Wednesday, January 22, 2020

I quit my full-time job for a slower life

Earlier last year, I attended a meeting while I was working from a hotel room in New York. It was a meeting about a feature that I wasn’t working on but we were often needed at meetings when other teammates weren't available. It was 20 minutes into the meeting, I was the only one calling remotely and my Apple Watch pinged me.. “Your heart rate rose above 120 BPM while you seemed to be inactive for 10 minutes starting at 3:30pm.” Well, fuck. The same thing happened again two weeks later while I was in another meeting.

Fast forward to 6 months later, I gave in my two weeks notice.

The daily struggles you don’t see

4.5 years ago, I achieved something I thought I would never have in my entire life.. landing a full-time job at LinkedIn, one the most impactful companies in the world that is literally changing peoples’ lives through its product. That was probably the coolest thing that would ever happen to me in this lifetime. But then the daily anxieties and the Impostor Syndrome started to become my best friends since.

Took me too long to realize that I spent the majority of my time at work and off work worrying about work. My mind was so full from the stress and the anxieties that my work has caused me and there isn’t enough space to live my life fully and completely. This seems to be the norm of people working in Silicon Valley and employee burnout has been a huge problem especially in the tech industry. Although for me, I was quite lucky to be working at a company that cares so much about its employees health, physically and mentally. I was also surrounded by the most compassionate and supportive group of coworkers. It became clear to me that it was not the job itself but it was me who was not a fit for the corporate world in the first place. I could see myself going far if I continued to pursue this career but at what cost?

I took a photo of the day my Apple watch pinged me as a reminder to always prioritize self-care over everything else.

Rekindling my passion for storytelling

About 3 months ago, I made the leap and told everyone that I’m going to work on my travel blog. As I handed in my badge and laptop, I felt a sense of calmness that I haven’t felt in a really long time. All those problems that I used to worry day and night were no longer relevant anymore.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog, you’d probably know that I started this blog as an outlet to share my side passion for traveling and photography. I no longer want to live a life that pushes passion as a ‘side hustle’. Quitting my full-time job is just the first step, I’m still miles away from where I want to be.

Since my resignation, I started a Youtube channel and have made a couple of home and travel videos. I still have a ton of backlog of posts that I need to work on but I’ve been having so much fun exploring storytelling through short videos and I just can’t stop making them! My channel emphasizes the idea of slower approaches to aspects of everyday life, which also includes my way of traveling.

In some videos, you’ll see a simpler side of life as a homebody after I left my job, in other videos, you’ll see me wandering around the street of Tokyo and Taipei by myself, mostly enjoying the local delicacies.

I’m beyond excited to continue making more videos and I also apologize for not being able to update my blog as much as I’d like.

Here are some of my videos if you’d like to see…

As of now, I have no idea where this year is going to take me but I know for sure that I'm going to cherish every moment of it while it lasts. Hopefully this gap year will turn into something permanent and more meaningful in the long run. Also, I'd be very grateful if you can head over to my channel and click subscribe. Can't wait to share with you guys more content this year. Happy new year!

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