Ellen Huerta on Leaving Google

A raw, honest, beautiful post by Ellen Huerta on what it was like working in a well-paying, cushioned job at Google, and what it was like to bite the bullet and quit:

And then, as my month off came to an end, I decided on a whim to go to Joshua Tree for New Year’s with one of my close college friends, her boyfriend and a collection of their friends who lived in LA. As we were huddled around the campfire before midnight, in 20 degree weather, one of their friends began to ask me about myself. Almost everyone there was an artist of some sort, so I remember feeling shy about the fact I worked at a huge tech company. It was almost like admitting I worked for the IRS. He asked what I did for work and how long I’d been doing it and I told him. His response was, ‘So you must really like it then to be there for so long. What about it? What’s it like?’ It felt like so many questions, so intrusive, but he was just being conversational. I remember saying something nice (most likely I said ‘the people are great’ which is true), but I remember feeling defensive, like I was being tested. In reality, that was all in my head, but that was my light going off…for the first time I was recognizing inauthenticity in myself. I couldn’t stand it.

After that conversation, I wandered away from the campfire for a few minutes to get a better look at the stars. The moon had never looked so big. I could hear old school hip hop from our camp in the distance, but I was surrounded by absolutely nothing and no one, and I felt free in the universe. It was that moment that I realized I was truly free to do whatever I wanted in this world and it was completely up to me to make it happen. It was my life, and I had to stop caring what people thought about it. If I wanted to bake, I should. If I wanted to write, I should. If I wanted to start a company, I should. If I wanted to do nothing, I should. If I wanted to fuck up for once, I should. I was probably only out there for a few minutes before someone tapped my shoulder to go back to the fire (it was so cold that night your pee froze as soon as it hit the ground), but it felt like an eternity. Maybe I would have reached this conclusion had I stayed in San Francisco, but I really believe it was the magic of being nowhere that did it. Being nowhere forced me to stay silent long enough to hear what I hadn’t wanted to admit: I wasn’t living authentically. When I returned to work, I gave my notice immediately.

The key: authenticity.

What kind of leap will you be making this week?

 

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