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  • Writer's pictureYi

Two Months Post Corporate

Really, this dates back to before leaving corporate, but here's a long overdue update for those interested!

In February 2022, I planned a wedding and got married! Wedding planning was not fun and my company at the time contributed to the tensions, as I was feeling really undervalued and burnt out (highly recommend listening to Asian Boss Girl's Episode 60 for Helen's very similar experience!) At this time, I started therapy to try to respond better to all the stressful events with family and work.

A week after the wedding, a recruiter reached out on LinkedIn and I went through an interview process with a different company. I hit it off with the team and I luckily received and accepted an offer very quickly. I was hopeful for this opportunity, as I had heard the work-life balance was better and I really liked my manager.

In March 2022, I took a few days off in between jobs, so I booked a last minute solo trip to see my brother in Orlando, where I read books, played with Taro (his Russian blue cat), and existed quietly together.

I started my job at the new company. However, a few days in, I started having an identity crisis as I realized the burnout was not just from the company, but the work I was doing. After ten years through university and post university, I was at a point in my life that I absolutely couldn't stand the work nor the corporate environment. I didn't know how to reconcile it. I fell into a low point, that I can talk about at a later time or more personally one-on-one.

In the meantime, I went through life much as I normally do with high functioning anxiety. During the sixty days I was at my new company, I enjoyed visiting Miami beaches with my girlfriends and in April 2022, I traveled to Cancun for the first time with my couple friends. I had a friend visit from Chicago, and my husband and I discussed turning my brother-in-law's house into an Airbnb.

In May 2022, my husband and I had friends from Seattle visit, and we traveled to Orlando for Islands of Adventure and Universal with our friends. I put my full efforts into furnishing the Airbnb while working full time. My husband suggested that I leave my job for my mental health, but I hated the idea of leaving a job after just starting because of my self-image and how it would look to others. I pushed through as much as I could but it came to a head one day, and I shared with my manager how I needed time off. He was so helpful and even tried to suggest ways we could make it work with a leave of absence or contract work, but I ultimately knew I needed to break away cleanly.

By June 2022, I was out of corporate and I had two main goals. One (and the main one), was to focus on my health, both physical and mental. Two, to explore hobbies that I wasn't able to have time for. The Airbnb was live, I was working with my brother on selling candles on the side, and I was working on my website for my portfolio. I went on long runs in June to get my cardio health back in shape, since I hadn't done any exercise since before the wedding. I planned my sister's baby shower, I celebrated my birthday, I went to a Final Fantasy concert with friends, I played with Isaac, I was cooking more, and I truly felt more myself.

When July 2022 hit, I felt so tired from trying to be the "best" version of myself and I rested for two weeks instead. I read The Midnight Library, watched "My Liberation Notes," and started "Change Days" on Netflix. I celebrated birthday after birthday (including Isaac's). My older sister finally had her baby, so I'm officially an aunt to a cute baby niece! I finished my website with my portfolio and blog, I kept cooking, and had an Instagram reel streak which I quickly got tired of, and had to remind myself I was trying to do things because I wanted to. Not because I was good or bad or if other people saw. Finally, I just started the process of becoming a part-time contract designer at Tailored Living (custom shelving/cabinetry) with a connection I made through a friend.

In the two months I've had off, I realize I do not desire to run a rat race and I have the privilege of not needing to. The way I grew up, I was acutely aware of all my flaws and I often had the thought, "maybe I'm just bad at living." I felt this whenever I felt behind, or whenever I felt out of place, whenever I couldn't muster the energy to want to be a successful career woman or have the passion to pursue some amazing dream. I realized maybe I'm just bad at living a life other people wanted for me (other people being my parents, or vaguely the media).

In conclusion, I still toggle between feeling great physically-- sleeping and eating better--exercising more, and then feeling worried about money and managing my time, but the overall feeling is positive. I've noticed it in small habits in changes to my diet to changes in my physical goals. I've noticed it when I drive (when I got a ticket and court summons for being on the phone while driving, I was shocked at how calm I was). I've noticed it in my perspective, and that with so many parts of my life I am just living on a prayer-- and I have so much more gratitude in that. I am so much more grateful for my dog, my husband, my friendships and my life.

And today I had the first thought in months- actually years- that I am excited for tomorrow.

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