No oppressive boss, nagging vacation rules or arid cage, that some like to refer to as a cubicle, to clock into. No particular need to shower, change out of your sweatpants, or trudge through another stale commute. Just road-trippin’ and passport stamping, with a lap-top in tote.
Freedom to work, play, and for God’s sake, dress as you please. Freedom to wear PJs ‘til noon and take a mid-day beach, museum or 3-hour café break.
The free life has serious mass appeal. Because that’s all we really crave, right? Unleashed living and adult immunity?
Well, not really…
Last week, a new buddy of mine unassumingly asked me, “how many jobs did you have before striking out on your own?” And his jaw hit the floor when I started rattling through my list.
You see, I’ve had nearly 40 jobs in my life. Yes…forty.
I started working when I was 16 and am still hangin’ out in my 20s [by a thread], so you do the math.
Correct. That’s 3.076 jobs [rough estimate] a year.
I’ve worked as a Relationship Coach [think Hitch] in Hawaii and softball coach in Detroit. I spent 6 years in the consulting world, 6 weeks in the fashion industry and 6 seconds over-serving tequila to boozed-up twenty-somethings. I’ve planned charity hooplas, counseled drug-addict teens and been bored to damn tears at three…THREE different mortgage companies.
And I’ve been promoted at, fired from and quit more jobs than you’ll [hopefully] ever have.
Luckily, my apparent art was nailing interviews.
Now some would say that makes me a flake, or worse, a commit-phobe. And I used to reel about it all the time. What’s wrong with me?! Will I ever find a job that I don’t abuse vacation time or space out during dry + Powerpoint-drenched conference calls?
I don’t know a whole lot about auras, but I assumed mine was some shade of burnt sienna or death gray every time I punched a clock or holed up in my window-less, sterile, eggshell-white office. All I wanted was to pole-vault through the window to taste the littlest bit of freedom.
And after quitting my last, and 39th job, that’s when it hit me — I’m a freedom junkie.
And not [entirely] the kind that prefers a wanderlusting laptop over 4-wall confinement. Because I’ve had jobs that offered physical freedom — my own schedule, office and all the generic convenience-store tea I could get my paws on.
The freedom I craved was much more intrinsic — I wanted freedom to express myself and live in alignment with my values — not just when I clocked out — but in every sense of my day. And certainly not by someone else’s jaded assignments and half-assed personal integrity.
I was sick of building burgundy presentations when my inner-world screamed hot pink and pursuing paychecks from smart folks whose ultimate actions added bad crap and bad karma into the Earth. Those rules contradicted my own.
some of my freedom rules include:
deep, intimate connection + raw conversations.
big, bold colors + self-expression.
humor and tons of sarcasm.
respecting the Earth, animals + how other people move through life. making mistakes, learning a lot and gettin’ on with it.
soaking up every ounce of this wild life. learning, always always always learning. staying aligned with personal integrity. travel, travel, travel.
feeling alive + unleashed.
Scrapping my spark for someone else’s dim flicker didn’t work for me. Matter of fact, it never worked for me. I wanted to live alongside my list. And I broke out on my own to do it.
But you don’t have to be an entrepreneur, nomad or beach bum to feel freedom.
You spend a whole lot of life hours in your career and shouldn’t shed a layer of skin to walk through the office door. Because what you’re really craving isn’t the physical stuff — working out of your suitcase from wherever passport stamp you’ve recently collected. At least not entirely.
You’re craving being you and that your ideologies, self-truths and multi-passions are recognized and infused into your every moment.
Physical freedom can make you an escape artist. Intrinsic freedom makes you feel alive.
So make a list of passions, core values, ways that make you unabashedly unique. How can you lace your current career with some, maybe all, of them? How can you unleash YOU more fully at your 9-5? What will make you feel free [without a plane ticket to Bali]?
Then start doing it.
Well now that I think about it, a trip to Bali doesn’t sound thaaat bad…
Allie LeFevere is a Bold + Healthy Living Coach + considers herself a Wanderluster extraordinaire. Working + rambling wherever her passion + passport take her.
As a witty muse in the march toward authentic + vibrant living, she embraces a life of wild purpose, bold choices, healthy living + random adventure.
Her travel staples? An iPod full of dirty rap music, a couple of good books, some concoction of green superfood powder and a laptop.