Two weeks ago, we asked our community to share their stories about quitting with intention.
We were instantly moved and inspired by your personal stories of quitting the very thing that is preventing you from creating a space for more positive ways to contribute to the world.
Here is one of your stories…
By: Ellen Stern, Founder of What If It was Sacred?
“Do something and do it big.” My daughters said. “You are unhappy, so you need to just do something.” My throat tightened as it always did when it seemed I needed to cry, but really, I needed to speak.
The conversation with my daughters was the beginning of the scariest decision I have made in a very long time. I had been avoiding myself or, rather, finding myself for so very long, and now it was time to risk what I had known, step off the cliff as the Tarot Fool, and see where I would land. Somehow, I always thought when you fell; you fell quickly. I had no idea how long falling and landing could take.
In 2017, I set up to leave my home in the San Francisco Bay Area, my work and friends of 30+ years, and return to my childhood home, Illinois. A state I had not lived in for many years. I packed to vacate the house in which I had rented rooms with Airbnb, dwindled all down to a 10×10 storage unit, load up my Prius C, the very smallest of the Prius line, settle my chocolate Labrador, Henry, in the back seat and headed out.
We traveled through parts of the Southern US which showed me exactly why our politics were in the state they were in, and because my dog is an ambassador, I met and talked to people I would never have spoken to, thinking we had nothing in common. But soon into a conversation with a complete stranger, I learned we had much in common, though I will still never wear camouflage pants or hats. I don’t find that I need to hide.
My decision to trust, believe in not knowing, and put one foot in front of the other, opened doors I knew were there, but I was too afraid to knock on them or enter.
My dog and I lived in a room at an Airbnb in the Chicago area for one year. We worked in a therapeutic elementary school and a hospice giving comfort to those there. And then, with the idea that I had collected necessary memories and done what I needed in the Midwest, I bought a Trail Vail for my hatchback, met up with some friends from a distant past, comforted Henry in the backseat, and started camping our way out to Oregon.
Henry and I have lived in Oregon for a year at another room in an Airbnb. We have found new friends that are tough to say goodbye to, walked many miles, and knitted a few things. But on October 26, I am leaving again. For now, we will return to the Bay Area for the holidays, and then I don’t know what is next. The ocean calls to Henry and me, so the Oregon coast may see us again.
Thank you Unsettled for making a life unsettled a bit more of a thing, crazy but doable.