DAY 1 – FEAR AND REGRET

It’s amazing how much life can change in just six weeks. Simply astonishing, actually.

Six weeks ago I went to work, just another Thursday. Mid-afternoon, I received a call from Tony.

“Hey, I know I usually tell you everything’s fine whenever I call you at work, but this time I have some bad news.”

My heart fluttered and I felt my blood pressure drop. He was supposed to be at a lunch meeting with his boss. Why was he calling so early?

“I just met with my boss and my job has been eliminated. They took my car and computer and I’m in an Uber on my way home now.”

I was panicked and couldn’t think clearly. All I said was, “How are we going to eat?”

He continued to assure me that everything would be fine and went through the details of his severance package. The rest of the afternoon was a blur. I came home and cried all night, panicked about how we were going to afford to live in one of the most expensive cities in the country.

The next month was filled with budgeting, planning for the future, and interviews. Lots of interviews. Tony interviewed at places all over the country. We had come up with a plan for our next few months. He would continue to interview, and if he found the right job in another city, we would relocate. The right city was a list we had composed together…of places we would each enjoy living.

Just thirteen days ago, Tony was offered a job in Atlanta, GA. His start date is January 4, which gave him two months of unemployment. We talked it through over the next two days, calculated how much we had in savings, how much we would need to live on, and so on. We decided 48 hours after his job offer that we could afford for me to quit my job and spend the next six weeks backpacking through Europe.

The day after Tony accepted his job, he caught an early flight to Costa Rica to visit his family for a week. I was left with packing the apartment, making arrangements for our things to be put into storage, and shipped to Atlanta. Oh, and I had to put in my two week notice…

My blood pressure was at its max on my drive into work. I was terrified of how my boss would react to my resignation. I was disappointed in myself for letting my team down. And I was scared shitless of quitting my job and no longer having an income. For an indefinite period of time. But I knew I had to do it. I knew that an opportunity of a lifetime was knocking at my door. So I did it. I resigned. Knowing that I didn’t have a job lined up in Atlanta. Or anywhere.

The next ten days were filled with packing, saying good byes, and planning a six-week trip in Europe. It’s come together quickly, and I know we’ll have a great time. After all, life is about the journey, not the destination. And right now, I’m not sure what my destination is. Maybe it’s somewhere in Europe. Maybe it’s somewhere in Atlanta, where we will live come January. Or maybe my destination is about learning something new about myself. Maybe my destination will change everyday and I’ll fill the next six weeks full of journeys and experiences.

So as I sit here on my flight to Paris, I can’t but help think that this whole experience is filled with fear and regret. Fear that quitting my job was the craziest thing I’ve ever done. Fear that I might regret it. Fear that I might not like Atlanta. Regret that I might have for leaving San Francisco. Fear that I may not find a job quickly. Fear that I will get homesick in Europe, away from everything I know for six weeks. Fear that I will regret everything.

But, as I’ve said before, “fear and regret are twin evils.” And I don’t plan on either of them taking this adventure away from me. I am going to conquer them both!

Please feel free to read Tony’s perspective of our trip at http://www.whereistony.com.

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