I took time off my job to invest in myself

What’s the most important asset you have, or ever will?

Yourself.

I’m taking time off my job to invest in myself.

For the last 16 years, I’ve been living at a neck breaking pace. First preparing for IIT, then living it up at IIT, then my first job, then the crazy projects, the travelling, the dance lessons and a whole lota things in between. Always cramming as much as I could into each day.  Challenging myself. Pushing the limits. New stuff, new challenges. Everyday. And enjoying the thrill of it all.

In college I was constantly juggling so many parallel activities, that I slept through most lectures; and my best friend threatened to disown me unless I slowed down. She sat next to me in most classes, was a very dedicated student, and my dozing off embarrassed her no end. I still didnt slow down. But I figured out how to stay awake in class.

I’ve been doing that in life too. Constantly taking up new and interesting things. Constantly pushing myself. And constantly trying to be SuperWoman.

Somewhere down the road, the challenges gave way to chores. I stopped looking forward to going to work everyday. There weren’t new challenges. There weren’t any new goals. There was only so much I could create for myself. Projects just weren’t coming in. Like Sheryl says, once you have a kid, your work has to be challenging and rewarding enough to make you feel like you’re making a difference. My work had stopped feeling like that.  At some point I realized that things weren’t going to change much. There were things beyond my control. Business decisions govern the corporate world.

And I decided to take some time off. For myself.

For the first time in 16 years, I’m giving myself the time to enjoy what I’ve earned.  The little luxuries of life.  And that’s the biggest reward, and investment, of all.

I’m doing all the things that I’ve always enjoyed, always wanted to, but put aside or delegated ‘coz the day has only 24 hours.

I have a Goan holiday everyday, enjoying sunshine in the sand-pit with my son. I’m reading. I’m taking the time out to breathe. To watch the sun rise. To exercise. To water my plants. To make salads.

I’m taking the time to go over the last few years. To take stock of where I am in life. And where I want to go from here.

Along the way, I’m also learning.  Learning about technologies I’ve worked on, afresh, from new perspectives. And unrelated stuff. Web designing. Graphic designing. SEO and internet marketing. For no particular reason.

Doing things for the joy of it. Not because I have to.

It’s fun.

And now that I’ve had this time, I’m ready to move on. In fact, roaring to. I realize I miss the madness, the chaos and the thrill of the corporate world. The constant challenges. The impossible deadlines. And the sense of achievement, making the impossible come true.

Funny thing is, as I’m now looking to get back to the corporate world, I’m having to explain why I took a break. Why I left a high paying cushy job. Most people just dont get that I did it for me. That I am investing in myself. People find it easier to assume, and to accept that its because I’m a woman, with a young child.

Why is it so baffling for a woman to take some time off for herself? And not for her child.

Maybe its just that the concept of taking time off for yourself, is still not very acceptable in India.

Or maybe its just that everyone else is envious and wishing that they could do the same! ;)

What’s holding you back? The paycheck?

Well, everything comes at a cost. With degrees from IIT and ~10 years experience, I was getting a really nice paycheck. Now, I’m paying myself each month, from my savings.  It’s an investment I’m making. In me.  Because I’m worth it.

Tell me, are YOU willing to bet on yourself?

What was the last investment you made, in yourself ?

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