At 35, I got FIRE’d. Financial independence retire early (FIRE) that is. I was on a high for about two weeks. After that, nothing really changed in my personal or professional life. Afterall, it’s just a number in the bank account.
Achieving financial freedom can be anti-climatic.
Sure, it’s nice to have more options when it comes to lifestyle, career, and other things that money can help with. But at the end of the day, money is not a substitute for fulfillment.
After reaching FIRE, I remained in my corporate job for at least 6 months to think about next steps. Throughout those 6 months, I realized that I needed to be closer to family and in warmer weather. So I decided to relocate from the East Coast to West Coast.
After relocating, then what?
I was also trying hard to figure out something to work towards. Other than moving to California, what would I be going to in terms of work?
Knowing myself, unstructured days, not knowing anyone in a new city, and lacking a sense of purpose would cause my mind to spin out of control.
Yet, I wasn’t getting much traction when it came to figuring out what to do next. But I know once I get there, it could be a different story. In-person networking goes a long way when it comes to entrepreneurship and a mid-level career change.
So I decided to resign in mid-June…
Even without having a job or any gigs lined up. The only thing I had planned was to find an apartment and get a new driver’s license. That’s about all I had going on as far as the day-to-day.
It’s not to say that was the only thing I struggled with in terms of deciding on a resignation date. Not having a solid Plan B lined up was one thing. The other thing I had to come to terms with was...
Mid-June was 6 weeks shy of when bonuses were paid.
Even having reached FIRE, I was hesitant. Then I realized it’s not so much a financial fear than a psychological fear.
Though more money in the bank can provide more peace of mind. After all, Cali is so expensive!
But back to my psychological fears….
Back in 2017, I resigned in mid-June (maybe it’s something about June!) without a job lined up. Still had a mortgage to pay off at the time and not really sure what the heck I was going to do with myself.
Financially, I was ok but life fell apart fast.
I had a health scare in a foreign country ER, then when I got back home I found out my Dad was in the ICU. So I got on another 12 hour flight to be at the hospital. Upon returning home, my boyfriend of 3 years called things off unexpectedly.
All of it happened within a month.
It was awful which is why I’m struggled with resigning even post-FIRE. There was a major fear of the rug getting pulled from under me in unexpected ways...all over again.
Though a friend pointed out maybe it was life giving me a chance to heal what happened last time. To help me know that by doing what's best for me doesn't always lead to the proverbial rug pull.
History doesn’t necessarily have to repeat!
First, there wouldn’t be a breakup this time around since there was no guy in the picture. Plus, that was a blessing in disguise. Good freakin riddance! Almost married the guy!
Also, I survived that traumatic health scare in a non-English speaking country and more difficult was the family drama... so there was that.
I knew I had to keep asking myself: “What if it DOES work out?” Instead of the opposite question.
Another great suggestion: What would you tell a good friend?
Pretend I was looking at it as if it were my best friend and she came to me for advice. What would I suggest she do?
If it would be unpleasant but doable to stay another 6 weeks for that big bonus and extra peace of mind, maybe it would’ve been better to stay put.
But it’s less the fact that I’m leaving 6 weeks right before a big bonus but rather I dragged for 6 months.
And the worst case scenario? Scoop ice cream in Cali...which sounded pretty awesome!
Financial independence retire early (FIRE) like a boss!
Get FIRE’d up about financial freedom.
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