Having worked from the age of 15, leaving my job after almost five years excited and terrified me. A good friend termed this cloudy, unpredictable point in life – ‘funemployment’. This is my new chapter.
Last Thursday unexpectedly became my last day at work after my manager walked into the communal office and announced that once my desk was cleared I could leave and take the Friday off too. In hindsight, an extra day paid was excellent but literally at 9:10am on Thursday, the coffee pot still on the burner, the prospect of leaving the place I had worked since 2012 hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was not emotionally prepared to walk out the door for the last time. By no means has work been easy and there are so many things I won’t miss but the finality of Thursday broke my heart a little. I did have a cry on the short motorbike ride home.
Needless to say my grief lasted a grand total of 20 minutes and then the excitement kicked in. It was 10am on a weekday. I was at home but I had too much energy. I paced the house like a caged lion, drinking tea and chain smoking cigarettes on the porch. I think I had messaged just about everyone in my contacts to tell them I was actually finished! A friend replied instantly, she had taken a cheeky ‘sick day’ off and wanted to know if I fancied some gin to celebrate at her pool villa. I thought to myself, what better a way to commence my joblessness than pre-midday drinking?
After a short meeting with the new owner of my motorbike and a big bundle of cash in my hand, I raced round to R’s house where I was met with a large cocktail. Sunglasses and bikini on, poolside with a drink in hand, music blasting – bliss! Completing my contract and leaving Phuket has been in the pipeline for the last year or so and was all pre-planned (like virtually everything else in my life, a creature of habit, alarm clocks and routine). I have saved enough during my time here to have an extended period of continuous wandering to wherever I choose to go. At what point am I going to have this opportunity again? And it’s not luck. This was an excellent balance of hard work, saving, spending, enjoying the best of Phuket and being cash savvy. I have had the happiest years, essentially growing up in Phuket and I’ve seen a lot of the world from here during school holidays. I’ve made friends here that are closer than family and for that I am eternally grateful.
This now is my state of semi-retirement and I am going to enjoy the freedom. I usually plan everything down to the last detail, every day, agenda, endless lists of things so do. At this point, I have a visa for India and a flight booked to Goa. As for everything else, come what may… And I cannot wait!
I’ll not lie, the last week has been a bit odd. It is just so alien to be at home on a weekday, waking up and lying in bed until 10.30am, morning yoga classes and doing laundry not on laundry day! I even found myself at a meditation and wellness class yesterday just because. It’s not something I’d ever tried or had much interest in but it was nice and reminded me why I had to start a new chapter in my young life: to be free, to make myself happy and see the world just for a while. This last week I feel like a weight has been lifted and I am ready to embrace my next steps. The ‘plan’ now is lie ins, some online teaching, a bit of yoga, lazy lunches and dinner dates with friends for the next few weeks as I pack up my life in Phuket.