“Who gets fired on a Thursday?” That was the first thing I thought when I got the call telling me that my position with the company no longer existed. Then the panic set in. This was not in the plan.

If we’re being honest here, I had been completely indifferent about my job for the past year anyway. I’d gotten to the point where it required zero mental energy on my part, so I was pretty much on autopilot. The opportunities to actually flex my creative muscles had grown few & far between, and my inspiration was at an all-time low. The excitement of proving myself had long since faded, leaving me a little more self-aware. Here’s what I learned:

  1. I am not a corporate-ladder-climbing kind of girl. I seem to be missing the necessary ass-kissing gene.
  2. Things like new cars, flat screen TVs, or corner offices with a view bore me to tears.
  3. Buying a house and settling down sounds terrible.
  4. I hate “business attire” with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.
  5. The American dream is simply not my dream.

I had been doing some serious thinking about what I wanted out of life for quite some time. In fact, I had already made the decision to quit my job to travel. But still…I was supposed to have another five months to get organized, save money & launch my travel blog. Luckily, there was severance pay involved. So I made a command decision. I was going to go for it. Fast-track my planning and jump in head-first.

As soon as I made this decision, that little voice inside me woke up and sighed, “finally.” (She’s such a know-it-all.) I became obsessed. I was going full-steam, 16 hours a day, checking things off my Travel To-Do List. I turned into an errand-running, post-writing, seasonal-job applying, website-designing fiend. And I loved every minute of it. I used to hit snooze as many times as humanly possible and now I was popping out of bed without an alarm clock at 5 am. Why? Because I was investing in myself; working toward my dreams instead of just making someone else money. I had found my inspiration. And a lot of caffeine.

Being an active participant in your own life has an unexpected side-effect: Happiness. It’s no longer this elusive concept, floating somewhere out in the universe. Turns out, all it takes to be happy is…the decision to be happy (I know, we’re getting deep here).

Am I scared? Duh, terrified. There is at least an 87% chance that I’ll completely fail and end up broke, alone, and hitchhiking through a country whose language I don’t speak. But I’m still going for it.

Few things are more empowering than acknowledging your fears and then telling them to go screw themselves.



Mandie is a writer, rebel & web design junkie. In her spare time she enjoys drinking wine, traveling & working on her perpetually unfinished novel. She was a nerd before it was cool.

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  1. Karyn @ Not Done Travelling    

    I found my way here through Katie at Shores and Skylines. I just wanted to say hi, and let you know the same thing has just happened to me! It’s crazy how the universe gives you that little push you need, hey. And in terms of the way you felt about the American dream (well, Australian dream, in my case) not being for you, we sound completely identical. Stuff that, give me adventure any day. 😀

    And re working non-stop on the blog, I do the same thing. My SO always has to pull me away from the computer otherwise I’ll never stop. But the difference is, I’m happy to work so long at something I love. That’s the key. Working myself to the bone for somebody else’s dream is not fulfilling, but for my own dreams, I’ll do anything.

    1. Mandie    

      Thanks for stopping by, Karyn! 🙂 I know exactly what you mean – other people are always having to drag me away from the computer! Haha I don’t think most people realize how much work blogging is, but it’s great, isn’t it? That feeling of investing in your own dream? You can’t beat it!

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