When I first started my Muddle + Joy journey, I was convinced that a 9-5 job wasn’t for me. It was too limiting, too restricting and just too…dull. I proclaimed loud and proud for all the hear that I wanted to chase after my own dreams and no one else’s!
Turns out, there are a few really great reasons to work a 9-5 job.
Less money stress
There’s a harsh reality that comes with embarking out on your own journey. I won’t beat around the bush: you need money to survive. And as I settled down in Colorado and began exploring, I watched my bank account dwindle.
Even though I’d planned for a long stretch without income, I found myself stressing over money constantly.
I questioned every purchase I made. I turned down opportunities for extended trips and expensive activities. And worst of all, I felt guilty every moment I wasn’t working toward making money. And the guilt was the worst part.
A feeling of worth
For me, it wasn’t just the money stress, it was needing a feeling of worth. When you go months without a significant paycheck, you start to wonder what exactly you bring to the world around you. Without any significant source of income, I felt like I was just…existing. And not in a good way. It just goes to show you why our identities are so wrapped up in our jobs — they make us feel valuable.
Getting to leave the house
Eventually, I became depressed because I found myself not wanting to use the free time I’d purposefully set aside to explore Colorado. Instead, I felt like I should be using every minute of my day to stay home, earn money, and be a productive part of society. And when you never leave the house, you start to get a little lonely…which for someone like me who enjoys being around people, it was taking a major toll on my psyche.
It was just time.
One day, I was out for a bike ride and I realized that I wasn’t happy anymore. This summer vacation I had given myself wasn’t enriching my life, but rather, was causing me stress and uneasiness — the exact opposite of what I was trying to do! That’s when I knew it was time.
And with that realization, I felt better almost instantly. Knowing I would be working soon—have money, self-worth and stability—made me feel like myself again.
Lucky for me, the planets aligned. The same week I decided to get a job, I was brought in for an interview at the place I’m now working. Talk about luck!
Looking back, I’m glad I waited until I was ready. If I had taken the first job I found, it would have been just another job in another place with nothing gained or learned about myself. Instead, I took the time to figure out what I really wanted and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
I don’t feel like I failed on my quest. Just the opposite! I feel like I learned some important things about myself that helped inform the decisions I’ve made these past few months. If anything, I know more now than I did when I first moved to Colorado and because of that, I know I made the right decision.
And I’m happy to report that a having a more traditional 9-5 job hasn’t stopped my adventuring one bit.