Day 100 of lockdown – one of the longest lockdowns in the WORLD and still no smokes available. Apparently (if the government is to be believed) smoking is worse for you than taking a taxi or going to the funeral of a person who died of the rona, where, if I may add, other then become infected – first-hand knowledge. Smoking is even more dangerous than going to the mall, stand in the Sassa line, or go to church. I have loaded opinions about this, as do thousands of smokers and non-smokers in SA and the world, but….I’m not getting into that
No, I don’t really have the rona, but it has impacted me in more way than one and it has forced my hand… I don’t know if the universe finally had enough of me not pursuing a path that I was supposed to take, or if I am misreading the signs. I’ve been known to do that.
Remember at the beginning of last year I had a scathing post about studies and work and everything that went down there? The conclusion of it was this quote from the scroll marked 3 in The Greatest Salesman in the world by Og Mandino, one of my all-time favorite books and one that I am re-reading now for the umpteenth time
Being a Leo, this resonates with me on so many levels, yet sometimes we forget the things that speak to our soul and we get caught in the trap of everyday life. So, after that post, I took up my studies and persisted with them. I am now qualified as a junior bookkeeper and will be writing my senior bookkeeper and tax practitioner exams as soon as the rona allows us to do so. Yet, even though I persisted with the studies, the part about pursuing my goals, finding, and continuing on a path that will leave to success, was lost on me. I continued working for a boss and became more miserable with every month that passed. Don’t get me wrong, my job gave me security and I learned so much while in it. It was, however, doing nothing towards my future success. I was not able to use what I had studied and there was no room for growth or promotion. It was just going to be a desk job until I retired. I turned a blind eye to every nudge from the universe, so I was failing at the persisting part and making a huge success of that!
On the side, I started to discover a love for things I never thought would fit my personality. I got excited about marketing the bus and designing stuff for it – side note: we’ve launched our own brand of coffee and it is going SO well! I also discovered that I’m good at networking and that the fine art of connecting people and things to create lasting and profitable connections is something that I am really good at. But, it still was just something on the side, and every day I continued doing my job, toeing the line, like a sheep, and not being the forceful Leo I was created to be.
Then lock down happened and with that came a lot of challenges and changes. Suddenly, I found myself living at work. Yes, living at work because I failed at working from home. My home became work. There was no disconnect between office time and home time. Some days I would get up and 5AM so I can work. Or wake up in the middle of the night, remembering about an email I forgot to send and then actually get up and go send the darn thing. Those of you who know me will know by now that I can not do anything half=arsed. I either fully immerse myself in it or I don’t start at all. So for three full months, I drowned myself in work, neglecting my home, my family, my garden, and myself. In a way, it was a blessing, because I was so busy that I never really felt the “being separated from society” bit of lockdown (or maybe it’s because I’m in introvert). Either way, work kept me so busy that that part of the whole thing went right over my head. On the other hand, the downside of it was that I was doing it without pay. Jip, I did receive my UIF benefit but we were all placed on unpaid leave for the duration of lockdown.
That started to wear thin when I had to start canceling policies and life cover and gym memberships…. it wore really thin when I realized that I would have to abandon all the great plans I had for my love’s 50th birthday party in August and my boss told us, in no uncertain terms, that there are no guarantees that the company will make it through this. We had no job security for the next month or even into the next financial year. It all came tumbling down when (on the very same day) my boss called to say that we can go back to work on the 1st of July but at a huge pay cut until at least Feb 2021 and my son’s school called me to congratulate me on him being in the running for top matriculant! My first response was to check if they’re phoning the right mom. Terrible, I know, but he has never been a “top student”. Since he started with the online school last year, things did get better but never to this extent. I asked him what happened and how he got those marks. He replied with “O, I’ve decided I want to go to university next year”. I heard that and all I could bring myself to think of was my boss and the pay cuts and the rona and the economy and the business not making it. It sent me right over the edge of the cliff.
How did I respond? I quit my job. The rona got me or I’ve finally gone bonkers. Who quits their job in times like this when companies are closing their doors for good, unemployment is at a 20 year high, we are in a recession that by all predictions will be the biggest in decades. Who starts their own business in times like this. Utter madness right?
It took about a week of reasoning and overthinking and debating and questioning, but in the end, the one thing that stood out to me was the fact that I was made to succeed. I was not made to sit and wait for the boat to sink. Abandoning shop and swimming in shark-infested waters was the only thing that made sense. So, I sat myself down, sent my boss a heartfelt and honest letter of resignation, and took up youtube lessons on building a website. After putting out some feelers, I realized that there is a market for what I want to do, and I am confident that I can make this work.
The business idea started with things I can do (through experience and studies), but very soon took on a life of its own and now also entails the things that I love to do – marketing, design, and networking. Are these perhaps too many things to wax? I don’t know. Is this a good idea? I don’t know. Will this work? I don’t know. I have made a couple of seriously bad decisions in my life. I don’t think that this is one of them. I think the universe finally got tired of sending me subtle hints and I’ve been forced to embark on the road less traveled. Where it will lead me – another thing that I don’t know.
All that I am 100% sure of is that – by the grace of God – I am not stressed about this. I had my last day at work this week and woke up this morning without a hint of stress. I am completely at peace with my decision and stand like a gladiator on the sacred ground of an arena soaked in the blood of those who have fallen before I arrived. I am now forced to roar like a lion and make my presence known. I am forced to persist until a succeed because succeeding is all that I have left.
If you want to pop over to my website and check it out, here is the link:
I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out!
Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy and stay sane!