For ten years, I have worked in my cubicle. I have it decorated with picture frames and inspiring quotes but regardless of how many tropical pictures I put up, it’s just a gray cubicle. I sit beneath a florescent light that shines on me all day, every day. The walls are white, the conversation minimal. Every day, I saunter in to the office where fresh brewed coffee greets me as well as my irksome boss that hands me a stack of files without so much as a please or thank you. I spend my days pecking away at a computer until my eyes feel like melting out of my head. If I had known all my years of education and studying would have result in this, I would have thought up a different plan. My grand finale, my career, is grey and artificial. Ever day when my alarm goes off I dream of packing my suitcase and taking the A train to the airport where I could just jump on any flight to anywhere. But instead I put on my heels, grab a danish and head to the office where my soul slowly dies.
My cubicle is located in the middle of the office, so I have zero access to natural light. I’m surrounded by others that are quietly pecking away at their keyboard. Day in and day out, I slave over my work. The only sense of real life is the small fan I have clipped on my desk that offers a cool breeze. I wish I could say that I got time off to enjoy life, but I don’t. Every weekend I end up working from home. Every holiday, I’m hunched over my laptop trying to keep up with the work load. I get the lovely option of taking a two week “vacation” but that always means I will just spend two weeks working at home. It’s been years since I’ve gotten away from this life. I don’t even remember what it feels like to have time off. So recently, I decided to do something about it.
I composed a letter to my boss. I thanked him for being my mentor in the corporate world. I thanked my colleagues for all of their work, but I said that I was done. I’m done with the office chairs, white walls, and cooped up life of a cubicle. I’m finished with nylons and high heels. I wrote the letter and then turned it in with today’s date as my last day of work. My boss didn’t really respond; he just shrugged his shoulders which made me realize I had made the right decision. So now I sit here with my belongings in a box, my trusty fan put away, my pictures taken down and my desk bare. I’m done.
I have gotten rid of most of the things in my apartment and boxed up the rest. I’m renting out my apartment and I’m going to spend the year traveling around the world. I’m not sure where I’m going to go yet, but I have a bit of an idea. I know that I want to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean, throw a snowball in Alaska, attend the Opera in Australia and feel the rain in Vietnam. I have hired a travel agent to help me plan my trip but I am not going to make it too planned out as I also want to go where the wind will take me.
As I sit here with this box on my desk and all my pictures taken down, I have realized that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. I always felt it necessary to enter this corporate world and fight my way through it. But after many years of fighting, I have decided that it’s just not for me. I want to see the world. I want to meet new people, experience new cultures and try new food. I thought I would be emotional today, but the only emotion I have is excitement. I am beyond thrilled that I have made this decision and I am watching the clock as it slowly approaches 5 o’clock so I can finally be done. My box of office belongings will join the boxes in my apartment. I’ve been packing for two weeks and tomorrow it will all go into a storage unit. All I’ll have left is some luggage and clothes. I am ecstatic.
I know that the corporate world is a great environment for some people, however, I have realized that it’s not for me. I am not meant to be kept in a cubicle all day pecking away at a computer. I want to see the world and experience life. I am not satisfied with a boring corporate life, I want something more. I want to experience new adventures, meet new people, and live outside of a cubicle. I’m not sure what my life plan is now as it’s all kind of up in the air however I do know that it doesn’t not involve working in a cubicle. So I’m going to see the world and then see where that takes me. Maybe I’ll end up working in Tokyo or Madrid or maybe I will just travel the world for the remainder of my life, I’m not sure. I do know that I am five minutes from walking out of this office for good and I am beyond thrilled. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me and I am ready to be alive for once.