America or Asia? I wanted to accomplish all this when I am full of health. Did I have enough money? No! That enough money seemed to me like an account with six zeros at that time. I would later realize how an ignorant thought this was…
And Yoga Get Involved Into My Journey
While my life was becoming very busy and enjoyable, yoga got into my life. Well, I had to stretch my body after running. How could I know those yoga classes that I sneaked out from their final relaxation would be the cornerstones of my life…
As the equilibrium that yoga brought to me, the cacophony of my life come out to the surface. My articles that I wrote about those days gives you a better idea on Dunya Kaç Bucak of course. But I was undoubtedly unaware that this passion would bring me to this day.
I knew that it would be my “last” job in corporate life ,when I first got in my last position. But I thought I would work around 1.5-2 years. Cause I had to have made investments with at least those numbers with five zeros in my account, then a world tour could happen. However, things may not go as planned in real life, of course. In the 8th month I fulfilled in my job, I said “it’s done” on a Monday that I returned to work after the retreat of my yoga teachers’ training course.
You Know the Rest
Afterwards I spent my time to explore the ways (professions) that I can serve for the purpose of my life and for the lifestyle I like. And over time, spontaneously (I strongly underline the spontaneous) areas that I serve today started to appear in my life like mushrooms. Maybe they had been under the ground for a long time, or maybe like a typical mushroom they grew up by the rain of the previous day’s.
Yoga was always with me as it was there at the beginning of my journey. I lived in many places during my travels through teaching yoga. After that, I met Thai massage. It became an integral part of the whole which it was not looked for. Just as I got drawn to India (and indeed many places) for yoga, my body got drawn to Thailand for Thai bodywork.
Well of course, I didn’t only acquire professions that serve my purpose of life, but also got intrigued in other interests. Music has been a big interest throughout my lifetime; it became indispensable by dancing, singing and playing harmonium. Also, I had started drawing mandalas. The universe was getting shaped through the spontaneous scratches of the pen. Isn’t it inspiring?! And of course, there is also writing when the inspiration comes. Bringing together the flowing words, embodying ideas …
So, there is now a Gonca who does not pursue a bucket list, lives like a nomad, but lives enough to take small roots everywhere she goes. Even if she sees a clear picture of what direction her life is going, she does know also letting life to the flow. There is a Gonca who spends more quality time for herself and her loved ones, and she is grateful when she eats, feeling the breath she takes with all her senses, absorbing the books she reads, sleeping when she needs to sleep … that is, just that. Staying in the present moment and just ‘be’ing.
So How to Quit Your Job?
I have had the opportunity to observe the dynamics, people’s behavior and lifestyle of Istanbul since I got back home to my parent’s house. In addition, I meet a lot of people who want to quit their job and start from the scratch, especially through the messages I receive on my Instagram account. Every single day! When all these observations came together, I decided to share the step I took 3.5 years ago for my new lifestyle. Even though I have told this story maybe a thousand times, this article is for you dear reader; for you who never listened this from me…
My general assumption is that many white collar workers’ dream is to quit their job one day. In fact, the main reason why this dream is so common is that life of working from 9am to 6pm and having 1-2 or 3 weeks of annual leave do not serve a sustainable lifestyle. I want to underline the word sustainability, cause the basic thing that makes this lifestyle open to criticism is that it is not sustainable.
There is a big concern of this unsustainable life which is passing so fast and the question of could whatever we have been doing continue until our retirement. So why? Why in the most productive years of our life; energetic, creative and healthy, we are making a big sacrifice to invest of a future that we do not know if we will be alive yet? What will suddenly change after retirement? Will the person we transformed up to that time or our worsening health satisfy us? Who knows that you will live until 60? Or wouldn’t your life get upside down when the time finally comes to enjoy the house and the car we bought and the savings we made in the bank account?
These questions and expressions are especially valid for Turkey. Because we are not encouraged to be painters, nature photographers, artisans, dancers, fishermen, etc. while we are being raised. There is this common idea that we all have to be doctors, engineers or bankers.
So are you able to say yes to this question with sincerity? Did I really make my choices on my own?
If you can ‘give yourself’ the true answer to this question, if you don’t run away, then there is nothing else to comment on. I can’t give you a recipe for who you should be and how. Nobody could. This is the purpose of this article anyway! Taking the time to breath and discover which kind of mushrooms your soil is suitable for to grow and which ones have already grown.
Yes, you may be an engineer, you may be working for a company which makes gaining considerable numbers possible. You may be satisfied with this situation of your current conditions. Nevertheless, I recommend you to consider whether your choice serves the purpose of your life and yet, it will satisfy you in the long run.
Unfortunately, most of our lives are built on conditioning. This life may not even belong to us! There may be many people living the dreams of their ancestors ?!
In short; wouldn’t it be nice for you to stop for a moment, take a deep breathe in and out and evaluate this career of yours through your true inner voice?
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