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WHY I QUIT MY JOB & MOVED TO BALI

Two years ago today I quit my career and walked away from life as I knew it. A month later I was on a plane traveling around the world to Bali by myself. It was unplanned that I would launch my blog on the exact same day, but the universe loves serendipitous moments so here I am ready to share my story.

 

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by Emily Atkinson in My Journey, Self-Discovery, Travel
April 30, 2014 3 comments

 

Two years ago today I quit my career and walked away from life as I knew it. A month later I was on a plane traveling around the world to Bali by myself.

It was unplanned that I would launch my blog on the exact same day, but the universe loves serendipitous moments so here I am ready to share my story.

In my 20’s I lived life according to a timeline and I did what was expected of me. I went to college, got a degree, landed a job and worked my way up the ladder until I was a senior interior designer. I lived in San Francisco in a great neighborhood and a fabulous apartment. I had a nice car, a busy social life and a fun group of party friends.

From the outside in, it appeared as if I had everything, but from the inside out, I was screaming. A silent scream that no one could hear but me.

I felt a deep discontentment within. I was unhappy with a capitol U-N-H-A-P-P-Y. I felt like a failure. I felt like something was missing. I felt like I didn’t belong in the life I had created.

Where did I go wrong? What was wrong with me? I did everything that I was “supposed” to…

I had dyed my hair dark brown as if dying my hair would hide the battle I was fighting inside. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and I didn’t recognize the reflection staring back at me.

I didn’t know when, but I knew I had lost myself.

This period of my life was filled with constant chaos. I went through heartbreak, chasing love in all the wrong places, being evicted from an apartment, having my purse stolen, and even having a roommate steal from me. I would gain friendships and lose others. I remember expecting a laughing Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the bushes telling me I’ve been punk’d. He never showed. This was my life.

The universe was not subtle with her hints. Her message was loud and clear. Something needed to change. I needed to change.

She created chaos so I would have no other choice than to listen.

I began to listen and slowly I made changes – I sold my car, let go of toxic friendships, began  changing my lifestyle and even started working with a life coach. I had built my life in San Franisco, but I knew my time living in the city was over.  I moved out of the city and into my parent’s home in a small beach town 20 minutes south of the city. It was the perfect contrast to the busy city life that I had grown accustomed to.

The last thing I needed to let go of was the career. And oh man did I struggle with this one. I had so much invested in my career and I felt like a failure, but at the same time I knew being an interior designer wasn’t aligned with my purpose.

Get Clear in Your Career | Emily Atkinson | Life Coach

I didn’t know what my purpose was, but I craved something with more soul and depth. I yearned to make a difference in the world. I wanted to do something I loved.

I also felt a deep desire to travel the world endlessly. I just wanted to be free. Free from it all.

I had reached a tipping point and I knew it was time to make a radical decision. I chose to dive head first into the unknown and to follow my dreams.

For me, I did not see another alternative. I knew in my heart that I needed to get away and spend some time with me. The transformation I needed wasn’t going to happen at home.

As I sat next to my mom in tears on our sofa, she said, “Sweetie, I may not understand it, but I support you.” It was decided, I would quit my job on Monday and go to Bali. I went upstairs, wrote my resignation letter and bought a ticket to Bali.

I chose Bali because I felt drawn to her. Like she was whispering, “Emily, come to me.” My intuition knew Bali was the place for me just like she knew I needed to step away from my life.

I spent the next 4 months in Bali feeling more free, alive and at peace than I had ever felt.

I wrote daily. Practiced yoga. Lots of yoga. Meditated. Found a love of Kirtan. Spent a lot of time alone, hanging out at cafes and people watching. I met soul sisters and new friends – many of whom are scattered around the globe. I island hopped. Drank Bintang. Lots of Bintang. Went skinny dipping. Embraced island life and doing nothing.

Most importantly, somewhere among the rice paddies, I found myself.

My time in Bali created the space for me to reconnect with me. For my true self to emerge.

When I looked at my reflection there was no not knowing who this woman was. I knew exactly who she was and I liked her. Actually I loved her. I fell completely head over heels in love with me.

I’m now back in the states living in my quiet little beach town south of San Francisco. I look back at the time before Bali and can’t help but laugh. I can’t help but be thankful for all of the chaos, drama and endless nights of tears. All of those moments brought me to where I am today and where I am is perfect.

For true transformation and growth to take place we must be brave enough to walk away from the life we think we should be living to make room for the one we are meant to live. We must be brave enough to step outside of our comfort zone, come face to face with our true selves, and fall in love with that person. Fall madly in love with ourselves. And if all else fails, Bali is always a good idea.

When I got home people would ask, “What did you do in Bali?”

My Response, “I spent every day loving myself. You should try it.”

Sister, if you’re ready to make changes in your life and take a journey of soul discovery, I would love to guide you. Learn more.

XO, emily

P.S. If you have any questions about Bali or going on a similar journey, feel free to ask me anything in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.


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Get Clear in Your Career | Emily Atkinson | Life Coach


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3 Comments
  1. Nele says:

    Emily, while reading this, I realize how similar our stories are. We where meant to meet. In Bali. Will always be there. With you, with your true self. And myself, with my true self.

    Love, Nele

    1. Emily says:

      Nele, my soul sister… Indeed our paths were meant to cross and now we are forever connected, soul mates! I love you to pieces and we will always have Bali and each other! xo, Em

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IGNITE YOUR PASSION + PURPOSE FUELED LIFE

WITH THIS FREE EBOOK: GET CLEAR ON YOUR CAREER

free ebook!
I'll never spam you. Pinkie swear!