Monday, May 2, 2011

Guest Blogger: Penny from Dancing in Bare Feet

Today's guest blogger is Penny from Dancing in Bare Feet.  She shares an a-ha moment in her life when she realizes that office work is not her cup of tea.  Enjoy, and check out a link to her blog at the end of the post.  Happy Monday!

It’s raining outside and the strong winds are throwing rain drops against the window panes of my 4th floor office window. I left my dog inside this morning so that he wouldn’t have to spend the day being pelted with merciless torpedoes of water. My Mum will let him out at lunchtime as she works close to my home but I wish we were curled up on the couch together watching movies.

I should count myself lucky really, that I have this view of rain-stained rooftops and fat little birds. They’re having a field day taking their pick of all the worms coming up for air and it took me a long time to earn the privilege of sharing their day. For a few years I faced a corner where, buried deep in my work, I could picture the sun as it had been shining that morning and not know the weather had turned until many hours later. Lunch time on a good day, home time on a bad day.

All this corner-staring got me to thinking, and started the long winding path to my A-Ha moment. I campaigned strongly for a desk near the window. The idea that I could die at any moment having spent most of my waking hours staring at a red and white wall left a terrible taste in my mouth. I enjoy my job, but if life really does flash before your eyes when you die, I want to enjoy the movie, not yawn my way through ‘Memories of a Cubicle-Farm’.

I won my campaign for natural light, but it wasn’t enough to whet my insatiable appetite. As a product of Gen-Y, I wanted more. My feet began to itch and wanderlust set in. Naïve ambitions led way to a new adventure: On June 9, my boyfriend and I will set off for 4 months in Europe, touring 10 countries on the back of a 2010 Suzuki DL650 Motorbike.

Surely this is enough? Alas, no. I applied for unpaid leave, a chance to return to my job, the one with the air conditioning, fluorescent lights, broken lifts and rare pay reviews. It was declined, because our small team needed all the man power it could get during my absence. It was meant to be.

Why was I looking to return? Because I love my team, I love the work I do. I love being part of a progressive company doing big things with small change. Is that all there is to the world? Not a chance. I dream of a day when alarm clocks don’t ring, when housework is done regularly and not in the hour between work and bed. I dream of fostering children, I have always dreamed of fostering children, and of giving them a break from everything life has thrown at them.

My A-Ha moment was this: I don’t have a job. Without a job, there is no risk in quitting. There is nothing scary about taking a risk that doesn’t exist. I run a successful business doing Acrylic Nails a few evenings a week. I have a million ideas and no chance to run with them. I have a personal loan, pets to feed and bills to pay. And now I have an opportunity.

I might need to supplement it with part time weekend work, but I will never work 40 hours a week in an office again. On 27 September 2011 I will land back in my home country more worldly, open-minded, cultured… and self-employed. I don’t have the stress of looking for a job because I have one. A very low-paying, very long-houred, very rewarding job. Sure it might all turn to custard but I prefer to think not.

It’s going to be hard work, but I do love a challenge. I don’t know what hurdles I will face or highlights I will celebrate. All I know is this – never again will I lose a sunset to fluorescent lights.

Penny writes at Dancing in Barefeet about her achievements, goals and soon-to-be European Adventure. She is also on Facebook and Twitter if you want to follow her journey.

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