A workaholic’s first week of unemployment

I am still in disbelief that my last day of work was Friday.  It still has not fully hit me, and I feel like I haven’t disconnected from my work just yet. It’s weird because, for better or worse, a significant part of my identity is about my work.  I am a psychotherapist and I have worked so hard to achieve this, and here I am, giving it up for the unknown.  Should I be giving myself a referral for a psychological evaluation?  Perhaps.

Those who know me, know that I am a bit of a workaholic.  I’ve always held multiple jobs, or became super involved in graduate school.  I realize that our culture tends to glorify being busy, but I took it to an extreme.  Often missing out on events because I had work, or had to study and get straight A’s (If it’s not an A, it’s an F, I’d often say).  I don’t regret any of it, I have made many meaningful connections and learned as much from my jobs as I have from my studies.  It’s just that now, it’s time for something different.  It’s time to have a hobby that doesn’t involve reading books on social stratification or attachment disorders.   It’s time to do something non-academic related and develop a skill outside of work or the classroom.  In other words, maybe I need to lighten up and stop being such a nerd.

In the next few weeks, while Jason keeps working, I will continue to work on Houdini, keep recording books for my future nephew, spend thanksgiving with the family, and tie up a few loose ends before we hit the road.

I’m really looking forward to just doing nothing that I’ve always deemed as “productive.”  I just want to enjoy Jason’s company, meet new people, and just explore this wonderfully chaotic world of ours.  Maybe play the bass, maybe learn to surf, maybe film a documentary.  Definitely relax, enjoy the journey, and just be present.

As our departure date (December 15, 2015) nears, I am a ball of nervous/excited/happy energy.  It really has not yet hit me that I will be MOVING INTO A VAN AND DRIVING DOWN TO THE END OF THE WORLD. Craziness.

Our route is still up in the air, but so far we are planning on stopping in Washington D.C to see our friend Nil, then North Carolina to see family, then, head west to Kentucky and New Mexico.  If you have any suggestions on where to stop along the way, let us know!

-Maria

2 thoughts on “A workaholic’s first week of unemployment

  1. So psyched for you both! I followed Jason’s AT blog last year (I was section hiking about 3 weeks behind you and your blog was so informative and inspirational). My wife and I took 5 months off a couple of years ago to drive around the perimeter of the US in a small motorhome and have never regretted a moment of it. We are plotting to do it again soon. You both are going to have the best time. One of my biggest lessons (which I’m still trying to learn) was to let go of my expectations of what the trip would be like, not be disappointed when it was different, and savor and enjoy the actual trip as it unfolded. I know you’ll both be better at that than I was. Best to you both!

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