The seed of this writing/blog -project was planted in 2019 when I took a leave of absence and went travelling to Latin America for six months. Taking time for myself, seeing different countries, meeting people from all over the world and seeing the variety of different lifestyles made me very inspired. A break from the “corporate career” -lifestyle made me wonder if the rat race was the only true way of living, or if this life had something more to offer.
I could say that the leave of absence changed my life by creating space in my head and providing me plenty of opportunities to be present in the moment. The fog that my busy lifestyle had created in my head was gone and I experienced a new kind of connection with myself. I found self-confidence and clarity about how I wanted to re-direct my life. I looked at my values through different lenses and figured that I needed to start acting upon them. Meaning that some changes were inevitable.
I liked my profession and my “normal life” was good: I had great people around me, stimulating hobbies and my job provided me interesting projects, development opportunities and stable, decent salary. But something was off in the big picture. I saw continuous praise for efficiency and achieving everywhere I looked, badge of honours given to people who go for the extra mile regardless of their wellbeing.
As if being busy as fuck was the only way to prove you are important.
In the other end the world was burning, the rate of species extinction was high, and the climate crisis had become a hot topic everywhere. The equation didn’t match; we were running like crazy to create more growth and wealth so that we could consume five times planet’s resources again next year. After seeing several burnouts close by and close to having one myself for few times, I figured there had to be other ways to work and live. So I decided to start exploring.
Taking the leap of faith
I decided to make my own leap of faith and quit my job. I felt like life had more to offer and I also thought that I had more to offer to this life. I was also fed up of being tired and feeling drained. I wanted to have more time and energy to do all those things that were dear to me.
As a result, my senior consultant’s monthly payroll and interesting international projects had to go in order for me to build something new for myself. I resigned and decided to start working for myself. I wanted to continue in my profession, but with my own terms – meaning a better control of my time and enough energy to focus on my other projects, including writing. Being my own boss was an attractive idea for me, and 10 years’ experience in communications and employer branding gave me confidence to try my own wings.
Now I’m the process of building a new lifestyle. It involves lot of experimenting and learning, but the target is to have balance, freedom and mobility together with interesting projects. As I like to do things with a bit of twist, I decided to register the company in Sweden (after living there only less than 3 years) even though my language capabilities are limited, and majority of my networks are still in Finland. For an extra twist I decided to return to Latin America and start building my new life from Mexico, to test the mobility opportunities right away and to focus on my writing project as a first step. In Mexico I was also able to progress with my surf & Spanish projects on the side. If you want to do your own thing, why not do it full on?
While writing this in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, we are also in the middle of a global pandemic. Coronavirus brought an unexpected third twist into my plans. It remains to be seen if this was the best time to start building my own business and if I’m actually able to get back to Nordics in June as I originally planned.
While the virus is shaking all of our lives, we also have opportunities to learn from this crisis and grow as a humanity.
During the times of social distancing we can look inwards and reflect on how each of us can contribute and help the ones in need.
Practicing gratitude and finding joy in small things is something that we can do regardless of our situation. Right now, I find my joy in all the fresh fruits Mexico has to offer, and Chiapas coffee. It’s a mango season after all, even if the beaches are closed!