It's three years today since I left my previous job. At the time it felt bad to leave but things have turned out ok. I got myself out the door by buying a ticket to South America and just going for it. It wasn't a nice situation to leave what I’d thought was a dream job with the feeling that it had gone sour, but looking back it is one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I'm still writing the sequence of posts about my trip (not quite) all around South America. Even after that, I've continued to find out more about myself. I spent six months sleeping on my parents' living room floor in 2014, that was pretty tough. Also difficult was turning up for what seemed like an endless sequence of interviews to get a new job. You start to doubt yourself, that you haven’t changed. But I got through that too. Would I have jumped so readily if I had known how much you need a job to get a job? Maybe not. Ignorance truly is bliss.
One of the high points of my previous job was giving a talk at the Public Health England conference. I didn't realise at the time quite how important those events are for sharing your work and realising your achievements. I thought it was another chore, I was too burdened with a dread of public speaking. Now I'm going back to that same conference in a couple of weeks (though not to give a talk this time), armed with the knowledge of what it's like to make those arguments locally. I've moved from the centre outwards: I now understand so much more about what my work means and how much I really enjoy it.
In August 2013 all I knew was that something had to give. I must admit that if I had known then what these three years were going to be like, I would have faced them with less trepidation and more excitement. My promise to myself is that this is how I will approach the next three years: less trepidation, more excitement.