I wonder how different my life would have been if I had taken a gap year after high school. Thinking back… it was never something I allowed myself to consider. I knew I wanted to get into media, meet people with interesting backgrounds and stories, write about them and one day run my own business. I’m a hard worker but by no means a workaholic and the plan was to not still be working for someone else when I hit my 40s. I didn’t, and still don’t, have it all worked out and perhaps the idea of retiring at age 50 and living off my clever investments may not be the plan that’s set out for my life but dammit I’ll try everything to steer my own ship in that direction.
So surprisingly for me, for the first time in my young life, at age 33, I find myself unemployed. Not part of the plan. After selling up house and home in Johannesburg, carting arse to Cape Town, changing jobs after 5 years, expecting a second baby among other things… I handed in my resignation at my current job. Sometimes even against your better ‘judgment’ you just have to listen to your gut and just go with it. Lucky for me, my husband supports my gut instinct too and the plan is for me to, sadly not take it easy and put my cankles up, but give freelance writing and editing a go. I haven’t closed the door to going back to full-time work. Hell! I might find after month two or three working from home or at the closest coffee shop with free wifi begins to wear thin and I miss the energy of an open plan office and the buzz of people conjuring up creative and innovative ideas and working on deadlines. I’m terrified of this new phase I must admit. I’ve never had to worry about where my next pay cheque is coming from, nor have I never had a concrete plan about how the next year is going to unfold but I’m terribly excited. And what better city to be free as a bird than in Cape Town! Let the Year of the Dragon begin…
Wish me luck!
Illustration ‘The Year of the Fish’ via NYTimes