In January of this year I did something drastic. I gave notice and left my job. This was a result of a long process of thinking about my life and where I’m headed. The job I was working at paid well, was well-respected and could guarantee me a financially comfortable existence. There was just one problem: I was deeply unhappy. There was no one thing that made it a bad fit. My co-workers were nice enough, though I resisted getting too close to anyone. I felt like I had little in common with them. They inhabited a privileged world that I had left behind when my struggles with mental illness and my battle with coming to terms with my transgender identity set in. In short, they did not feel like my tribe.
I believe that satisfaction in life comes from taking the experiences we have been through and making them part of our life story, having them inform our decisions moving forward, such as what we want to do with our life. My life has been shaped by my experiences as a transman, as a survivor of mental illness, and as a South African-born Canadian. For too long I think I have tried to pretend that I can ignore what has happened to me along the way to who I am. The truth is, I cannot. I feel it’s time that I live my life in accordance with the path I’ve walked.
I’m not sure what the future looks like exactly. I’m playing with a few ideas, one of which is to work with at-risk youth. I certainly have enough life experience to feel like I have something to offer. So I’m currently volunteering to gain experience in this domain. I am also working on starting my own writing business. My goal: to help non-profits and small businesses successfully promote their services.
It’s both scary and exhilarating to strike out on my own. But I’m excited to see what the future holds.