Letting Go

May 10, 2019

Around a month ago I e-mailed the owner of the coffee shop I manage that I’d be leaving in 1.5 – 3 months. I cried immediately after hitting send — I gave a lot of myself to that job. I push my body to its limits every day to keep my team happy, keep my bosses happy, and keep my customers happy, and I felt as if it’s quickly becoming all for nothing. What made it harder was I didn’t want to leave… I just had a feeling that I needed to.

The next day I found myself waiting for the bus to get to work, and the bus was supposed to arrive in 10 minutes. 30 minutes goes by, so I’m wondering where the bus is, and when I pull out my phone I realize that only 9 minutes had passed. I brushed that experience off, but then more and more things like that kept happening that day, and the next, and so on and so forth. Since that e-mail to my boss, my entire understanding of time changed; where once everything was a blur, it’s now clear. I let go of a lot that day.

One of my favorite books is Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, which explores the relationship between rest and productivity; the harder you work and the more you push yourself, the less productive you are, whereas if you take it easy, you’ll be more productive and happier (principles I haven’t followed in a while). I didn’t know it at the time, but announcing my resignation turned out to be a really big break that would validate that book.

In the past month I’ve completed multiple personal projects that have been sitting untouched for over a year, I’ve got my finances in order for the first time in a long time, I rebooted my old YouTube channel after demand to get back in the game. And above all, I’m happy and enjoying every moment, much longer than I’m used to enjoying it.

We all need to watch what we put ourselves through for our job. We justify the daily grind because we have pride in what we do, we want to be known as hard workers, and the extra income for working more is almost a sedative that keeps us from realizing how we’re hurting ourselves. If you find yourself seeing time pass you by, it’s probably not because you’re having fun, and maybe it’s time for you to let go too.

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