Following the Breadcrumbs


It’s Friday morning. I only know what day it is because I have a couple of meetings scheduled. Lately I’ve not needed to keep track of the day (or the date), which is lovely if you’re on vacation, but not so much if you’re unemployed.

This season of unemployment, while initially joyous, has taken a turn. The realities are weighing heavily: lack of structure, income, and purpose.  As a result, I have been thinking about the profound value that work holds in our lives, whether it is the dream job that we love, the one we can’t wait to leave, or anything in-between.

For many years, I’ve felt discomfort over the fact that I do not have a “career” job.  The challenges of that aside, the mere fact that I’ve not “made it” like so many of my peers has, at times, filled me with a sense of inferiority and anxiety. And, instead of inspiring or motivating change, the anxiety has kept me stuck.  

Consequently, in this season, I am left pondering what it means to be a person whose purpose transcends her job title, workplace, even, her perception of what it means to be successful.

Had I known that this particular transition would hold the level of uncertainty that it has, I’m not sure I would have taken the leap.  Quitting a job to chase something desirable in the short-term is not exactly soothing to the part of me longing for security or the part desiring a long-term plan mapped out in ink.

I certainly would not have envisioned that transitioning would mean piecing together temp work so that I could return to an artist guild as a (temp) employee… and, in the interim, spend time dog-sitting, dog-walking, delivering food, visiting temp agencies, or lending a hand to friends in need.  This is NOT what I envisioned when I chose to finally take a step towards what I want.

Who does this at 34!?

Someone who is sick of ascribing to the standards of success that capitalistic culture defines.  Someone who is sick, also, of ascribing to her own standards of what is successful, safe, wise, or acceptable.  

Trying to pay the bills by dog-walking and delivering food while looking for other work, is by no means sustainable, wise, or desirable, it is on this day, the cost of choosing the path of risk.  It is the cost of saying yes to the opportunity presented to me to leave what was safe and known, and move towards something that speaks to deeper yearnings.

The risky steps taken–the nudgings and invitations–are breadcrumbs on the path (as my coach likes to say). I am following the breadcrumbs…

And let me tell you: it is neither a linear nor an easy path.  But, it is, I believe, the way to life.



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